Facebook Launches Local Deals for Mobile

Recently, we blogged about how Yellow Pages companies such as Yellow Pages Group and Yellowbook are launching group buying and other deal offerings as a means of attracting new advertisers and consumers on their websites.

Now Facebook is entering into the deals space with a new feature that will allow retailers and other merchants to offer coupons and special deals through its popular mobile application, The New York Times reports.

According to the Times, people who use Facebook’s new location feature, Places, will see a yellow icon indicating that a redeemable deal or coupon is available within their vicinity. Users can then use Places to “check in” at the store or restaurant and show their mobile phone to the employee to receive the deal.

The article notes that Facebook will not charge businesses directly to list deals and coupons, but that businesses can purchase advertising to attract visibility for their deals on Facebook.

While Facebook’s initial advertisers will include major retailers such as Gap, H&M, and McDonalds, the company said it plans to eventually expand to all merchants and small businesses with a Facebook Places page.

The new feature will initially only available to Facebook iPhone app users and to Android users through a special mobile website, however it certainly has the potential to be added to additional platforms in the future. More than 200 million people currently use Facebook via their mobile devices.

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