MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook is making it a lot easier for companies to run their business through Facebook.
The social network will open up two new sections: Shopping and services, which allows businesses to feature their products and services directly from their Facebook pages. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg introduced the update during a press event at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, on Tuesday.
Facebook is now home to more than 45 million Facebook pages, Sandberg revealed. With the changes, page owners will be able to take advantage of two new sections for their businesses’ pages: Shopping and Services. Shopping, which Facebook first began testing in July, allows retailers to showcase and sell their products from their page. Similarly, the Services section, aimed at companies that provide professional services like plumbers or salons, lets businesses highlight their offerings.
The new sections are still in a testing phase with a limited group of businesses but Facebook says it will open up the features more broadly in the coming weeks.
Additionally, Facebook is making it easier for people to interact with businesses through their pages with three new “call to action” buttons currently being tested: “Call Now,” “Send Message” and “Contact Us.” These buttons, which will join the “Donate” button for nonprofits, are also being redesigned so they appear more prominently at the top of pages.
“The new features for Pages reflect our belief that no matter if you’re a plumbing company, a flower shop, a non-profit or a brand, your Page should house the information people are looking for, help you communicate with your customers, and support your unique goals,” Facebook wrote in a statement Tuesday.
Facebook says it will continue to add more sections for pages and call-to-action options in the future as it ramps up its features for businesses. Facebook says the updates are meant to make companies’ Facebook presence more customized based on the type of business they are in.
The company also highlighted recent updates that offer page administrators more control over how they interact with customers through Facebook. Administrators are able to create canned responses to common questions through a “saved reply” option while a new “reply privately” feature lets admins reply privately to public comments.
The changes could also have significant implications for Facebook’s consumer-facing features, like its forthcoming virtual assistant “M.” Though the company is still in its early stages of testing the artificially intelligent assistant service, the feature will be able to complete tasks for you, like making appointments or completing online orders. If both of these features become baked-in to businesses’ Facebook pages, it could certainly streamline M’s ability to get stuff done for you.