Starting now, thousands of home services professionals will be available via Facebook. The social media site’s Marketplace platform is rolling out a new feature designed to make it easier for users to find contractors, carpenters, plumbers and house cleaners, according to news from Engadget. All professionals on the Marketplace, according to Facebook, will be rated and vetted before being able to offer up their services.
The new offering, according to Facebook, will fill a need that crops up informally on the site all the time: Users asking their social network for a home service recommendation. According to Facebook, millions of such requests are broadcast across the network per year.
“More people ask for recommendations related to home services on Facebook in the U.S. than any other topic,” said Bowen Pan, product manager at Facebook Marketplace, in a statement about the launch. “By partnering with Handy, HomeAdvisor and Porch, people will now have a place on Marketplace to find the right professional to help with their next home project.”
The Marketplace listings will give users visibility into a potential hire’s ratings, reviews, credentials and location. Users can also send along a description of their project and request a preliminary quote. Those descriptions and requests can be sent to a variety of professionals at once. Messenger can then be used for follow-up communications.
The service’s expansion into home services is one of many new categories that have been added to Facebook’s Marketplace of late: Home rentals and cars are also searchable.
But Facebook is not alone in expanding its services menu. Amazon has also been nibbling at the edges of this market for a while; Walmart partnered with Handy to expand its home services offering and Google is also working with both HomeAdvisor and Porch in order connect its voice assistant with available service professionals.
As of last year, Marketplace was growing at a rate of 18 million new listings per month. Search volume increased threefold as of October 2017.