First, Zuckerberg had to integrate games into Facebook, then he had to make statuses more like tweets. Later, he gave users the option to "check-in" (a la Foursquare), and now, he's attempting to rip off Groupon and Living Social. Facebook just refuses to stand aside while other social sites have their moment in their sun. It's gotta get in on the action ... even if it's a little bit late to the party. And that's why today, the social networking site to end all social networking sites (for now, at least) has unveiled Facebook Deals today in five cities: Atlanta, San Francisco, Austin, Dallas, and San Diego.
It sounds like the aim will be to sell deals that Facebook users can "like," then buy, then share with their Facebook friends. It actually makes a lot of sense, because sites like Groupon and Living Social have relied on sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about their deals ...
So maybe, in a way, Facebook is just starting something that they should have/could have owned all along? And hey, there's the fact that the deals can be purchased through Facebook's Credits system. Finally those Credits will actually serve a real world purpose. (Because I really still have trouble wrapping my head around how people use their credit card to purchase "virtual" wares like make-believe farm equipment ...)
That doesn't mean that the influence Facebook Deals is positioned to have is kind of scary. See, in addition to sourcing its own exclusive deals directly from merchants, Facebook Deals will also partner with smaller daily deal sites, like OpenTable, Gilt City, HomeRun, ReachLocal, Plum District, and PopSugar City to offer a wider range of deals. Obviously by casting such a wide net, they'll be giving users the opportunity to go "one-stop shopping" for deals. One more step toward world domination, right, Zuck?
But who am I kidding? A deal is a deal. I am a budget fashionista, a coupon queen, a travel deal hound! Any site that gives me a deep discount on mani-pedis, jewelry, designer duds, or gourmet food is a welcome addition to the web, as far as I'm concerned. Furthermore, as long as Facebook Deals sticks to my Facebook News Feed and doesn't pollute my email inbox with even more retail emails (back off, Billion Dollar Babes and Bloomie's!), I'll be content. But my heart still goes out a little bit to Groupon. Zuck is stealing the rug right out from under 'em. Although, you know, they probably shoulda seen it coming.
Do you plan to use Facebook Deals?
Image via Facebook