The deals concept is fairly simple – using Facebook Places, you are able to ‘check in’ to any location (bar, restaurant, shop, place of work, gym etc.) in order to share your location with friends on Facebook. To encourage you to check in to their place, brands and businesses will now be able to offer you exclusive deals when you do so.
Facebook commented on their blog, “We launched Places to let you share where you are with your friends and see who’s nearby. Now with Deals, you also can see what offers are nearby and share those deals with your friends.”
Like most things Facebook, this service is only available in the US for now but we should expect to see Facebook Deals hit UK shores in the near future. Many US businesses are already planning deals, mainly consisting of discounts, charity donations or tickets to exclusive events.
US Facebooker’s can expect to see lots of deals rolled out over the coming weeks, here’s some deals that caught our eye:
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema are hosting a free screening for whichever of their movie theaters gets the most check-ins, as well as giving free souvenir Facebook Places pint glasses just for showing that you’ve claimed the deal
- H&M are offering 20 percent off for a ‘check in’
- JCPenney are giving $10 off any $50 purchase
- McDonald’s are giving $1 per customer to the Ronald McDonald House Charities
- San Francisco 49ers are giving the first 200 fans who check in the opportunity to buy tickets to a subsequent football game for just (you guessed it) $49
- Starbucks are donating $1 per guest to Conservation International
Facebook Places seems to have been a little slow in getting off the ground, concerns about privacy have no doubt been a concern for many Facebook users.
As well as this, there has been no incentive to check in, so what’s the point? People need incentives.
Until now, Foursquare has been the dominant force in the geolocation market. A handful of brands have been using Foursquare to offer their customers promotions in a similar way to how Facebook Places is now doing.
The concern for Foursquare is that Facebook already has 500 million users to play with, and now that deals can be shared amongst them, check ins are sure to increase.
Whether or not Facebook can oust Foursquare as the Mayor of geolocation town (sorry about that, couldn’t resist) will depend largely on how the big UK brands embrace deals We will have to wait and see.