If you are a Facebook addict , by this time you must have been frustrated by the increase in the number of sponsored stories and posts that is spamming your news feed .
To be fair to Facebook, it needs to make money since it is a publicly trading company. With the launch of Facebook gifts for certain countries , it is getting some traction as well by means of earning commission .
But the often repeated question that I ask myself is why Facebook is still harnessing the Location Based Services to its fullest extend. Though there is an option to check in via Facebook and a lot of user-generated data is available, it surprises me as to why Facebook is not getting into deals that could help both Facebook as well the end users.
Why deals in Facebook could better than Foursquare and others?
If you were using Foursquare, by this time you would have realized the fact that using an app just to check in or may be get deals is not ideal since it is an added burden in addition to checking what Friends are up to in Facebook.
Facebook has a huge user base compared to Foursquare and beyond a point, the gamification in Foursquare or exploring places in Foursquare when found with no results will prevent users from accessing Foursquare on a daily basis. I have used Foursquare initially since there was some element of fun in getting different badges. But the initial excitement came down over a period of time.
I started using Facebook to check because it is easy and it is no additional effort unlike Foursquare .You check in and then continue to be immersed in your news feed to see what friends are up to.
How deals could benefit both Facebook and users?
Imaging a use case where in a user checks into a place through Facebook. What i expect post this activity is for a number of deals to be shown as a notification or pop up post check-in.
These deals could be a sponsored deal where Facebook can make money and it can benefit the users as well. In case if you check-in to a mall,the cinemas in the mall that is running empty houses can send a deal that can expire in the next few hours for ‘Buy one, get one offer’ or 50 % off on movie ticket.
Same could be the case for restaurants during off-peak hours that can use the deals to better optimize their operations and resources.Business should be provided with options to offer deals that can be customized based on the day , time and other loyalty options.
Instead of blindly providing deals , a time sensitive deal could help local business in a big way.Hence it is important that Facebook need to have a reliable framework that can integrate the deal seamlessly into the core product.
How Passbook is a threat to Facebook Deals?
The slower Facebook is to getting engaged with Deals, some one else will take away a significant pie of the potential revenue. Passbook has the all the framework built-in places for business to offer deals and other loyalty based offers.
Passbook is also geo-tagged meaning deals can be embedded with locations which will pop up and show notification when a user is near a shop sponsoring the deal. But since the integration for Passbook with different application is bit complicated now, there is a not great momentum as expected.
But Passbook will be improved and can pose a big threat to not only to Facebook but any other Location Based Services.Hence Facebook needs to quickly revamp its previously attempted ‘Facebook Deals'(I think no one is really sure why Facebook Deals was not continued after the initial four months) and make it a success since it is uniquely positioned to integrate deals into social networking in the most seamless way
Facebook Deals may not seem to be a part of its core offering but again Facebook has unveiled ‘Gifts’ which is a step towards e-commerce though Facebook may call it wisely that Gifting is sharing and that Facebook is a chair. As an end user, I would be more than willing to see sponsored deals when I check in rather than see my news feed being spammed with sponsored stories.
Let me know what you think!