Monday, December 11, 2017

Facebook users in the US can now order food using the social network’s site and app.

The company has been testing the functionality since 2016, and has now brought it to all users in the US, across iOS, Android and the desktop.

It’s an unusual new feature that’s designed to keep people on Facebook for longer, and it wouldn’t be hugely surprising to see it come to the UK in the future.

You can order a takeaway through Facebook by visiting the Order Food section in the Explore menu, browsing the options and hitting Start Order once you know what you want. 

Facebook has partnered with a number of food delivery services – Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow, Zuppler, EatStreet, Slice, and Olo – and outlets – Papa John’s, Wingstop, Panera, Jack in the Box, TGI Friday’s, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Chipotle, Five Guys and Jimmy John’s – to give users a wide range of choice.

“If the restaurant you want to order from offers takeout or delivery with multiple services, you can select which service you’d like to use,” explained Facebook’s Alex Himel. 

“For example, if you have an account with Delivery.com, you can easily order with your existing login. If you don’t have an account with that service, you can quickly and easily sign up, without leaving the Facebook app.”

The company says Facebook will also show you what your friends have to say about a restaurant before you make your order.

The social network has been busy ripping features from other popular apps and services recently. Snapchat has been targeted particularly heavily, but users have even seen a Tinder-like matching feature appear on the site. 

The food ordering feature appears to be a continuation of this policy. After all, a multitude of apps already make it extremely easy to order food online.

As well as not actually solving a problem, Facebook’s food ordering feature is arguably more bloated than the established services it’s designed to go up against.

Facebook, however, appears to want to become a one-stop-shop for everything. 

“People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about them,” added Mr Himel. “So, we’re making it even easier.”