Facebook has ended its Deals program just four months after launch, but is keeping its ‘check-in’ deals scheme, the company has announced.
Facebook Deals was launched in April and offered online bargains based on group buying over a short time period, in a similar manner to Groupon and LivingSocial.
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said: “After testing Deals for four months, we’ve decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks. 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.”
Facebook began testing deals in April in five US cities – Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco – in a bid to expand its revenue stream beyond advertising and carve out a niche in the growing online bargain space.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.
Before launching Facebook Deals, the company 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.
Chicago-based Groupon, which offers subscribers discounts on a broad range of consumer goods and services, has enjoyed a spectacular rise since its founding in 2008 and rejected a reported $US5 billion ($4.74 billion) takeover offer from Google last year.