Facebook Deals: Social Buying at a Whole New Level?

As expected, Facebook Deals is now being unveiled (a smidgen early too). Could Facebook Deals be a Groupon and/or LivingSocial killer? It’s very possible.

More details inside.

While Groupon and LivingSocial are likely safe for now, their long term future may well be at risk. Although they brought what turned out to be a very popular idea into fruition, they are still lacking the depth of social connectivity Facebook has to offer. I don’t expect their demise will be swift, but rather slow and painful as the social media giant branches out and potentially dominates another market.

Facebook Deals

Facebook Deals

In truth, it’s very likely other social buying apps will be just fine but Facebook will certainly prove to be a competitor on a whole new level. According to the New York Times, Facebook Deals will launch in Atlanta, Austin, San Diego and San Fransico for initial testing. It will no doubt be an instant hit (think Groupon in your Facebook feed) with many of its 600+ million users, not to mention the added opportunities for businesses.

Everyone knows social networking is a goldmine, the question was how businesses would be able to tap into it in a new way other than advertising. Social buying is one of those ways and one of the most popular. Apps providing social buying know exactly what social networking means to their business, but it will be entirely different once the experience is directly integrated into a social network, especially the worlds largest. The depth of integration will be on a completely different level from apps like Groupon or LivingSocial.



In addition to this new integration, there will be other apps such as OpenTable, PopSugar City, Zozi and more that Facebook Deals will be working with.

Of course the other relatively quite part of this new equation is Facebook Credits. It’s been rumored for quite awhile but this will be a real implementation where you can use them to obtain something more tangible. While the Facebook PR team clarified to the TechCruch staff, “You can’t use Credits to directly buy real goods.” You will, however, be able to use Credits to buy “Deals” in which you’ll receive a voucher to print and redeem the deal’s goods.

In other words, it’s like fake money that has real value and likely enables Facebook to avoid the hassle and legal implications of regular financial transactions.

Are You Excited?

I’m generally pretty pessimistic about Facebook as I’ve not been fond of their privacy practices, though I’ll be honest, I am looking forward to a more directly integrated form of social buying on Facebook. I subscribe to Groupon and SocialLiving but I expect the process and social aspect to be of much greater ease and enjoyment directly in Facebook. On the other hand, I’m not really fond of the idea of Facebook having any sort of hand in or knowledge of my financial information.

Do you think Facebook Deals will or could be a killer for sites like Groupon and SocialLiving? Will you be using Facebook Deals once it’s been released in your city? You can see the Facebook Deals landing page here.