Facebook tests new rating scales for places

As Facebook continues to encourage users to rate the places they’ve been, the social network is testing different language for its five-star rating scale.

After a user has checked into a place or been tagged in a post with location, they may see a “Rate These Places” module in the right hand side of Facebook.com. When users hover over the stars, they can see what each rating means.

Some users are seeing stars one through five defined as: “would never recommend to a friend,” “probably wouldn’t recommend to a friend,” “might recommend to a friend,” “would recommend to a friend” and “would definitely recommend to a friend.”

Others see “really don’t like it,” “don’t like it,” “like some things about it,” “really like it” and “love it.”

We’ve also seen the scale as “hate it,” “don’t like it,” “like it,” “really like it”  and “love it.” Others could be in rotation as well.

These different definitions could lead some users to be more or less likely to add their rating to a place, and they could influence the rating a user ultimately gives. For instance, a user might not want to give a place a three-star rating if three stars means “like it,” but they might if three stars means “like some things about it” or “might recommend to a friend.”

Facebook began asking users to rate the places they’ve been in October 2012. Users could only rate places on desktop, and only when Facebook suggested places in the sidebar. Then in December 2012, Facebook launched a mobile location search product called Nearby, though it recently renamed this to “Local Search.”

Users can rate any of the places they’d checked into by visiting a place’s page, as seen to the right. However, to avoid manipulation of ratings, the option won’t appear unless the user has previously indicated on Facebook that they have been there. Users can change their rating via the activity log on their Timeline, but not from mobile. Unfortunately, there is no way to sort the activity log to view all ratings, so if a user rated a place a while ago and wants to change their rating, it might be difficult to find again later.

Below is an example of the “Rate These Places” module along with all its star rating definitions, sent to us by reader Matteo Gamba: