Facebook launches Deals service in a challenge to Groupon


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Facebook officially launched its Deals service Tuesday, its latest move in taking on online coupon leader Groupon.

Deals, which has been in testing since last month, is only available in San Diego, San Francisco, Atlanta, Austin and Dallas as of now, but Facebook is looking to expand Deals into other cities, said Emily C. White, a spokeswoman for the social networking giant, in a blog post.


While many sites such as Groupon and Living Social offer group-buying discounts online, Facebook is hoping its Deals service will take off because it is built into its social network already used by more than 600 million people.

‘Once you’ve found a deal you like, having the deal on Facebook makes it easy to share, buy and plan with your friends,’ White said, suggesting to users that they share what they’re doing and buying with friends, which could lead to people buying more Deals offers through the site.

‘For example, Austin City Limits Live is offering an ‘All Access Experience’ for concerts starting in May. You can buy this deal and get backstage passes, sound check access and a catered dinner in addition to attending the show,’ she said.

Facebook also isn’t going out on its own with its Deals effort.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company is offering through Deals discounts from other online group-buying sites such as aDealio, Gilt City, HomeRun, KGB Deals, Plum District, PopSugar City, Tippr, Viagogo and Zozi. And Facebook is working with OpenTable to make reservations for its discount offers as well.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles