Facebook Deals Review

Today Facebook has officially launched their Deals offering, so I thought a review was fitting.  Since my last blog post when the service itself was announced,  today we’ve gotten to really see the product and begin to see how a deal service will live on Facebook.  So lets jump in.

How it Works

To find deals, navigate under your homepage photo to or simply visit Facebook.com/deals.  Since there are no deals offered for Raleigh, NC, I’m offered the closest city, Atlanta, GA.  The following is a screenshot of the landing page experience.

Even though Atlanta was set as my default, I am able to browse other city deal pages through a drop down at the top of the page.  Currently the only cities offering Facebook deals are Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, and San Diego.

As the screenshot above shows, this deals page includes a brief description of the deal, the reduced price, and the option to “Like” or “Buy.”  Since most people want to know more about the deal before liking or buying, once you click on the deal you are driven to a “Deals”  tab within the brand’s current Facebook page.

Although this screenshot doesn’t capture the entire tab, the tab also includes an area for people to comment about the deal, ask questions around the deal (instead of having to navigate back to the wall), and chat with others about how excited they are that they just purchased it.

Now, lets say I want to buy a deal.  If I click “Buy” then I’m led to the following screen where I can select the quantity.  As you also can tell, Facebook cleverly checks the option to post to my profile, so as soon as I make the purchase my friends can also see my activity.

After clicking “Next” the purchase can be made complete by entering a credit card or paying through Paypal.

Example Deal Offerings

Each Deal page seems to be prioritized by two main categories: events and activities, followed by arts and entertainment.  There is also an “Other Deals” category, but most of these deals could belong in these two main categories.  Also, the limited nature of the program means that all deals right now appear to be from small, local companies rather than large brands. Facebook also seems to prefer unique, local experiences rather than utility deals like dry cleaning or house cleaning.  The following is an overview of the two main types of deals and real examples of the deals being offered.

Group Deals: These are deals for a set number of people that one person can buy on behalf of the group.

  • Jazz Journeys for 2 at Georgia Aquarium
  • Comedy Night for up to 4 People, Unlimited Popcorn and Soda at Dallas Comedy House
  • WWE Raw Tickets for 2 at American Airlines Center on Saturday, June 25th
  • Private Party and Dinner for up to 20 Friends at Pena Pachamama
  • Six-Hour Stretch Limo Napa Wine Tasting Trip and Boxed Lunch for 10 Friends with Rixos Limousine

Individual Deals: As the name implies, these are individual deals offered.

  • Challenge Yourself at Sgt. H20’s Aquatic Boot Camp
  • Dance Lesson at Nocturna Tango
  • Moonlight Paddle or Wharf Nature Kayak Tour with Venture Quest in Santa Cruz
  • Electric Bike Adventure with PLUGZ

Newsfeed Inclusions & Gifting

As you may notice, buying the deal on Facebook is not inherently social.  Whether 50 people take advantage of the deal or 5,000 – there are no real group buying advantages.  The price of the deal is the price.  There are also no tangible incentives for getting friends to buy the deal.

So why is this social?  In my opinion, it’s all about bringing the conversation of and around deals to Facebook through newsfeed inclusions, the ability to “gift” these deals, and the social nature of most of the deals presented.

Like I mentioned before, if I buy a deal this is likely to show up in my newsfeed.  However, I can also simply like the deal and have this activity show up in my newsfeed under “Activity.”  Or I could share the deal and get opinions on whether my friends and I should buy the deal together.

The other social component of Deals is the ability to gift a deal for your friend.  Although the user experience seems straightforward in the beginning, the user experience gets a little confusing when you are making the purchase.  As I started to gift a deal, I was unsure if I was making it for myself or a friend and ended up falling off mid-purchase. Although this feature obviously needs more work, the concept itself has enormous potential.  Imagine if Facebook could notify me of a friend’s birthday, and could offer a related deal to gift to that friend (in the city they live in). That’s something of value to me, and to the friend.

Lastly, the nature of the deals (especially the group deals) is likely to naturally increase the amount of sharing around these offers.  For instance, if a friend purchases 2 tickets to do something and invites me – I’m likely to naturally continue a conversation around this activity without leaving Facebook.

What is your impression of Facebook Deals?  Feel free to share in the comments below.

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