Photos: Facebook adds mobile deals to Places app
Facebook's 200 million mobile users now have access to special offers via Facebook Places
Facebook has today launched Facebook Deals as part of the Facebook Places app, allowing users to access deals offered by various big-name brands, including Debenhams, O2 and Starbucks.
Users can find out what offers are available nearby by using Facebook Places. Any deals are highlighted with a yellow square, as shown above.
Alton Towers, Argos, Benetton, Mazda, Yo Sushi and the O2 Arena are also offering deals for the launch of Facebook Deals.
When users check into a location on Facebook Places, they can access any deals on offer, as shown above. The 'tag friends with you' option lets users share offers with friends and lets others know what deals they have taken up.
It's this ability for users to see what offers their friends have been accessing that developers hope will boost the marketing potential of the app.
"Because people see what their friends do on Facebook, Deals helps businesses become even more social, as people will see deals through the people who matter most - their friends," Joanna Shields, Facebook's vice president of sales and business development for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.
Once checked in, users can claim the deal, as shown on the screen above.
However, mobile advertising has been criticised because the small screen size of mobile devices does not provide advertisers with enough space to display their messages, and people don't spend enough time browsing on smartphones for it to be as effective as television or PC-accessed online advertising.
Advertisers will be hoping the addition of Facebook Deals to the Places app will provide an effective way to engage with the 200 million monthly active Facebook mobile users.
"Deals delivers a powerful experience that combines technology and location in a way that a pure online or offline experience could never deliver," Shields said.
To redeem a deal, users need only present the on-screen voucher, shown above, to the cashier at the retail outlet involved.
Today's launch of Facebook Deals marks the latest in a recent trend of location-based mobile marketing. For example, in October Starbucks and L'Oréal announced a six-month location-based mobile marketing trial, using a service from O2.