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Facebook Deals: Last frontier for deals craze

Groupon's model for local deals sans the check-in makes it to everyone's favorite social network

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
March 17, 2011
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/184a

“I love deals, deals, deals, deals; deals I do adore.” Quoth some business strategist sick of advertising being the only viable online monetization model.
 
Following its fall announcement that mobile Places users would be rewarded with deals and discounts to the venue they’ve checked in at, Facebook announced this week that it is now rolling out regular (daily?) deals for the everyday user.
 
The program will initially be offered in five cities (Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco and Austin, Texas) and include offerings from nine vendors (Gilt City, Home Run, OpenTable, Pop Sugar City, Tippr, KGB Deals, Plum District, ReachLocal and Zozi). Over the next year, more deals from local businesses will continue to be incorporated into Facebook Deals.
 
Facebook shouldn’t have too much trouble getting businesses on board since these are still three of the most buzzworthy words on the Web: social media marketing. “Generate sales” and “build consumer loyalty” by tapping into the site where everybody, including every member of your company’s marketing team, stalks their friend’s pictures and messages them corn for their farm.
 
Check-in deals, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his team unveiled back in November, enable iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 users to find special deals from nearby businesess. For example, if I check in to The North Face in San Francisco, the company will make a donation to “preserve our parks.” Or, if I check in to the nearby American Eagle Outfitters, I’m eligible for 20 percent off my store purchase.
 
The deals are actually enticing enough, in my opinion, to get somebody who has never checked in before to finally do so. It might actually be the tipping point for location services, as I suggested in my piece last week about Foursquare’s new partnership with American Express.
 
Deals are everywhere now. The New York Times, erotic sites, everyone wants a piece of the Groupon-induced madness over a local-based moneymaking model for the Internet that might actually be sustainable.

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