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Facebook to test Groupon-style offers on its Deals service

The social network will launch its daily deals in San Francisco, San Diego and three other cities over the next few weeks.

March 15, 2011|By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from San Francisco — Facebook plans to test a Groupon-style feature as part of its existing Deals service, which lets businesses pitch offers to users of the popular social networking site.

Facebook will launch the new daily deal in San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, Dallas and Austin, Texas, over the next few weeks.

With more than 600 million users, Facebook may have the critical mass to tap into the booming online deal market and compete with market leaders Groupon and LivingSocial. Facebook will showcase deals and encourage users to share those deals with friends.

U.S. consumer spending on daily deal sites is on track to hit $3.9 billion in 2015 from $873 million in 2010, according to research firm BIA/Kelsey.

"Local businesses will be able to sign up to use this feature soon, and people will be able to find Deals in the coming weeks," Facebook said in the statement.

Facebook will sell deals through its own sales team and will work with partners including ReachLocal, Gilt City and OpenTable.

jessica.guynn@latimes.com

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