Facebook Moves Away From Star Ratings in Favour of Recommendations

August 9, 2018
By   Lindsay Weisleder
Category   Social Media
Facebook reviews

Facebook recommendations have replaced ratings as the way users give feedback about local businesses. Instead of giving a star rating on a one-to-five scale, users are now simply asked whether or not they would recommend a business. The social network is hoping this change will push people to write more extensively about their experiences, which will lead to more authentic, richer reviews.

What Are the Benefits of Facebook Recommendations?

One of the most effective forms of marketing will always be word-of-mouth. That’s because people trust recommendations from their network of friends, as well as people who have had real-life interactions with the business. Facebook’s new recommendation platform effectively uses this word-of-mouth style of marketing to encourage customers to share richer feedback that will help businesses become more visible within their local community. These recommendations will appear when people are searching or talking about a business anywhere on Facebook.

 How Do Facebook Recommendations Work?

Now when you recommend a restaurant or a local business to a friend, Facebook will encourage you to write a more in-depth recommendation. Users will now see a required minimum character count (25 characters), a choice of category-based attribution tags that they can click to easily add, and the option to add photos.

Facebook reviews turn into recommendations


What Does the Change to Facebook Recommendations Mean For Local Businesses?

Previous star review data will still appear on local business pages alongside the new yes/no recommendations. Going forward, the reviews section will now include a mix of star ratings and recommendations. Instead of seeing stars at the top of this section, a numeric rating out 5 is now prominently displayed.

Facebook reviews star ratings

One of the major changes Facebook announced with this update is that it will be easier to report content in recommendations that is fraudulent, dishonest, spam or paid for. This is not the case currently with reviews, which are very difficult to dispute and/or have removed.

Facebook fake reviews remove

Interestingly, it appears that the revamped reviews section will also pull in posts in which users tag or check into the business. Unfortunately, page admins will be unable to comment on or respond to these types of posts unless they are friends with the person who tagged their business.

Unlike the current reviews, recommendations will no longer be confined to a business’s Page. Instead, Facebook says “recommendations appear on your page and are discoverable across Facebook when people are searching for, or talking about your business. Because we know that people trust the opinions of those they know most, these recommendations will be surfaced most prominently.”

This approach makes sense in the context of Facebook’s ongoing “localization” trend. As we have discussed previously, Facebook is well aware that local is the next big battleground online and is continually taking steps to increase their local data and relevance.

What Else Is Changing?

The move away from star reviews to recommendations is just one of the changes Facebook announced for local business pages. Other updates include expanding the functionality of events and job listings, and showing related businesses on local business pages. Facebook will also automatically switch local business page templates on August 26, 2018 to showcase important information relevant to that business’s specific industry (i.e. pages categorized as restaurants will switch to a template that will prominently display hours, prices and menus).

With over 1.6 billion people around the world connected to a small business on Facebook, and 2 in 3 users visiting the Facebook page of a local business at least once a week, the social site is hoping these changes will combat a recent algorithm update that saw companies’ organic reach decline and make it easier for users to connect with local businesses.




Facebook Facebook Local local marketing recommendations reviews


Lindsay Weisleder

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments (21)

  1. Why our raters is going down for several occasion i should have more than 120 raters already by this time, today July 9, 2022 i have additional 2 raters that add up to 103, however when i checked back it show only 101 raters…this happened several times already, can somebody explain why? please.

  2. I want to promote my business, but I lost all of my reviews and ratings. Last week only the negative ones were counted and I went from a 4+ to a 2. I keep writing to Facebook. It went down to a -7. Now it is 0/none when I actually got some new ones. They appear on the page, but are not counted in my star rating. I want to promote my page–especially now because it is winter and we are slower. I also want to run an ad for a driver. But, I don’t want to do anything with this page now with a 0/no rating. Does anyone know how
    we can we fix this? We worked very had to earn those ratings.

  3. One back I had 4.9 as my rating but unfortunately I got one bad review and ratin came down to 4.7, and within last 6 months again somehow the rating appears as 4.9 ,
    Anyway thats good and I was happy.
    But I don’t now why few weeks back the rating has came back to 4.8 and I didn’t receive any bad review.
    How come that. Please explain how it wotks and how do u measure this ratings..?

  4. How do we protect the changes. My business is only a year old, had 5-6 reviews and now there’s only 2. It’s hard enough to get a review even though I get messages saying they love what they received, now they are gone.

    If enough of us write in maybe they will change it again?

  5. thats good. but why does it 3.9 out of 5 now. I’m stuck at that rating now… How do I remove that”? Thank you for any help you may provide me!

  6. We were once a 5 star with multiple reviews and recommendations. Now because of one! Bad review from a client because I wouldn’t give a refund after a year, our rating is now 4.8 and had stayed that rating even after several good recommendations. I assume we are stuck at this rating forever now considering it isn’t going back up at all. This can destroy businesses. I noticed a huge decrease in business over one person’s review.

  7. Our business star rating and recommendation should be in the same plafform if you are changing your way. Example, if a customer did good recommendation , star rating are increasing at the same time.

    But, we lose our good things mostly.

  8. I am still waiting for a reply to the above statement I left previously…it is very frustrating to deal with facebook …I am not happy

  9. This is a horrible change. Our business worked HARD to earn over 160 completely GENUINE reviews with an an average final value of 4.9-Stars, and many of them with sincerely written endorsements and reasons (including very fair write-ups by the few folks leaving 3-Stars instead of 4 or 5). Now those reviews are buried and it is no longer safe to encourage reviews. Our product is not perfect. I don’t expect everyone to give us 5-Stars. But now Customers have only a binary choice. If they have any doubts about the product, instead of giving us a reasonable 3-Stars, they now might say “Not Recommended”.

    This is extremely frustrating to every highly-rated business and is CLEARLY intended by Facebook to retain more paying / advertising businesses that were poorly rated and abandoning Facebook or Facebook ads.

  10. I still have an old a 4.7 review shows 32 5 star and two 1 star with no comment just a (period) which I know these are fake but can’t do anything about it ……so when will it take into account the new recommendations and my score will change or is it to stay at 4.7
    I now have 16 recommendations on my new……this doesn’t make sense…can you please check this out for me

  11. I have just looked at your own Facebook Page, Reshift Media, and it has done the same to you. It only says on your page you have 2 recommendations when you clearly have more and lots of previous 5 star reviews. Oops!

    1. It says “2 recommendations” because 2 people have reviewed it using the new recommendation feature, but all the previous starred reviews still appear and are counted in the overall numeric value the page now displays.

  12. Not good at all, my page had 160+ reviews with an overall 5 star rating. Now it says it has 16 recommendations with an overall 4.9 rating. It has not seemed to take into account all previous ratings at all.

  13. I’m not happy about this change.
    My business page had more than 20 reviews and now only seems to have 4. To get a total amount of reviews you have to click on the little (?)
    They need to change the way it is displayed and they need to keep all the previous reviews visible.

    1. Mine too Russell Davey! Mine had a 4.8/5… only one person ever gave our business a “bad” rating and now because of the new system, our score dropped. We didn’t receive a poor rating… it just dropped. Makes NO sense!

      1. Same. We had one bad review to our once 5 star page. We have had 6 recommendations since then and now we still sit at 4.8.