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After five months of running its online deals program, Facebook is now shutting it down for good. Facebook Deals, which supplied users with online coupons in line with similar deal sites like Groupon, will now be shut down in the US, according to a statement by the social networking giant. The service was also available in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and was recently launched in South Africa.
“After testing Deals for four months, we’ve decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks. We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses. We’ve learned a lot from our test and we’ll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.”
Facebook Deals were tested in five of the largest US cities, namely Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco. This was the social network’s attempt at conquering the online deals market as Facebook was looking at ways to enhance their profits outside of advertising, despite their earning being healthier than ever.
Not long before Facebook announced the closure of its Deals program, an internal email from Groupon CEO Andrew Mason said that “Deals posed no significant threat”. The email also mentions the rejected US$5 billion takeover offer from Google, saying that the search giant’s equivalent product “Google Offers is small and not growing”. While Facebook is closing its Deals program it remains upbeat, saying that “we remain committed to building products to help local businesses connect with people, like Ads, Pages, Sponsored Stories, and Check-in Deals.”
Facebook will still offer its Check-In Deals, which operates in a manner similar to Foursquare. Private businesses can supply location-based deals when a user checks in to their establishment. When Facebook launched Deals in April, the social network boasted that its products leading feature was that users could see their friends purchased deals. Earlier this month Facebook places was also killed off in lieu of the new “location-sharing” features.