New 'Facebook Deals' launches in five cities
A woman types in her password to enter Facebook using an app on her iPhone.
JEREMY HOBSON: If you're a daily deals site like Groupon or LivingSocial, there's some news you're not going to like this morning. Facebook is getting into the game. Starting today, Facebook users in several cities will be able to buy group discounts at local businesses through a new service called Facebook Deals.
Marketplace's Eve Troeh reports.
EVE TROEH: The "deal" might be a night of bowling with friends for half price or a fancy family dinner for $200. It's like other those other group discount sites except you buy these deals directly from your Facebook page.
CARL HOWE: And it makes it more integrated with the Facebook experience.
Carl Howe is an analyst with the Yankee Group.
HOWE: The result is, it's going to be really hard to compete with Facebook Deals if you're a Groupon or a LivingSocial.
AKA the current rulers of online deals. Facebook wants in on their business because unlike some online ventures, group coupons pay big. In fact, they pay twice. Businesses will pay Facebook to be featured. And when customers buy the deal, Facebook gets paid again.
And the social networking giant will push users to pay with Facebook's own pay system. "Deals" marks the first time users can buy actual stuff with Facebook Credits. And real world gourmet meals cost a lot more than virtual farm animals.
I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.