Facebook is debuting its offers service in what the social network calls a limited beta test, the same day as the announced acquisition of rewards startup Tagtile.
Facebook created a video about the offers rollout that we’ve embedded at the bottom of the post. The social network had announced this product six weeks ago, saying that page administrators would have the ability to create free offer material on their own pages, and elevating the promotion to something visible on the homepage would cost additional money.
If anything, the greater novelty today isn’t the rollout of offers, but rather the acquisition of Tagtile; Facebook confirmed the deal in a prepared statement to the media saying:
We’re happy to confirm that Tagtile’s founders are joining Facebook, and that Facebook is acquiring substantially all of the company’s assets. We’ve admired the engineering team’s efforts for some time now and we’re excited to have them join Facebook.
TagTile‘s homepage featured a longer spiel about the acquisition:
We started Tagtile with a simple goal — to help local business owners build better relationships with their best customers. We’ve been thrilled to see the enthusiastic response from both businesses and their customers, and even more pleased to watch those stronger relationships we envisioned start to develop.
Today, we are happy to announce that we are joining Facebook, and that they are acquiring substantially all of our assets. It’s a huge opportunity for us to take our goal –helping businesses grow — and do it on a much, much bigger scale than we could have on our own.
We won’t be taking on any new customers as of today, but the service will continue to work as is for now. We’ll be reaching out to customers directly once future plans are set, but Tagtile as it exists today won’t be part of what we do at Facebook.
We want to thank every business owner who used Tagtile and every user who downloaded the app. We’re excited by what lies ahead for us with Facebook, and are sure you will like what you see next.
Tagtile relies on a cube like the one pictured to the right. Plug that thing into a power source, download free software onto your mobile device — currently only iPhone and Android work, but platforms are coming soon — and consumers are ready to begin earning loyalty points by tapping their smartphone against the cube.
Participating merchants have a dashboard they can use to send promotional offers to individuals’ handheld devices. This model has a bit in common with the precursor to Facebook offers, the deals service.
Deals had required checking in to a physical location in order to redeem a deal. Facebook’s offers, by contrast, don’t rely on a physical location check-in, but rather start with content posted to pages by administrators.