Facebook Deals launched on April 25 and already the limited city release is proving to be a positive venture for the world’s largest social networking website.
On its face there is very little different between Facebook Deals and competitors that include Groupon, LivingSocial and Google Offers, they all offer vast discounts on various deals, sometimes more than 50% off certain offers, however the way in which the site is attracting businesses, site members, even musicians could very well give Facebook a leg up on the competition.
Let’s start with the cost of entry. Facebook at this time is not charging businesses to advertise their products, instead businesses are encouraged to purchase ad units to target customers in their demographic. If you have ever used the Facebook advertising system you know that you can choose to target members by age, city and other demographic information which means you won’t be wasting time selling dentures to an 18 year old male outside of your cities advertising scope.
Second, Facebook Deals is sharing deals through emails and user profiles (specifically through the Newsfeed), adding a social element that their competitors can not possibly match. For example John Doe buys a new Hurley t-shirt, that t-shirt which was discounted by 50% is then shown in their friends newsfeeds and more than likely at least some of their friends share the same interest in clothing as them, perhaps they have a lot of skateboarding friends for example. It’s this element of social sharing that Groupon and other social buying sites lack. read more
A leaked embargo notice posted by the New York Times and picked up by TechCrunch is claiming that Facebook Deals is in the process of launching in the United States, a move that could be realized in all initial launch locations by Monday night.
The program which launched 3 months ago in Europe is seen as a direct competitor to Groupon, Living Social and Google Offers among other social buying platforms.
According to the report the program is first launching in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco with other cities to follow in the near future.
Much like their competitors, Facebook will offer deep discounts to customers of their service, discounts provided by company’s around the country who want to sell their products quickly and introduce new users to their offerings.
While there is no certain future for Facebook Deals, the company does have some huge advantages against their competitors which in turn could signal major trouble for Groupon. For example, rumors are circulating that retailers may not have to pay for the service. Under current business models businesses must pay social buying sites a percentage of their sales in order to secure their services, however Facebook may decide to profit only when Facebook Credits are used to buy products, allowing retailers to keep more of their upfront profits when users pay with credit cards and other payment services outside of Facebook’s virtual currency.
According to the report, Facebook Credits will be allowed to be used as payment and let’s be honest for a moment, how many users who meant to buy “in-app” products are going to unload their virtual real world cash on a really cool deal they see on Facebook Deals before they buy that next Farmville add-on they were planning to grab. Impulse spending is the name of the game and with their Facebook Credits making a huge splash for the company Facebook can already tap into users who with a few simple clicks may be willing to buy products from their deals platform. read more
After first making a debut in America, the social networking king has begun rolling out the long awaited Facebook Deals to Europe (starting with the United Kingdom).
Facebook has announced the arrival of Facebook Deals in the UK, a new mobile phone discounting system that rewards those who regularly check-in to shops and restaurants, through Facebook Places, in the UK. [...]
The launch is across Europe, with the UK being the first to launch.
Joanna Shields from Facebook said: “Facebook Deals represents the power of word of mouth marketing and personal recommendation.
“By checking in and taking the deal, this is shown on your news feed so your friends can also see what deals are taking place. (TechRadar UK)
Thus far only iOS and Android users will be able to partake of Facebook deals (at least on mobile phones), although Facebook will probably expand Facebook Deals third party “official” apps for Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 fans.
Through Facebook deals companies are already offering British residents some impressive deals, ranging from free xBox 360′x (as well as Play Stations), discount on concert tickets and even a free makeover for the ladies.
While it’s unclear how much (if any) revenue Facebook generates from Deals, Facebook’s European launch will probably threaten Google as well as Groupon, as Facebook can easily use their social graph in order to dominate the local coupon market.
Google Android users will be happy to learn that Facebook today released version 1.5.1 of their popular Android app, fixing several bugs found in the last version of the application, while adding Facebook Deals into the mix.
Users who check into locations around the U.S. will now see a yellow icon if that particular location is offering any deals through the program. At this time only U.S. locations are part of the Facebook Deals program.
While the new version promises to fix various bugs, some users on varying Android systems are now complaining that new bugs have been found, while some old bugs are still not fixed on their systems. Bug related issues appears to vary based on the version of Android in use.
Head over to the Android Market to download the new version of the application and give it a try.