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Facebook adds deals to Places feature

Would you share your location for a free pair of jeans? FB and merchants believe many people will.

By Teresa Mears Nov 4, 2010 2:39PM

Facebook is joining the online deal world, adding mobile coupons to its new Places feature.

Places is a Facebook app that allows users to share their location with friends, similar to Foursquare and Gowalla. With the deals application, launched this week on iPhone, Facebook is adding tangible rewards.

 

A total of 23 national merchants, including Gap and 24 Hour Fitness, plus 20,000 smaller businesses, have signed on so far, Facebook says.

 

Sam Diaz at ZDNet's Between the Lines thinks the new app will entice users who thought the ephemeral badges and mayorships offered by Foursquare and other services weren't worth the trouble -- though a few businesses offer discounts to guests who check in using those apps. As a frugal geek, he's intrigued:

The new Deals Platform, announced by Facebook as part of a larger mobile platform news event yesterday, offers just enough of an incentive for a guy like me -- I prefer "frugal" over "cheap," thank you very much -- to start playing with location-based services. … If there were a coffee shop or deli offering some sort of financial promotion -- maybe a 50%-off sandwich or a free pastry with the purchase of a cup of coffee -- you can bet your last dollar that I would work my way to that business.

Among the initial deals offered are a free pair of jeans at Gap to the first 10,000 who check in, BOGO entrees at Chipotle Mexican Grill and a chance for football fans at the University of California, Berkeley to form the human tunnel through which the players run.

Mark Sullivan at PCWorld provides details about how the service works for consumers, and Tony Bradley explains the new service from a business owner's perspective.

 

So far, only 4% of Internet users have ever used a location-based app, and only 1% use one on any given day, according to a new survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. But the number of Americans using Facebook and smart phones is growing every day, and new mobile coupon applications are growing by leaps and bounds.

 

Are you willing to share your location in exchange for a deal?

 

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Nov 5, 2010 5:42PM
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