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Facebook launches ‘Deals’ – a version of Foursquare with offers

November 16, 2010

Facebook has just launched ‘Deals’. Deals adds a significant feature to another service they recently introduced ‘Facebook Places’ – Deals gives businesses the opportunity to reward customers when they check in on Facebook.

Check-ins have become a popular type of Social Networking. The leading check-in site is Foursquare and another competitor is GoWalla. When you ‘check in’ at a location you are telling your friends in the social network where you are. Read about some user experiences on Foursquare and GoWalla here and for more info check into a book by my friends Craig Agranoff and Herb Tabin Checked In Book.

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The risk/opportunity with any new social networking concept is that you need a mass amount of users to make make the network ‘social’. If I check in and I have no friends in the network it isn’t much fun. If I tweet and I have no followers I am not going to get many replies. So, for the new concepts it is critical for them to gain a lot of users to prevent Facebook or another big network from adding the functionality and eliminating the need for the new service. Do we need to Tweet if all our friends can see our Facebook ‘updates’? And will we check in on Foursquare if checking in on Facebook may give us a ‘deal’ from the merchants?

According to Facebook here’s the scoop on Deals:

“Deals gives businesses the opportunity to reward customers when they check in on Facebook, and this helps generate awareness, encourage in-store traffic and build customer loyalty. In addition, if someone checks in to a business that is offering a deal, their friends have the opportunity to hear about it through word of mouth marketing that is generated naturally on Facebook.”