Facebook quietly announced that it is killing its Facebook Deals product. After four months of testing, the social networking giant is calling it quits. This may ease some competitive pressure on industry leaders Groupon and LivingSocial, according to Reuters.
"After testing Deals for four months, we've decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses. We remain committed to building products to help local businesses connect with people, like Ads, Pages, Sponsored Stories, and Check-in Deals. We've learned a lot from our test and we'll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses."
Wait Emil! When you told us earlier this week that Facebook had killed Facebook Places, you said that Check-in Deals wasn't going away anytime soon. Don't worry, that's still correct. It's important to note that there is a distinction between Check-in Deals (alive) and Facebook Deals (dead).
In November 2010, Facebook announced Check-in Deals, a subset of Facebook Places. It allows you to check in from restaurants, supermarkets, bars, and coffee shops using an app. In turn, you are rewarded with discounts, coupons, and free merchandise. This product is still going to be around for the foreseeable future. It will be, however, changed slightly given that Facebook Places is being killed (see my previous article to learn how this will work).
In April 2011, Facebook announced a pilot program for Facebook Deals, offering online coupons and discounts from local businesses. Facebook started making offers in five cities (San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Austin, and Atlanta) and then recently added three more (Charlotte, St. Louis, and Minneapolis). The social networking giant had a small sales team arranging deals with local merchants but also ran offers set up by 11 other daily deal companies. This product is now dead.
All this product axing is being announced right after Facebook started rolling out a major privacy revamp this week. More details are available at the links below.