Facebook To Offer Local Business Deals Feature

Facebook plans to test a new local deals service on the social networking platform similar to that currently provided by sites like Groupon, it has been revealed.

According to Bloomberg, the new service will build on Facebook's existing Deals platform that lets users get special discounts after they check in to partner business establishments.

“Local businesses will be able to sign up to use this feature soon, and people will be able to find Deals in the coming weeks,” the company said in a statement.

The service, which will let users share local discount deals with their friends, will initially be tested in the US cities of Atlanta, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas and Austin.

Facebook says that its own sales staff will be selling discount deals to businesses while users will be able to buy discount deals from partner services like ReachLocal, Gilt City, Tippr, HomeRun.com, PopSugar City, KGB Deals, Plum District and Zozi.

The market for online daily local deals has been made popular by websites like Groupon and LivingSocial, and Facebook, with its 500 million strong user base, wants a piece of the action. Analysts estimate that the market for local deals will grow to $3.93 billion in 2015 from $873 million last year.