Facebook Offers beta extends to more local businesses in U.S.

Facebook says that it will roll out its new self-serve offers feature to all local business pages in the U.S. today. [Update 5/3/12 5:10 p.m. PT – Facebook tells us that offers are still not available to all business pages, but it has expanded the self-serve beta.]

Previously, offers were only available to a small number of premium advertisers and beta partners. The company extended offers to some pages in New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Japan, and Turkey last month, but most pages in the U.S. did not have access. Facebook will continue to expand the number of pages eligible to create offers, but for now the option only seems to appear for pages categorized as “local businesses.”

Offers are a new story type for page owners to post coupons that users can collect from News Feed or ad units. Page owners can create offers directly from the page publisher on their Timelines. Unlike Facebook’s former check-in deal service, offers do not require approval from Facebook before going live. Here is the flow for creating offers from the publisher:

After creating an offer, a post will appear on a page’s Timeline and in some fans’ News Feeds. To expand an offer’s distribution, pages can buy Sponsored Stories targeting existing fans, their friends or anyone on Facebook. Claiming offers is simple — one click sends a coupon to a user’s email account — and results in prominent News Feed stories that increase awareness of the promotion.

Facebook has also made offers available through the API to some beta partners. This means developers can integrate the feature into their ads and page management platforms. We recently spoke to BuyBuddy founder and CEO Peter Goodman, who says his team plans to integrate offers into its ad platform as soon as possible.

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