ADOTAS – After the release of location-based check-in service Places, it was only a matter of time before Facebook jumped on the discount wagon. Still, the social network appears to have moved pretty fast: All Facebook got its digital hands on an email from Facebook to a merchant approving a check-in based reward campaign.
Reportedly being tested by a small group of partners, Facebook Deals will operate on a self-serve platform where merchants will customize requirements regarding number of check-ins and friends (social check-ins) for each offer. The cost of the service is not clear, and though Facebook is reviewing the deals before approval, the onus for quality control appears to be on the merchants. This model has led to some issues for daily deal site Groupon.
Facebook refuses to comment on speculation, but some are doubting the viability of the email obtained by All Facebook because the term “follower” is used instead of the technically correct term “fan.” All Facebook’s Nick O’Neill claims his source is reliable and works for a “relatively large interactive agency.”
Is this the moment Foursquare and its mobile social network peers realize that they are fated to be steamrolled by Zuck and crew? Probably not — while Facebook’s massive scale is intimidating, it’s still new to the check-in game and hasn’t really made much of a mark. In fact, since the launch of Places, Foursquare has been sailing, recently hitting its 200 millionth check-in.