Facebook introduced a new feature to its
popular social networking site yesterday that will allow consumers to purchase
coupons for public events.
coupon concept has been catching on with internet giants like Google, which
started marketing daily deals through a service called "Offers" last
week in Portland, Oregon. In addition, Amazon put $175 million into a privately
run social commerce company called LivingSocial last December.
the market has seen huge growth and there are big players already there, it's
not something that's locked down," said Ray Valdes, an Internet analyst at
research firm Gartner. "I expect to see churn among the vendors as they
try one thing and it works for awhile and other vendors find new ways of better
meeting user's needs."
Facebook is joining the mix by offering Facebook Deals,
which are coupons that consumers can purchase directly off of Facebook for
social events such as concerts and wine tasting. The coupons are geared toward
group activities since Facebook is a social networking company that encourages
not about taking someone else's business model and force-fitting it into
Facebook," said Emily White, director of local products at Facebook.
"Ultimately we're providing what we hope is a really great user experience
by looking at what people come to Facebook to do, and that's interact with
is offering Facebook Deals to Austin, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas and
Atlanta at first, and plans to spread the Deals to other U.S. cities later in
the year. For each coupon sold, Facebook will receive a cut of the transaction,
but the social networking giant has not mentioned exactly how much that cut
expect Facebook's coupon deal to be particularly
successful since it is conveniently placed right on Facebook,
where over 500 million users are active.