Facebook is finally launching local Deals in five cities today — a feature that will compete with Groupon. The five communities in this soft launch are San Francisco, Austin, Dallas, Atlanta and San Diego.
Unlike previous versions, this offer is check-in and location based. The local offers made to Deals users will be delivered via email and will also appear in users’ news feeds. Any Facebook user can sign up for Deals notifications on the feature’s landing page now; users in the five test cities will be able to see and use Deals beginning today.
Deals include things like 50% off movie tickets for four or 75% off bowling for six. You will be able to buy local deals using your credit card or Facebook credits, according to The New York Times. You will then print out a voucher that you can take with you to redeem your deal.
Facebook’s first local deals product was announced as part of the locations feature, Places, which hasn’t seen the kind of user-activity FB expected. Mobile checkins were linked to deals; in this way, Deals served as an incentive for Facebook users to integrate Facebook Places in their daily lives — and they were also an incentive for marketers and major brands to put more money into the Facebook platform.
However, the new Deals will be less like a Foursquare coupon and more like a Groupon voucher that can be redeemed later.
As an Atlantan, I’m certainly going to check out this service and let you know how I think it compares to Groupon and other LB-services. Let me know what you think too!