Will The “Facebook Deals” App Increase Check-Ins?

Back in August, Facebook announced Places, a part of the Facebook iPhone App or touch.facebook.com that allows a user to “Check-In” wherever they are. Similar to FourSquare and Gowalla, Facebook users could then let their friends know where in the world they are.

This Wednesday, Facebook announced Deals, an extension to both the Facebook iPhone App and touch.facebook.com that lets users find deals wherever you are in the world. The new service launched with 20 big name companies taking part in the initial launch, including the Gap, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. Here is how Facebook describes the new service offering:

“We launched Places to let you share where you are with your friends and see who’s nearby. Now with Deals, you also can see what offers are nearby and share those deals with your friends.

Finding deals near you is easy. On touch.facebook.com or the latest version of Facebook for iPhone, touch “Places” and then touch “Check In.” Nearby Places with deals have a yellow icon.

When you touch the Place, you can view the deal and check in to claim it. Then, just show your phone to the cashier to get your gift or discount.”

Interestingly enough we learned, in a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, that only 4% of adult Americans using the Internet had ever checked in using a mobile app. However, that number doubles when you look at under 25 demographic.

Facebook currently boasts 200 million users of their mobile applications, a little less than 50% of their total user base. This begs the question; will Facebook bring the location based mobile app to the forefront of computing? Secondly, how does this impact you as a business owner?

The fact that Facebook has put so much focus on mobile computing and specifically local mobile offerings shows that it is here to stay. While the initial market appears to be retail applications, service based businesses that do not watch this local mobile phenomenon may be sorry later. Imagine finding a local computer repair company or a Kinko’s with a Deal through Facebook -that day is coming.

Be sure to check back for an update on Facebook Places and Deals as we will be keeping a close eye on these new services.
NSR provides Facebook Application development and campaign management to many of our clients.
Contact us if you would like more information.

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