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Facebook Deals comes to Europe

posted 31 Jan 2011, 09:12 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 31 Jan 2011, 09:15 ]
Facebook expanded its shopping discount service to five European countries and Canada - part of its push to help brands communicate with its users.
UK-FACEBOOK - NAT SOUND OF VIDEO SAYING "Getting deals on Facebook is simple. Let's say you're out and about or buy a gift for a friend..."

Facebook is giving its users in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Canada the chance to get discounts or raise money for charity by sharing their real-world whereabouts and shopping habits through the social network.

Facebook Deals, which has already started in the United States, offers Facebook users the chance to redeem deals in retail outlets and posts a notice on their Facebook wall when they cash in on those offers.

Joanna Shields, Facebook EMEA saying:

"Each time you check in and take advantage of a deal, you amplify that opportunity to your friends on Facebook and everybody wins."

Initial UK partners include Starbucks which will offer a free coffee to the first 30,000 customers checking in using Facebook Places, the food chain Yo Sushi which is offering five free plates of food to the first thousand dealseekers who do the same and Mazda which is offering a 20 percent discount on all of its MX-5s and a chance to win one - for a 5 month trial.

"Facebook says the driving motivation behind this rollout is to improve user experience, but this also throws up a potentially tricky issue because people who broadcast the deals they are receiving via Facebook are effectively marketing to their friends."

Yo! Sushi's Marketing manager My Ly says the company expects to spend 60 thousand pounds on its Facebook promotion, but expects that will translate into lasting value for the brand.

My Ly, Marketing Manager, Yo! Sushi saying):

"You know everyone has a Facebook account, pretty much, these days. Everyone has got friends who look into their statuses and to be able to see our branding and our company and also the great value deal we're offering - hopefully it will create a bit of a frenzy."

Joanna Shields is the head of Facebook in Europe

Joanna Shields, Facebook EMEA saying:

"What's happening is that people like brands and they have favourite establishments and they like to amplify that they had a great deal from that establishment or that particular brand. This is something we talk about socially when we gather or meet together, we say 'hey, I've got a great Bordeaux, it's on offer at our local wine merchant. You might want to go there too. This way you're doing it in real-time when it's actually happening to you."

Facebook says it it will not take a revenue share from the deals offered through the service, which is free for retailers.

The world's largest social network overtook Google last year as the most popular web destination in the U.S. Increasingly, it seems to have an interest in what people are up to in the real world too.

Matt Cowan, Reuters