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Too Many Deals? Facebook Joins The Fray

As of Monday, Facebook has joined the abundance of deals sites popping up on the web these days. Facebook Deals is launching with the hope of beating out other North American deals sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Google and Bing’s deal sites by offering free deals to businesses and not taking a slice of the revenue earned. (This has been their practice in an earlier European launch at least.)  The initial launch in the U.S. is limited to 5 cities:  Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco and non-physical goods such as vouchers.

Potential Facebook Deals Issues?

There are some potential problems with Facebook Deals despite it’s potentially being free. Despite Facebook’s much larger reach with 800 million users, Facebook’s ads generally only get about half the response of other pay-per-click ads such those in Google’s search results which leaves me wondering how much will users click on the deals and are they worth the effort? Also, with Groupon and LivingSocial there have been instances where businesses have had issues with selling too many deals and not being able to fulfill them. Some business owners have reported that new customers want the sale price and are unwilling to pay the full price and businesses do not earn repeat business and lose out in a the long run as a result.

Read Write Web’s post: Facebook Deals Launches Tonight & Groupon Doesn’t Stand a Chance (Updated)

The real question for me though is… Do you trust Facebook? With Facebook’s recent privacy issues and selling of customer data including interests, locations, and what you tell your friends in status updates as targeted advertising, trust in Facebook has been down. (Facebook sees gold in data from its users) Facebook has forced game developers to use their credits, much to the developers’ displeasure, which makes me think people aren’t so willing to give Facebook their credit card information when they have the choice. With Facebook Deals, they now have the potential to sell your spending habits as well. As a consumer, I for one, am not willing to do that. As a business owner, if I sold physical items, why use Facebook Deals when I can offer a discount code to say the first 25 people who visit my page to get the code and use it? Or offer an in-store coupon customers can print right from a tab on your page and reward those who already know you instead?

Do you know anyone who has used any of these deal sites as a business owner, or consumer, and had a bad experience? Let me know in the comments below.





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