Facebook is testing a "Deals" feature on its location-based Places platform, according to AllFacebook.com. A post late yesteday shows an image of an e-mail sent from Facebook headquarters to an undisclosed retail marketer, which had a deal approved by the Palo Alto, CA-based social company.
The deal rewards Places users with a complimentary product when three of their friends are tagged at a specific place. The e-mail from Facebook explains the ways in which the retailer can manage its deal. These include how to monitor deal activity on a backend system, assigning a threshold required to earn a reward, and advice on getting employees ready to honor a reward. Interestingly, the e-mail refers to Facebook "Fans"/"Likers" as "followers" - which is an audience parlance most people would attribute to Foursquare and Twitter.
When asked about the test, a Facebook spokesperson e-mailed the following statement to ClickZ: "As a matter of policy, we don't comment on speculation. We have nothing to share at this time."
It's likely that marketers who have tested the two-month-old Places would welcome a more sophisticated platform. For instance, a Betsey Johnson retail location told ClickZ that its recent one-month deal - 15 percent off for people checking in - only created a trickle of foot traffic. It was promoted by the store's landlord, the upscale Westfield Valley Fair mall in Santa Clara, CA, via its Facebook page (see image), which has 22,000 "Likers."
"The feedback wasn't very strong, to be honest," said Chrissie Dee, store manager at the Betsey Johnson store. "But we did get a few people come in who used the promotion…I think it's a great idea. I love it. I think it's just a matter of people using it and getting the word out there."
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.