Facebook has entered the daily deal online market with its recent launch of “Social Deals” to compete against daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social. In the past, Facebook originally rolled-out “Facebook Deals” to offer deals to its users when they “checked-in” to places. “Check-in deals” has replaced Facebook Deals and is directed toward both national and local businesses, whereas the new “Social Deals” focuses on bringing the online social experience into the real-world by focusing more on local businesses. The goal is to keep deals more social with events and classes in users’ local areas than traditional daily deals like tanning or massages.
Facebook Social Deals are different than other daily deal competitor sites because they must be purchased up front using Facebook Credits. What are Facebook Credits, you ask? According to Facebook, they are a virtual currency you can use to buy virtual goods in many games and apps on Facebook.
One major difference between Facebook’s Social Deals and other daily deal sites is that deals will not always involve a discount. Daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social have become leaders in the industry by advertising their 50 to 90 percent discounts. Unlike most traditional daily deal competitors, the merchants will also be permitted to set caps on the maximum number of deal vouchers that can be purchased.
Also, merchants will be required to have a Facebook Page before they are allowed to participate in the deals program. By requiring merchants to have a Facebook Page before engaging in Social Deals, the network is pushing businesses to be able to reach out to Social Deals buyers for repeat business after the first social interaction.
Social Deals is currently only open to five cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco.
See below for a snapshot of Facebook Social Deals: