Facebook has already started promoting its Groupon-like service. The company has pushed a new story with the headline "Deals on Facebook. Now Better With Friends" to the Facebook News Feed. It links to a new Facebook Deals landing page at facebook.com/deals, which says "Coming Soon: Deals Are About to Get Better with Friends" at the top.
The goal is to get users to subscribe to updates for Facebook Deals, and to invite their friends to subscribe too. Subscribers will soon get Facebook News Feed updates about nearby promotions. As I reported last week, the first cities to receive these updates will be San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Atlanta, and Austin. In the drop down menu, Facebook clearly states "more cities coming soon."
Here's how the company is describing the service:
Try new things with friends. With Deals you can easily find great new restaurants, shows and group activities to share with friends.
Get together. Get rewards. Deals brings together great offers on things to do, so you and your friends can save while you spend time together.
Find deals on the go. Deals updates are coming soon. You can also get Check-in Deals on your mobile today.
At the same time, Facebook has launched a business version of the new landing page at facebook.com/deals/business. Here's how the social network is trying to attract businesses to its new offering:
Let Facebook do the marketing. Team up with our specialists who will be with you every step of the way to market your business on Facebook.
Generate buzz and sales. Put your business at the center of the conversation and promote your deal where friends share recommendations.
Build customer loyalty. Create lasting customer relationships by offering unique social experiences that leave an impression.
The program will let users get coupons directly from Facebook as well as discount offers from partner services, including ReachLocal, Gilt City, Tippr, HomeRun.com, PopSugar City, KGB Deals, Plum District, and Zozi. It's not yet clear if Facebook's new coupon service will require a specified number of buyers before the deal can be claimed, as market leader Groupon does.
Either way, as I've already said, it will be very difficult for Facebook to steal first place from Groupon. Still, the new service isn't even available yet and the social network has already started aggressively marketing to its 600 million users.