After several months of anticipation Facebook is launching its second deals program: Social Deals. The new effort more closely resembles Groupon-style daily deals, with several twists. The original “Facebook Deals” is now being called “check-in deals” to distinguish it from the new program.
Before we go any further let’s dissect that last statement. In typical Interet fashion is pretty funny when you really look at. Facebook is essentially saying that the first deals deal that we dealt with isn’t quite what we said it was so we will rename it so you can now have our new deals deal which deals with deals in a different way. Good deal, right?!
This whole thing is starting to sound like the old routines of “You know, that I know, that you know…….”
One thing that Facebook has going for it is its current grip on a very large group of people so maybe they will deal with deals better than other deal offers (like Google Offers).
Back to Facebook’s new offering (is that OK to say to will it confuse you with the Google Offers deal?). Sterling goes on to say:
Check-in deals are free to users; they’re mobile centric and operate like conventional coupons. By contrast Facebook’s new Social Deals, like Groupon or LivingSocial, must be purchased up front using money or Facebook Credits (the first use for real-world products/services). You actually buy a voucher that is then redeemed offline.
The intention here is to make the Facebook online experiences translate into real-world experiences. There will be a five city trial to start: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco.
As always, Stirling goes into detail about this new offering so I am more than willing to let him tell you how it works (there is also a good article from the New York Times with some other insights). What I am interested in is thinking about how people will use it. I suspect that among the younger crowd this will be something they will investigate and experiment with but I will wait to see just how these deals are adopted by other groups of users who may not care about being the ‘dealmeister’ in their peer group.
In the end, Facebook is trying to make the whole deal experience more than just a hit and run by tying everything together through Facebook Pages which the participating businesses can capture these users through a system of likes etc. It’s interesting in concept and probably will have legs unless Facebook toys with something that ends up offending people. Actually, half the fun of watching any Facebook undertaking is to see where they will lock, load then shoot themselves in the foot by overstepping some boundary of common business etiquette and decency.
So welcome to the Facebook’s new deal that doesn’t replace the old deals but looks to deal a real blow to the other dealers out there.
Phew, what an ordeal.