Facebook will enter the Israeli coupons market in September with the launch of its location-based service Facebook Deals.
Facebook Deals was launched in the US in November 2010 and in Canada and Europe early this year. The service is part of Facebook’s mobile Places application for persons who click on Check-In the locations of participating stores. A yellow sign will appear next to stores offering deals and their details.
Facebook Deals offers a range of coupons, giving businesses a wider space than offered by most coupons sites now available in Israel. Individual Deal for new and current customers, which is equivalent to the regular coupons that have been available in Israel for over year; Loyalty Deal, offered to customers only after a certain number of check-ins up to a maximum of 20; Friend Deal, generated by multiple check-ins; and Charity Deal, which offers a donation by the customer to a charity of the business’s choice.
It is not clear if all the deals will be offered in Israel, or which businesses have signed up with Facebook for the product. According to statistics site SocialBakers, Israel has 3.5 million Internet users, but Facebook Deal will only be available for users who have downloaded Facebook’s mobile application. That said, the potential among Israel’s dominant Facebook crowd (people aged 18-35) is considerable.
On the other hand, Facebook is entering a crowded domestic market, which includes Groupon Israel, Buy2, Walla Shops, Baligam and scores of other sites. These sites have anticipated Facebook Deal’s entry, and it will be interesting to see how its entry will affect the balance of power.
Foursquare also offers location-based deals service in Israel, when a mobile user checks in at a participating pub or store. However, few Israeli businesses offer the service, despite its potential. Facebook’s power in the local market may help it push its m-commerce platform.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on August 15, 2011