Facebook to test out location based check in deals with Facebook Deals

Posted on October 29, 2010

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Is Facebook cloning groupon program with Facebook Deals? Seems so.

(Allfacebook Blog) Facebook is currently testing a new “Facebook Deals” service which enables businesses to provide deals whenever visitors check-in to a physical store. The new service is being tested with a limited number of partners, and all we currently have access to is a copy of an email sent from Facebook confirming one of the first deals being tested.

As the image below depicts, this company (who’s identity is being hidden to protect them) has had their first deal approved. The deal involves rewarding a Facebook user with a free product when 3 of a user’s friends are tagged at a specific place. The creators of deals can determine the threshold required to earn a deal. One of the major criticisms of many of the existing check-in services (Foursquare, Gowalla, and even Facebook) is the lack of incentives for checking in to various locations.

However Facebook is already testing a deals service a couple months after first launching the Places product. Whether or not Facebook is charging for the service we aren’t quite sure. Ultimately any number of deals that Facebook can get launched on their site will help drive more users to check-in places. For the time being all we have access to is a copy of the email below which confirms the launch of a deal on a Facebook Page.

As these deals are rolled out there’s no doubt that we’ll learn more about this new service. According to the email, details of the service will be listed via http://www.facebook.com/deals. Since we aren’t part of the test program we can’t view this page however. If you find that you are able to access the page or the help page listed below please send us a screenshot!

We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this post if we find out any more details.

Update
Facebook has provided the following statement: “As you know, we don’t comment on speculation. We have nothing to share at this time.” This doesn’t appear to be speculation however based on the email below. I guess Facebook wants to stay silent on this. I should add that our source is extremely reliable, confirmed working for a relatively large interactive agency.

(Fierce mobile) Facebook reportedly is trialing a new solution dubbed Facebook Deals, offering bargains and coupons to consumers who check in at physical locations like retail stores and restaurants. Citing an interactive agency source currently test-driving the service, All Facebook reports the social networking giant is presently trialing Facebook Deals with a limited number of partners–one approved demo rewards users with a free product when three of their friends are tagged at a specific location. Merchant partners can determine the types of deals and the requirements necessary for customers to earn them. Facebook declined to comment on the report, saying “We don’t comment on speculation. We have nothing to share at this time.”

Facebook Deals follows on the heels of Facebook Places, a location-based social networking solution formally launched in August 2010. Facebook Places enables users to share their current whereabouts in real time via mobile device–integrated into the latest incarnation of Facebook’s iPhone application and also accessible via touch.facebook.com on any mobile browser supporting HTML5 and geolocation, the solution gives users the option to share their location by checking in at real-world destinations. Facebook Places also identifies contacts who’ve chosen to check in nearby: Check-ins will create stories in friends’ News Feeds and additionally show up in the Recent Activity section of the location’s Facebook page.

Although Facebook Places ostensibly rivals up-and-coming location-based mobile services like foursquare and Gowalla, although both startups have said they see the service as a complement to their own efforts. While foursquare and Gowalla have partnered with merchants to offer incentives to consumers who check in at their brick-and-mortar locations, critics contend neither company has been sufficiently aggressive in monetizing the buzz around the check-in segment.

Facebook is the most popular application across most operating systems according to data issued last month by The Nielsen Company. Fifty percent of iOS users have accessed the app within the last 30 days, compared to 45 percent of BlackBerry users and 32 percent of Windows Mobile users. Facebook is the second most popular app among Android users (45 percent)–only Google Maps ranks higher, and just barely (46 percent).

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