Facebook starts deals program, to contend with Groupon

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Looking at the growing popularity and enormous business potential Groupon carries, the social networking giant, Facebook, intends to launch a ‘deals program’. The same is expected to be launched on Tuesday, starting with five cities in the United States. The group-couponing services have become some of the fastest-growing businesses in the world in the recent times.

Among the first trials would be Facebook’s existing networks of friends and family. The testing offers would start in San Diego, San Francisco, Atlanta , Dallas and Austin, Texas at its onset. The deals sites usually have a social component in common and Facebook seems to have generated the idea out of the same.

“We’re building a product that is social from the ground up, says Emily White , director of local for Facebook. All of these deals are things you want to do with friends, so no teeth whitening, but yes to river rafting. Starting Tuesday, when Facebook users in the five test markets log into the site, they will see a deals insignia at the bottom of the page. Clicking on it brings up a list of currently available offers. A user can buy one, click the “like” button to recommend it to others or share the offer with friends through Facebook’s private messaging system. When users purchase or “like” a deal, it shows up in their friends’ news feed”.

That means “the discovery of the product can happen in lots of different places,” White says.

With Facebook entering the discount deals domain, the users would surely have a lot to enjoy when the program gets fully functional, covering greater number of regions.

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