On Friday Facebook announced its latest initiative: Facebook Offers. Right now offers are in a small, controlled beta meaning local business cannot use Offers yet. But, there is quite a large chance that in the near future Offers will go global.
The largest differentiator between Offers and something like Groupon is that Offers can utilize the power of Facebook’s Timeline to any Facebook user. Facebook can guarantee that locals who like your page will see your ad.
Offers is also a great advantage over Groupon because it costs nothing! Groupon takes a cut of every deal offered on their site. Thus, the 40% off coupon that you use is really like a 60% off coupon to the business because Groupon takes a large cut of every purchase made on their site.
I can see Facebook Offers being used as a great engagement and call to action tool for local businesses. You’ll be able to easily measure how many people used your offer because they have to come into your store and present the offer to you! Many business use wall posts to give their fans discounts so this just makes it a lot easier.
What do I think?
As avid Facebook users I see concern about individuals tuning out the ads or even leaving Facebook because they don’t like having offers being forced upon them. Pages that abuse the offers page could end up spamming users which will soil their Facebook experience. If someone (like me) has clicked like on a lot of pages, how will the offers not clog up my news feed?
However, if I am legitimately interested in a business you can bet I’ll jump at the chance to have cheaper lattes, discounted meals and inexpensive haircuts.