Facebook rolled out Offers in beta to a handful of clients in the U.S. after announcing it at a conference in February. Now, the company on Thursday, quitley announced that its "Facebook Offers" platform which stands to compete with Groupon, LivingSocial, and Google Offers -- is now available to more brands, including some international marketers.
Offers are a way to receive discounts from businesses, brands and organizations. The platform is still in beta, and a small pool of merchants including Macy's, Walgreens, and Old Navy have tested the deals platform during the last three months.
Facebook Offers is based on users "liking" the Facebook page owned by a business. If they do, Offers allows the business to send the customer/fan a special deal, such as a discount on a cup of coffee.
The Offers will be distributed to advertiser's likes/fans in the news feed on the social site. When a deal is claimed by a Facebook user, his or her friends will see an ad in their news feed. The action will also post to a user's Timeline.
"We started rolling out Offers more broadly and this is now available in these 5 countries outside of the US: Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore" according to a Facebook official. The official added that the program was still in beta mode.
To activate the deal, the business must email the deal to an approved email address; a Facebook message won't suffice. Users then either need to print out the offer or open it on their mobile phone. There's no bar code or other dedicated app; users must hand their phone to the waiter or person behind the counter, who must be presumably briefed on the available offer to redeem it.
To get and redeem an offer you see on Facebook:
- Click Get Offer below the offer's headline to send it to the primary email address associated with your Facebook account.
- Bring the email to the business offering the deal and show it to the staff to redeem the offer. You can show it in printed form or on your mobile phone.
Here's a video that Facebook published today in connection to Offers:
Facebook notes, that you can hide a particular offer and all posts from a specific Page from your news feed, but there isn't a setting that allows you to hide all offers from your news feed. "You can hide a particular offer and all posts from a specific Page from your news feed, but there isn't a setting that allows you to hide all offers from your news feed. To hide an offer from your news feed, hover over the top-right corner, click the drop-down menu and choose what you'd like to hide," Facebook explains:
- Hide story will remove the offer you're looking at
- Hide all by will remove the offer you're looking at, as well as all future stories from that Page
If you accidentally hide something you want to see, click the Undo link.
To learn more about the Facebook Offers, check out this help center article.