Launched in the US last November, Facebook is expected to announce today the roll out of ‘Places Deals’ in the UK and Europe, a new service which rewards users for visits to different locations by logging their whereabouts on the site via their mobile phones.
According to source close to Facebook: “Places Deals is launching today in Europe. There are lots of retail and food partners on board, and the service is set to be really popular as increasing amount of people use the site via their mobile.”
The move is part of a growing trend which will see consumers increasingly use their mobile phones instead of credit cards. Last week it emerged that Apple’s forthcoming iPad and iPhone are expected to include a mobile payments feature that the firm hopes will replace cash and cards for millions of users.
Last year Facebook launched its Places service, which allows users to share their location with their friends by ‘checking in’ to bars, restaurants and shops via the social network’s mobile phone application.
However, until now, UK users have not been able to use the service to find out which good deals or offers available near them. Now with the ‘Deals’ service, Facebook users will be able see what offers are nearest to them at any time and share those deals with their friends.
Facebook is hosting a large event in London today, at which it is expected announce the launch of the ‘deals’ service across Europe.
When the discount service launched in the US, a developer writing on the company’s blog said: “You’ll see a few different types of Deals: individual deals for a discount, free merchandise or other reward; friend deals where you and your friends claim an offer together; loyalty deals for being a frequent visitor to a place; and charity deals where businesses pledge to donate to a cause when you check in.”
It is not yet known which retailers and restaurants are on the board for the UK launch. When Places Deals launched in the US, some of the initial partners included Macys, Gap and Starbucks.
Facebook was unavailable for comment.
Ian Maude, head of Internet at Enders Analysis, said: “This move is a no brainer for Facebook. Places Deals is a combination of Foursquare meets Groupon (the popular daily discount site). It is the company’s first major move into mobile, discounts and location based advertising. I think this has the potential to be a smash hit for them.”
When you touch the Place, you can view the deal and check in to claim it:
Then, just show your phone to the cashier to get your gift or discount:
These deals come from merchants, not Facebook, so check with your local stores for additional details, such as when they’re running, how many of the offers are available, and whether a deal is just for you or also for your friends.