With all the hype and spin over social commerce right now, you’d be forgiven for dismissing weekly “this changes everything” claims as bubble-talk nonsense.
But… we think Facebook launched a potential game-changer today with an on-form CEO Mark Zuckerburg (“the iPad is not mobile”) announcing a new Deals Platform to run with its mobile “Places” app (whilst also launching mobile “single-sign on” to create “frictionless” mobile commerce with apps such as Groupon’s iOS/Android app).
Over 200 million people use Facebook on their mobile – and now a slick Deals interface shows local businesses around users offering deals (deals come in four flavors, some with a social twist – see video below) – check-in to those places – and in two clicks they can redeem the deal.
Facebook Places launched several months ago with the tag line “Places: Who. What. When. And now Where.” and with Deals added to Places we have – Who. What. When. Where. And now Why.
For merchants, there’s a single-page Facebook Deal publisher that makes publishing deals – whether VIP experiences for check-ins, discounts or freebies – very simple. Mobile needs simplicity to work, and the Facebook Deals platform is elegant in its simplicity. And its free for local businesses to use.
We think the Facebook Deals platform is a potential game changer insofar as it makes offering local deals easier, faster and cheaper on the world’s biggest mobile application platform. And with deals offered with a uniquely social twist (your friends must check-in with you to get the deal), this is a lovely evolution for social commerce of the group-buy variation. We Like. We Heart.
Will Facebook Deals take off – a few small businesses have signed up to use it from its launch in the US today (international to follow) – Gap, H&M, North Face, McDonalds, Starbucks, Macy’s. See the Facebook blog post for details. And with Facebook as the most popular mobile application platform (bigger than iOS or Android), we think it’ll take off. Foursquare beware – you might just get squashed by the Big Blue.
We try not to use the word ‘cool’ here – we’re all over 12, but the Facebook Deals platform is just that; cool.
See the two minute introductory video below and then catch the archive of Facebook mobile event video below that, covering the new Single Sign-on, Open Location APIs, and the new Deals Platform (skip through to 8.23 and then 37.23 for social commerce sections).