Facebook’s mobile app, like Foursquare before it, is set to add local deals to its mobile app.
A rep for Facebook points out that the functionality can serve to connect local retailers and restaurants to mobile web users in a way the internet alone has not yet managed. And while Foursquare isn’t the only location aware app to offer the service (Loopt and Yelp also provide coupons), Facebook’s sheer monstrous size means it could become the front runner in the local deals genre:
“It starts to solve an age-old problem that local businesses have always had,” said Emily White, director of local at Facebook. “They’ve been told they need to be online. But it hasn’t always been clear what the benefit is. That’s what this deals platform allows. It’s turning those fans, those visitors, those eyeballs into real dollars, real people and real business.”
Not content to have a raging head start, Facebook plans to launch the service in a massive way, too. Pairing up with the Gap, Facebook says that the first 10,000 people to check in to Facebook at the Gap will receive a free pair of jeans. Also on the docket are offers where you can tag your friends to get deals. According to the New York Times, Mark Zuckerberg says that usage of Facebook mobile has increased threefold in the past year:
“Think about Android and iPhone,” he said. “This is a much bigger footprint than that. The only bigger platform is the mobile Web itself.”
“Our goal is to make everything social, no matter what platform you’re building for,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.
Have you been using Facebook to check in to local spots? Are you interested to see what kind of deals will be available on the service?