Google doesn't have anything like Facebook Deals, and Foursquare will have a hard time keeping up with Facebook's network. Yet neither Google nor Foursquare is scared.
Facebook Deals could bridge the gap that exists between local merchants and
online advertising, as the social network's massive user base of 500
million-plus people provides fertile ground to match businesses with consumers.
Google doesn't have anything like Deals, a service Foursquare will be hard-pressed
to match because of the sheer size of Facebook's network.
Still, Google hinted to eWEEK that it's got some social tricks up its
sleeve, while Foursquare said it isn't concerned about falling behind Facebook.
consumers with local businesses via the Facebook Places check-in social service
from the Facebook for iPhone 3.3 application.
Users are able to claim deals, such as blue jeans from the Gap, 20 percent
off from American Eagle Outfitters or $1 per person donated to Ronald McDonald
House Charities. More than 20 businesses are on board for Deals.
Facebook and businesses win
because these game mechanics easily link consumers on the
go with stand-alone shops and strip-mall retailers. Facebook is urging the
small businesses to advertise their wares on its social network to boost
awareness of Deals.
Foursquare shrugged off the Deals launch, telling eWEEK that many products
are now integrating check-ins and tools for local merchants.
"We already have tens of thousands of active specials running our
platform, and soon we'll be rolling out some new features that will make it
even easier for businesses and brands to connect with customers and reward
loyalty," said Foursquare.
Google isn't worried because it's got something else social up its sleeve;
it just isn't saying what that is yet.
John Hanke, vice president of product management for Google's geo/local
initiatives, noted that while product management personnel don't worry about
what rivals are doing, "we aren't finished with our work yet."
"All I would say is that I think it's a really important area that's
definitely relevant to local. Stay tuned."