Facebook has introduced Facebook Deals, a new service
where companies offer discounts to visiting consumers.
The Deals service works in conjunction with Facebook’s
recently launched Places application, and resembles services offered by the
location-based social network Foursquare.
It lets retailers give discounts to people who publicly
announce they are at the store, through its “check-in” feature.
Several leading stores have already signed up. For example,
the Gap is giving jeans to the first 10,000 customers to claim its deal. Chipolte is giving Facebook customers two entrees for the price of one.
A Facebook blog posting predicted the site will host many
different types of offers: “Individual deals for a discount, free merchandise
or other reward; friend deals where you and your friends claim an offer
together; loyalty deals for being a frequent visitor to a place; and charity
deals where businesses pledge to donate to a cause when you check in.”