Facebook’s expanded deals services go live tonight in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Now, you can find deals updates through email, notifications, or if your profile says you live in one of the aforementioned test cities, by clicking on a new deals tab showing up on the home page. News feeds will also show deals that your friends purchase or like.
Emily White, Facebook’s director for local, told Miguel Helft:
You can receive Facebook deals via e-mail. But if there is a deal that is good for you, it will likely show up in your news feed at some point in the day…. A lot of deal sites get that deals are social. But I wouldn’t say they are really well integrated with Facebook.
Helft says the expanded deals offerings may prop up Facebook’s digital currency, Credits. The virtual coinage can be used to pay for deals, which busts the social network’s form of cash out of its previous confinement to games and online content such as movie rentals.
The expanded deals service rides on partnerships with the restaurant reservations site OpenTable, the women’s offering service PopSugar City and Zozi, which has group discounts for outdoor activities. Other partners helping to syndicate the new offering include Gilt City, Tippr,Plum District, ReachLocal, Home Run, KGB Deals, aDealio, and ViaGoGo.
All of this expansion sounds wonderful except for one important thing: So far, statistics have shown that businesses tend to do only one group buying offer to get customers and then never return to these services. That would suggest that this whole market has a very limited shelf life. At some point, every type of outfit that could possibly do a deal will eventually have done so, and then there will be no more revenue opportunities left in this space.
Readers, what do you think about the expansion of deals on Facebook and elsewhere? And have you seen any of these offerings yet during your own use of the social network?