Facebook launches food ordering within its app

Ivan Schwartz
October 14, 2017

Once you click the "start order" button, either an in-app browser brings up the website of your preferred delivery service and prompts you to log in or create an account, or if you're on your browser, it opens up a new tab with the website of the service in question.

Facebook launched a service that allows USA users to order food for delivery or take out through the app or website. This isn't ideal for Facebook, as the company wants you constant attention.

If you spend a lot of time in the Facebook app, you can get some food while you're checking in on what your friends and family are doing. Facebook Order Food option is now available to U.S. users on iOS, Android and desktop.

What's more, you'd still have to log in to any accounts you already have with a delivery service. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc, Jack in the Box Inc, Five Guys, Panera, TGI Friday's, Denny's, El Pollo Loco, Jimmy John's and Papa John's International Inc are all listed on the site. Facebook chose to partner with existing companies instead of building its own product because it wanted to make sure it had "strong inventory all over the U.S.at launch", a spokesperson said via email.

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Facebook is already a place where people can check into restaurants and search recommendations to decide where they're going to eat next. "From local spots to national chains, Facebook connects you with old favorites and new discoveries in just a few taps", reads the blog post.

Orders can be placed for delivery or takeout, and you can use existing logins for their delivery partners.

Grubhub described the deal with Facebook as a "limited partnership" in an emailed statement. The value for Facebook is obvious; the company hopes you'll fill your craving and then keep swiping through your news feed with your greasy fingers. Though Amazon might not be making money on the food orders, its delivery service surely helps with valuable user data, notes Bloomberg.

Facebook's feature is not really about food, but about capitalizing on the social media behemoth's users, Apptopia CEO Eliran Sapir argued on Friday, explaining that "it's about selling to its advertisers and publishers that its users spend an incredible amount of time in its app on a daily basis".

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