A few months ago we launched Check-In Deals, to help you get special offers when you check in at local businesses from your mobile. Today we're going a step further and testing a new feature to help you find fun experiences to share with your favorite people: Deals on Facebook.
Initially, Deals will be available to people in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco and we hope to expand this test to other cities in the future.
Deals get social
While many Deals on Facebook offer discounts, it's more important to us that you find interesting experiences around you to do with friends. We've worked with partners and local businesses to help deliver the best social activities in your area. And once you've found a deal you like, having the deal on Facebook makes it easy to share, buy and plan with your friends.
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.
How to find Deals
You can find deals on Facebook in a couple of different ways — for example, you can get deals updates through email and notifications to find out about new deals in your area. You can also check out the Deals tab of your home page. If your friends chose to share this information, you may also see the deals friends buy or like in your News Feed.
We are working with aDealio, Gilt City, HomeRun, kgb deals, OpenTable, Plum District, PopSugar City, ReachLocal, Tippr, viagogo, and zozi, so you can buy their Deals on Facebook too.
Whether you're making plans for this weekend or your best friend's birthday or a big anniversary, check out Deals on Facebook today to find cool things to do with friends.
Emily White, director of local at Facebook, is looking forward to indoor skydiving with her friends.
UPDATE on Monday, January 31, 2011: Deals is now also available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Look for yellow or green tickets when you check in to places in those countries. We also launched a new Deals page at http://www.facebook.com/deals, where you can learn more and find deals being offered near you.
Originally published on Wednesday, November 2, 2010:
Everyone likes getting a good deal, but it's not always easy to find the right one at the moment you could use one. Imagine that while you're looking for a new place to try for lunch, you could see offers from restaurants nearby on your phone. On the other hand, I already love Zachary's Pizza, so imagine if I were rewarded for coming back there every week with my friends.
Starting today, local businesses will be able to offer you deals when you check in to their place on Facebook. Deals will be rolling out over the next few days and will only be available in the United States at this time.
We launched Places to let you share where you are with your friends and see who's nearby. Now with Deals, you also can see what offers are nearby and share those deals with your friends.
Finding deals near you is easy. On touch.facebook.com or the latest version of Facebook for iPhone, touch "Places" and then touch "Check In." Nearby Places with deals have a yellow icon:
When you touch the Place, you can view the deal and check in to claim it:
Then, just show your phone to the cashier to get your gift or discount:
These deals come from merchants, not Facebook, so check with your local stores for additional details, such as when they're running, how many of the offers are available, and whether a deal is just for you or also for your friends.
You'll see a few different types of Deals: individual deals for a discount, free merchandise or other reward; friend deals where you and your friends claim an offer together; loyalty deals for being a frequent visitor to a place; and charity deals where businesses pledge to donate to a cause when you check in.
Many other businesses are already planning deals in the coming weeks for their U.S. Places, including the following:
24 Hour Fitness: Donating $1 to Kaboom to support children's health for everyone who checks in to its fitness clubs.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: Hosting a free screening for whichever of their movie theaters gets the most check-ins, as well as giving free souvenir Facebook Places pint glasses just for showing that you've claimed the deal.
American Eagle Outfitters: Offering 20 percent off.
Chipotle: Giving its Facebook guests two entrees for the price of one.
Gap: Giving blue jeans to the first 10,000 customers to claim their deal.
Golden State Warriors: Inviting those who check in to an exclusive event with a basketball player on the NBA team from Oakland, Calif.
Harrah's: Offering a complimentary nightclub admission, buffet or other gift to people who stop by any of its 10 Las Vegas resorts.
H&M: Offering 20 percent off.
JCPenney: Giving $10 off any $50 purchase.
Lululemon: Sharing the gift of yoga by giving guests a pass to a local yoga studio.
Macy's: Offering 20 percent off select merchandise.
McDonald's: Giving $1 per customer to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
North Face: Donating $1 to the National Park Foundation for every person who checks in at a North Face store or National Park.
The Palms: Upgrading your room or extending your weekend at the hotel another night--on the house.
REI: Donating $1 to a local conservation non-profit when you visit its stores.
San Francisco 49ers: Giving to the first 200 fans who check in the opportunity to buy tickets to a subsequent football game for just (you guessed it) $49.
Starbucks: Donating $1 per guest to Conservation International.
TAO and LAVO: Adding you and a friend to an upcoming guest list at one of the nightclubs for checking in.
Texas Tech: Giving away 100 pairs of tickets.
University of California at Berkeley: Letting football fans who check in form the human tunnel through which the players run.
University of Nebraska: Inviting attendees to a meet-and-greet with a Husker living legend.
If you are a local business that wants to offer deals, you can learn how to get started here.
We hope that these and other deals will help you and your friends find special offers as you check in at your favorite locations. In the coming months, we plan to make Places and Deals available in other countries as well.
Jon Fougner, a principal on Facebook's product marketing team, is looking forward to leaving Point Reyes National Seashore slightly better off next time he camps (and checks in) there.
by Erick Tseng on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 11:15am
Life happens in real time, and so should sharing. Today's mobile phones allow people to connect on the go and to share interesting moments as they happen all around them.
Earlier this week, when the Giants won the World Series, revelling baseball fans took to the streets of San Francisco. I immediately grabbed my phone to take pictures and to share them on Facebook. Within minutes, I had friends liking and commenting on my photos--instant gratification from a truly social, mobile experience.
I'm not alone. Last month, we reached a major milestone: 200 million people around the world are now actively using Facebook from a phone, more than triple the number just one year ago.
Today, we're taking another step forward in enriching your mobile experience with major updates to both our Android and iPhone applications, as well as with the launch of single sign on--a hassle-free way to log in to mobile applications.
Places and Groups for Android
The new Android 1.4 update includes the launch of Places and Groups. With the launch of Places, you and your friends can now check in to your favorite restaurant, museum, business or any other location from your Android phone.
Places on Android.
Following on the heels of our launch of Groups on Facebook.com less than a month ago, you can now access those same groups from your Android phone. Create a group for your poker buddies, and organize an impromptu game this weekend just by messaging the group from your phone.
Groups on Android.
Android 1.4 also includes a refresh to the notifications application, one of the top requests from our users. Clicking on a notification now won't send you off to the browser. Instead, as long as that notification has an appropriate destination within the application itself, you will be taken there.
Find Deals on iPhone
Using Places on the iPhone already lets you share where you are and find nearby friends. Now with the iPhone 3.3 application, you can also find nearby deals from your favorite businesses--from restaurants down the block to major retailers. Deals are only available from Places in the U.S, for now, and we'll be expanding them to more merchants over time. Learn more here about the initial offers from businesses using Facebook Deals.
In addition, Places has been updated to include a starred friends list, making it even faster and easier to tag friends with whom you frequently check-in--no more searching and scrolling.
Starred friends list on iPhone.
iPhone 3.3 also includes the launch of Groups, as well as a new composer to make checking in and posting photos faster and more clear.
Single Sign On
Now when you're logged into Facebook, it's easier for you to log in into other applications on your mobile phone with single sign on. Gone is that tedious annoyance of having to type in your username and password again on a tiny phone keyboard. Gone are those frustrating moments when you forget one of your many username and password variations and can't access an application.
Here's how single sign on works (video): Just log in to the Facebook application on your mobile phone once. From then on, you can log in to any other application on your phone that supports single sign on without typing a username or password again. This works on any Android phone or any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch device that supports multitasking (most iOS4 devices).
Our goal is to save you time so you can get to what you want to do.
Starting today, you can try this new experience yourself with any of these Android apps: Flixster, Groupon, Loopt, SCVNGR, Yelp and Zynga Poker. iPhone apps will soon be available with single sign on. Going forward, expect even more apps to launch with this functionality.
For so many people, their mobile phone is already the most social device in their lives. It's our hope that single sign on and new updates for Android and iPhone will make the phone even more personal to you, so you can bring your friends with you wherever you may go.
Erick, head of mobile products at Facebook, is freeing up space in his head from all the login passwords he no longer has to remember.