Having launched in the U.S. in November, Facebook today unveiled its check-in deals product for the European market, featuring initial offers in the U.K. from major brands including Starbucks, Mazda, and retailer Argos.
The Facebook Deals platform - part of the social network's Places product - allows users to register at physical locations using their mobile device in order to receive discounts and rewards, much like rival location-based service Foursquare.
Starting today, for example, the first 30,000 users to check in to a Starbucks location will receive a free coffee. Argos, meanwhile, will donate £1 to the Teenager Cancer Trust for every user who checks in at one of its stores. Automotive manufacturer Mazda is offering an impressive 20 percent discount on its MX-5 model from today through March 7 to users who register at certain dealerships.
The platform accommodates four different types of deals, Facebook said. Individual Deals offer users a one-time discount, free merchandise, or another form of reward. Friend Deals, meanwhile, offer deals that are only valid when groups of friends connected through the social network check in together. Loyalty Deals reward repeat business, and Charity Deals allow businesses to donate to a cause of their choice every time a user checks in to their locations.
In reference to the viral nature of the deals through Facebook's News Feed feature, Joanna Shields, VP EMEA at Facebook said in a statement, "whether you’re on the lookout for a special offer at your favorite restaurant or tips from a fashionista friend about a discount on shoes in a department store, Facebook Deals will help you find it."
Alongside the brands mentioned above, others already making use of the Deals product include Alton Towers theme park, fashion brand Benetton, retailers Debenhams and O2, and Japanese food chain YO! Sushi. Musical artist Usher is also offering a 20 percent discount and a free track to users who check in to his shows at London's O2 Arena this week.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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