By Thomas Kaiser
We use it to announce the best and worst news of our lives, to stalk exes and find new love, to read the news and complain about current events—so why shouldn’t Facebook just feed us, already? Fear not, California-based Facebook has announced plans to add meal delivery to its all-encompassing function set.
While Facebook hasn’t made a major announcement about its new service as yet, clicking on the hamburger icon or “Order Food” from its menu brings users to a page that lets them choose from nearby restaurants linked with the social media giant. According to Engadget, users can visit the restaurant’s Facebook page or click “Start Order” to get a food order rolling.
We tried the new feature out at Food On Demand headquarters a few miles north of Minneapolis, but we didn’t have any nearby restaurants using the service. Changing our location to downtown proper, the page was populated with three independent restaurant pages—only one of which had the “Start Order” function as an option.
Plugging in larger cities like Chicago and San Francisco produced more restaurant providers, but still far fewer than the larger, more established delivery providers in each market.
Using Slice and Delivery.com as its delivery providers, the Facebook ordering page was fairly straightforward, but lacked any of the visual pizzazz that fires up the tastebuds and adds some theater to the process, which so many new-age delivery providers have mastered.
Facebook didn’t respond to our request for additional information about its intentions in the delivery world, but industry observers can reasonably assume that the company is the latest to see the massive potential of online delivery and ordering, which is currently done through several individual proprietary sites. Aggregating delivery into social dashboards makes perfect sense, and follows the trend of popular online properties consolidating as many daily-use functions as possible under their umbrella.
Assuming Facebook’s trial of delivery goes well, we can look forward to a world where we’re not just getting after-the-fact meal updates from our friends, but also live updates of those first hunger pangs, what they’re hungry for, what they’ve ordered, when it’s arriving and, presumably, how said meal makes them feel in each day’s unique moodscape. Allow me to suggest a “breaking meal” alert to stay up to date.
Thinking of some of the other basic needs that crop up when using Facebook, I am hereby predicting the future addition of “Schedule Political Fistfight,” “Plan Family Intervention” and “Hire Personal Trainer” to be added in the near future.