Local Search

An Overview of Recent Facebook Review Changes

By September 23, 2020 One Comment
Share This Awesome Content!
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email

As Facebook becomes a more popular destination for people to post ratings and reviews of businesses, the site is experiencing some speed bumps. Case in point: an ongoing issue related to the way it changed its ratings/recommendations system in 2018. It looks like Facebook is not consistently managing the transition to a new review system that took hold in 2018. As a result, some customer reviews are disappearing. Here is more context: in 2018, Facebook changed its ratings/recommendations system. Under the old way, Facebook users rated businesses on a scale of 1 to 5. In August 2018, though, Facebook introduced a simpler approach of having people either recommend or not recommend (Recommend / Doesn’t Recommend ) a business, as well as write a comment, as shown below:

But Facebook still needs to address a lingering issue: What happens to all of those reviews people posted using the numerical rating system prior to the switchover in 2018? 

How Facebook Has Been Changing Review Display

Facebook has not consistently applied a system for managing old reviews. Many Facebook watchers observed that Facebook simply began to stop dating reviews prior to August 2018. In addition, for at least one client, Facebook was hiding previously published reviews prior to November 2018, as with the example below. When we viewed reviews by Most Recent, Facebook showed no more reviews available on the page.

But you can still get access to the old review if you performed a workaround  — specifically if you hold on your keyboard Open_Graph_StoryID(External ReviewID). Below is an example that proves there are reviews dated before November 12, 2018.

 

A Review Dated November 6, 2018

Migrating Old Reviews?

We’ve noticed Facebook migrated some reviews older than 2017 to the recommendation-based system that took hold in August 2018. 

As shown above, we assume that Facebook is in the process of migrating old numbers-based ratings to the recommendation-based system – and also suppressing the old reviews. This inconsistent behavior has created confusion.

What’s Next?

I suspect that Facebook no longer believes the old reviews to be valuable. That’s because, in February 2020, Facebook stopped providing a unique ID for the old rating-only type reviews. Historically, every review on Facebook (star rating only or star rating and comment) would have a unique ID associated with it. Facebook’s actions demonstrate that it no longer sees enough value in old reviews to attach a unique identifier to them for API review management purposes. 

If you manage your Facebook presence directly, I suggest that you reach out to Facebook directly to achieve a resolution on how the company is managing the disposition of reviews.

Having A Track Record of Reviews is Important to Your Reputation 

To be sure, having up-to-date reviews is important, and so far it looks like reviews under the recommendations-based system are being published regularly. But it’s also important to maintain a lengthy track record of reviews. Businesses with more reviews have more credibility.

This is especially important given how important Facebook has become a ratings/reviews destination. I consider Facebook to be a “customer review amplifier.” Review amplifiers wield an inordinate impact on a business’s online perception. They not only amplify a company’s presence via search – but they also get more attention for a business through customer reviews. The most influential review amplifier is Google, but Facebook is right up there with Google given Facebook’s social media reach. According to Facebook, about one-third of people on Facebook use the platform to look for recommendations, and two out of three visit the Facebook page of a local business or event once a week.

So it’s especially important that Facebook manage carefully how it revises its approach to ratings and reviews.

Follow Adam
Latest posts by Adam Dorfman (see all)
Share This Awesome Content!
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email

One Comment

  • Zoe says:

    FB has completely trashed the review system. They should not be allowed to determine what reviews are shown or deleted from a person’s page. The content is not theirs, so therefore they do not have rights to it. I used to have over a hundred reviews, when they changed to recommendations, only approx 30 were shown and in the last 24 hours they’ve been messing around with them again and all my reviews have disappeared, this happened last time they started messing about with the review system. Also the number indicating how many people are meant to have scored my business page is complete nonsense now. It dropped from over 100, to 71 in 24 hours then months later it dropped again to 51 and now it’s 47. My business has been going for 5 years, I’ve had hundreds using my services and well over 100 reviews/recommendations so to have a made up random score of 47 against my reviews is no way a true reflection of my business. FB has made me so angry over this. It’s like they are purposely out to jeopardise businesses, maybe those that don’t buy advertising services from FB?? But they obviously can’t make that known otherwise they would be sued for discrimination. I really don’t feel there is any point in having a business page on FB anymore if you are a small business.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.