Facebook, the world’s largest social network, soon may out stage in terms of revenues not only Groupon, but also the LivingSocial and all others e-commerce hotties.
Today, Facebook is launching its latest product – deals program. At first the concept will be tested in five U.S. cities, offering deep discounts in the range of 50% OFF products and services.
It is designed to allow small businesses to leverage the Internet, while helping consumers score great deals. Such group-couponing services have become some of the fastest-growing businesses in the world.
Facebook will effectively exploit its existing networks of friends and family, when it begins testing offers.
Most of the deals sites have a social aspect, but the deals are circulated to users through email, and the community aspect is secondary. Facebook can actually change change that very fast.
To start the new online shopping programme, Facebook has enlisted 11 companies that already supply deals elsewhere, such as restaurants and online ticket sellers. Not all of the shopping offers involve discounts. Some are entertainment and lifestyle experiences people may not otherwise have access to. Offers through Facebook can last anywhere from a day to a week.
Many small businesses prefer to partner with larger companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial because they reach more potential customers. Now, Facebook can bring deals to even more people. While Groupon has 70 million members and LivingSocial has 28 million, Facebook has 500 million people worldwide. Add to that the fact that many small businesses already have Facebook pages and groups, and the world’s largest social network becomes a good fit for daily deals.