Facebook introduced a service last week that could help merchants use the social-networking site to attract new customers via exclusive mobile offers.
Facebook Deals allows merchants to offer mobile Facebook users in their area exclusive deals and promotions. The service works with Facebook Places, a location service introduced in August that allows users to tell their friends where they are. The locator service displays Facebook Deals from participating merchants, their locations and allows users to access the exclusive sales and promotions. Users can even make reservations using Facebook Deals, says Facebook founder and Chief Executive Facebook Mark Zuckberg.
Currently 22 merchants, including Macy's and Gap, are offering deals through Facebook Deals. But eventually any company with a Facebook page will be able to offer specials through the service.
Facebook Deals could prove beneficial to merchants, says Tim Kendall, Facebook's director of monetization.
"We're enabling merchants to push deals out to their existing customers and hopefully attract new customers," he says.
An estimated 200 million people now use Facebook, and users who access the social-networking site via a mobile device use it twice as often as those who log onto Facebook on a computer.
The feature could "really shake up the mobile market because of the company's reach and influence," says Greg Sterling, Sterling Media Intelligence's principal analyst.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.