Facebook is now offering an in-app food ordering system, an extension of the system which allowed users to order food using the restaurants own Facebook page. The entire process, from ordering to checkout, takes place through Facebook.

The ‘Order Food’ function works in a similar manner to the previous ordering system, but aggregates all the participating restaurants on one page. Alongside the restaurants will be photos, price range, star ratings and a description of cuisine. It will also let users know whether delivery, pickup or both are available. Users can browse the menu, add items, add a tip if desired then pay within Facebook, in a system powered either by or Slice.

For users, the function is one of convenience. However, critics have noted the way in which Facebook is duplicating the workings of other apps within its own system, in order to keep users in their product. The ‘Order Food’ function follows on from Facebook Weather, a networking section called ‘Discover People’, a ‘City Guide’ travel function and the longer-running Marketplace and Games.

At the moment the ‘Order Food’ function is not available in New Zealand, with no announcement yet on a launch date.