Today sees the UK launch of an incentive package for Facebook Places that will be a blow to Foursquare and Gowalla and pits Facebook against the growing might of Groupon in the consumer offer sector. Facebook Deals rewards users who check-in to participating shops, restaurants, coffee bars and visitor attraction using the recently launched Facebook Places, location-based application.
Launch partners include Starbucks, Yo! Sushi, Argos, Debenhams, and Mazda. Alton Towers is rumoured to be offering free tickets to users checking in via Facebook places on February 18th. Facebook will use a golden ticket icon to identify locations where there are deals in place. Joanna Shields from Facebook said: “Facebook Deals represents the power of word of mouth marketing …over 200 million people use Facebook on their mobile phone. We are now offering businesses the opportunity to connect with people in an entirely new way.”