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Facebook Challenges Groupon By Expanding Group Discount Service
The social media leader is seeking a bigger piece of the daily-deal discount market by expanding its Deals program to more cities.
The battle for group discount customers is heating up, as Facebook said it will expand its Deals program with a soon-to-launch cut-price offering similar to those provided by Groupon and LivingSocial.
The social media giant initially will test the service in San Francisco; San Diego; Dallas; Atlanta, and Austin, Texas, Facebook said in a statement on Friday.
"Local businesses will be able to sign up to use this feature soon, and people will be able to find Deals in the coming weeks," said Facebook.
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Unveiled in the United States in November 2010 and Europe in January, Facebook Deals gives accountholders who share their information with participating businesses access to discounts and special offers. The tool integrates with Facebook Places, the social media site's location-based service that competes with Foursquare and Yelp, among others.
"You'll see a few different types of Deals: 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," Jon Fougner, a principal on Facebook's product marketing team, wrote in the company's blog when the service debuted in the U.S.
The new group-discount offering will give participating users access to price-breaks or other promotions from partners such as ReachLocal, Tippr, Gift City, PopSugar City, HomeRun.com, KGB Deals, Zozi, and Plum District, according to Bloomberg.