UPDATE on Monday, January 31, 2011: Deals is now also available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Look for yellow or green tickets when you check in to places in those countries. We also launched a new Deals page at http://www.facebook.com/deals, where you can learn more and find deals being offered near you.
Originally published on Wednesday, November 2, 2010:
Everyone likes getting a good deal, but it's not always easy to find the right one at the moment you could use one. Imagine that while you're looking for a new place to try for lunch, you could see offers from restaurants nearby on your phone. On the other hand, I already love Zachary's Pizza, so imagine if I were rewarded for coming back there every week with my friends.
Starting today, local businesses will be able to offer you deals when you check in to their place on Facebook. Deals will be rolling out over the next few days and will only be available in the United States at this time.
We launched Places to let you share where you are with your friends and see who's nearby. Now with Deals, you also can see what offers are nearby and share those deals with your friends.
When you touch the Place, you can view the deal and check in to claim it:
Then, just show your phone to the cashier to get your gift or discount:
These deals come from merchants, not Facebook, so check with your local stores for additional details, such as when they're running, how many of the offers are available, and whether a deal is just for you or also for your friends.
You'll see a few different types of Deals: individual deals for a discount, free merchandise or other reward; friend deals where you and your friends claim an offer together; loyalty deals for being a frequent visitor to a place; and charity deals where businesses pledge to donate to a cause when you check in.
Many other businesses are already planning deals in the coming weeks for their U.S. Places, including the following:
24 Hour Fitness: Donating $1 to Kaboom to support children's health for everyone who checks in to its fitness clubs.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: Hosting a free screening for whichever of their movie theaters gets the most check-ins, as well as giving free souvenir Facebook Places pint glasses just for showing that you've claimed the deal.
American Eagle Outfitters: Offering 20 percent off.
Chipotle: Giving its Facebook guests two entrees for the price of one.
Gap: Giving blue jeans to the first 10,000 customers to claim their deal.
Golden State Warriors: Inviting those who check in to an exclusive event with a basketball player on the NBA team from Oakland, Calif.
Harrah's: Offering a complimentary nightclub admission, buffet or other gift to people who stop by any of its 10 Las Vegas resorts.
H&M: Offering 20 percent off.
JCPenney: Giving $10 off any $50 purchase.
Lululemon: Sharing the gift of yoga by giving guests a pass to a local yoga studio.
Macy's: Offering 20 percent off select merchandise.
McDonald's: Giving $1 per customer to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
North Face: Donating $1 to the National Park Foundation for every person who checks in at a North Face store or National Park.
The Palms: Upgrading your room or extending your weekend at the hotel another night--on the house.
REI: Donating $1 to a local conservation non-profit when you visit its stores.
San Francisco 49ers: Giving to the first 200 fans who check in the opportunity to buy tickets to a subsequent football game for just (you guessed it) $49.
Starbucks: Donating $1 per guest to Conservation International.
TAO and LAVO: Adding you and a friend to an upcoming guest list at one of the nightclubs for checking in.
Texas Tech: Giving away 100 pairs of tickets.
University of California at Berkeley: Letting football fans who check in form the human tunnel through which the players run.
University of Nebraska: Inviting attendees to a meet-and-greet with a Husker living legend.
If you are a local business that wants to offer deals, you can learn how to get started here.
We hope that these and other deals will help you and your friends find special offers as you check in at your favorite locations. In the coming months, we plan to make Places and Deals available in other countries as well.
Jon Fougner, a principal on Facebook's product marketing team, is looking forward to leaving Point Reyes National Seashore slightly better off next time he camps (and checks in) there.