Facebook Deals, which was launched in the US at the end of last year, has come to the UK bringing us lucky people discounts and offers from a wide range of businesses.
Launched this morning in London and simultaneously in France, Germany, Spain and Italy, Deals will allow businesses to contact Facebook users who are near them and send them special offers such as two-for-one deals or first 100 responders get free tickets. Widely seen as Groupon meets Foursquare, Deals is seen by Facebook as a way for businesses to connect with their customers more easily.
When Facebook users Check-In via Facebook Places they will now see a “Golden Ticket or yellow tag” next to the companies offering a special deal at that time. You click on the specific business, check-in, click the “Claim The Deal” button and you will then get a screen which you show to the cashier in the individual business.
There are four types of Deal: Charity, Individual, Loyalty and Friend. The Charity Deal allows companies to donate a set amount to their chosen charity for every check-in on Places. The Individual Deal allows businesses to create one-off offers while the Loyalty Deal is a virtual loyalty card where the more you check-in the more deals you get. Finally the Friend Deals can only be claimed if you tag one or more friends and they also check-in.
Speaking at the launch this morning, Joanna Shields said: “Facebook is giving businesses the power to connect to us personally, giving people deals and opportunities. It is the power of word-of-mouth marketing. This will be an indispensable part of how consumers and business interact with each other.” Among the partner companies who are offering launch deals are Alton Towers, Benetton, O2, Starbucks, Yo! Sushi, Debenhams and Mazda.
While it was launched in just five countries in Europe this morning, Facebook confirmed it would be rolling Deals out to all markets in time, ominously adding that we are “just starting to see the beginning of this.” Facebook also confirmed that it planned on expanding Deals to allow smaller businesses have access after starting with larger brands at launch.
Since Deals launched in the US, Facebook says it has had “a lot of success” with over 50 percent of launch partners coming back to set up a second deal already. Facebook currently has no plans to allow Facebook Credits to be used in conjunction with these Deals and it said it does not get any revenue share from the platform at the moment but didn’t rule out this possibility in the future.