Facebook, the 500 million member gorilla the room, announced its deals feature for places last week. After I spent a shopping trip using and
loving enjoying this feature, I predict Foursquare, Gowalla, and their like will not last too much longer.
When I went shopping this weekend, I remembered I heard something about a deal when you checked into the GAP on Facebook. Let me be clear: I hate Facebook, and I hate checking into places. But if I know checking in will save me a few bucks, I will totally go for it because it provides me value.
I loaded up Facebook, and suddenly I’ve got a list of stores in the mall, some with little golden tickets offering me deals when I check in. I load of the venues and I can see what the deal is before I check in. I planned the rest of my shopping trip around Facebook’s little golden tickets.
Then, when I used a coupon, Facebook posts on my wall that I got a deal. Now my friends can see that there are savings to be had, and then they’ll want them too. Pure. Fucking. Genius.
This is game, set and match. My massive list of Facebook friends just saw I saved 20% at Macy’s and H&M and are free to like and comment on that. Facebook Deals are moving to national brands quickly, something Foursquare has struggled with. Mom and Pop Stores on Foursquare or the like are probably already on Facebook, and it’s easy as hell to set up a deal. If you’ve got 500 Facebook fans, and only 40 Foursquare users, where are you going to go?
Any location based service that wants to stay alive needs to do something big, bold, and exciting. No more meaningless virtual badges. No more check-in deal guessing games. Provide real value to people. Otherwise, the foot of Mark Zuckerberg will crush every other service that tries.