Facebook Deals use location, location, location to find deals for users

Google isn’t the only Internet giant that’s jumping on the daily deal bandwagon; Facebook today announced the launch of Facebook Deals, which utilizes both the social network’s Places feature and smartphones with GPS capabilities to save you some money.

Once you check in with Facebook Places on an iPhone or Android phone, you’ll be shown a list of nearby businesses that are offering deals through Facebook. Then, just go to the business, check in, and show the cashier the next screen on your smartphone to redeem your coupon.

Unlike other daily deal websites, Facebook has multiple deals going each day. Today’s opening-day roster of partner businesses is pretty impressive: Indigo, H&M, Garage, and, perhaps fittingly, phone companies Wind and Telus.

Another promising aspect of Facebook Deals is that the deals aren’t offered through Facebook. That means no buying coupons ahead of time; just show up and show the vendor your coupon.

However, there do seem to be a few potential drawbacks for Facebook Deals. First of all, you need an iPhone or Android phone to redeem these savings. That means you’re outta luck if you use a BlackBerry or, worse yet, don’t have a smartphone. Secondly, the savings are quite a bit smaller than what Groupon or other competitors offer. The savings tend to be closer to 30 per cent off or $10 off, as opposed to 70 or 80 per cent off, or maybe $50 savings you might find with Groupon et al. Finally, if the potentially privacy-violating Facebook Places is a turn-off for you, you’ll either need to swallow your pride (and desire to keep something, anything in your life private) or forget about Facebook Deals.

For potential vendors, this looks like it could be an excellent advertising opportunity, because the check-in aspect of Facebook Deals means that whenever a customer redeems that coupon, you’re getting free advertising on Facebook feeds everywhere. Not bad, eh? Couple that with Facebook Deals’ sharing functions (users can share the deals without redeeming them), and you’ve got an excellent opportunity to build awareness of your company on the cheap.

For more info on Facebook Deals, including a walkthrough, click here.