Facebook Offers Expands Reach to U.S.

by Jodi Jae 8. May 2012 12:19

Facebook Offers, the latest push made by Facebook to squeeze themselves into an already overcrowded and competitive daily deals market, has just expanded their reach and may be in your Facebook feed now. What’s it all about and how will Offers impact other daily deal websites? Let’s take a look.

What is it?

Facebook Offers is a do-it-yourself daily deal program for mom and pop businesses. Unlike traditional daily deal sites, which take a cut of profits or charge a fee to list deals, Facebook Offers is 100 percent free, though Facebook has the ability to monetize their website, thus making money on Offers. Small businesses are able to list deals in a DIY interface on Facebook and those deals then show up in their Facebook timeline or as a sponsored story, and deals are also displayed on the Facebook pages of users who have liked their business. It’s a simple strategy, but is it enough to oust the top dogs of daily deals?

Is it a Groupon killer?

Facebook has had a tough go of it trying to cash in on the business of daily deals. Facebook’s first attempt at introducing daily deals to their users, Facebook Deals, failed after only four months. Facebook Offers, which was announced in February, just expanded their reach to include U.S. businesses and consumers. It’s a smart move to quickly widen their reach, but not all daily deal experts think Facebook Offers is going to succeed.

"Local and daily deals in general are very labor intensive, and contrast sharply with Facebook's business model of being engineering-heavy," said Sam Hamadeh, CEO of PrivCo LLC. According to Hamadeh, the solution is not as simple as making Offers free and self-serve.

Brian Riley, senior research director at CEB TowerGroup, says Facebook's model is inefficient and will only reach a small audience. "You can't drop this stuff like they're leaflets from airplanes," said Riley.

Facebook Offers is still in beta and there’s no official word on when Offers will reach everyone with an internet connection or even if it will be received better than Facebook Deals and mature out of beta status. Tom Welch, Houston daily deals shopper says that he’s excited at the prospect of saving even more money with Offers, but he sees Offers catering to a different crowd. “There are so few Offers available that it isn’t worth it to invest too much of my time,” said Welch.

And, for now, that seems to be one of Facebook's Offers biggest problems. One of the first Offers was placed by Tasmanian eco-resort Juon Bush Retreats. The company offered 50 vouchers as its Facebook Offer and while Huon Bush Retreats reached more than three million users in five days, they were also accused of sending spam when the offer showed up in Facebook user's timelines. Clearly, there are a few kinks to be worked out.


Month List