Facebook quietly launches “Facebook Offers” [Video]
Facebook quietly announced Facebook Offers on Thursday, publishing a YouTube video announcing the project (embedded below). Facebook Offers is based on users “liking” the Facebook page owned by a business. If they do, Offers allows the business to send the customer/fan a special deal, such as a discount on a cup of coffee. Facebook rolled out Offers in beta to a handful of clients in the U.S. after announcing it at a conference in February. Facebook is continuing to roll out the beta to a limited amount of businesses in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Turkey.
Unfortunately, Facebook’s history of social deals reads like a bit like a “Who’s on First” skit. Facebook’s plans for the social discounting space began auspiciously in November 2010, when the social network site launched its Deals platform, not only offering discounts for existing customers, but allowing Facebook users to search out nearby Deals via a mobile application. But in August 2011, Facebook killed its Places mobile application, then Deals In its place: check-in offers, which allowed users to “check in” to local businesses and receive discounts, followed by “Deals on Facebook,” a trial program that launched in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco and focused on the best social activities in the area. Under “Deals on Facebook,” users could get deals pushed to them via email, or else check out the “Deals” tab of the home page.
Both Facebook’s “check-in offers” and “Deals on Facebook” are apparently still live. But the implementation of Facebook Offers is based solely on a customer’s relationship with a business, and has nothing to do with location In fact, to activate the deal, the business must email the deal to an approved email address; a Facebook message won’t suffice. Users then either need to print out the offer or open it on their mobile phone. There’s no bar code or other dedicated app; users must hand their phone to the waiter or person behind the counter, who must be presumably briefed on the available offer to redeem it.