Photo: Aaron Wood
Facebook announced today that it’s phasing out its Groupon competitor Deals this week.The company released the information to Reuters in a statement, which was quickly picked up by other news outlets.
The funny thing is, we asked Facebook about this on Tuesday when they announced their huge privacy changes and the end of Facebook Places.
Places was tied in with Deals — you had to check in at a location to redeem a deal — so it seemed pretty weird that Facebook would continue running Deals without a method of checking in.
But apparently, that’s what they were going to do. Here’s what a spokesperson from Facebook’s PR firm told us would happen:
Previously people had to click “Check in” from a mobile device to claim a deal. Now when they click “Check in” from a mobile device they will be directed to update their status and tell us what they are doing, who they’re with, and where they are. Once a user checks in, they will see if there’s a deal available below their check-in. If the Place they’re at is running a Check-in Deal, the Check-in Deal information will appear below their News Feed status update story. The user will then be able to click there and claim the deal.
*Update: Facebook says that it’s not killing Check-In Deals, which are separate from Deals. But when Deals originally launched, it required check-ins. At some point in the last few months, Facebook changed the names around — Deals became its Groupon-killer, and the original Deals product was renamed Check-In Deals. We asked about Deals. Facebook’s response is above.
The cancellation of check-ins still means a win for Foursquare. And the cancellation of the new Deals product could be a nice boost for Groupon — or a confirmation that the daily deals business model doesn’t look as good now as it did six months ago.