Even the mighty Facebook is not afraid to quit when something hasn’t turned out as expected – and thus the social network has axed Facebook Deals.
Facebook launched its assault on the burgeoning Deals marketplace in November 2010, a move which may have stopped even Groupon, LivingSocial and the coupon friends in their tracks briefly, as well as the likes of Foursquare and other location-based services moving into deals sector.
Unveiled initially in a few markets in the US, Facebook Deals was then extended to users in France, UK, Germany, Canada, Italy and Spain in January this year.
Similar to the deals on the likes of Foursquare, users would be given exclusive offers at various locations as and when they checked-in using Facebook Places.
Facebook initially worked with a handful of local companies dotted around the US, but then extended to take deals from tour and activity marketplaces such as Zozi.
Almost ten months on, Facebook decided last week to end the Deals project, explaining in a statement to Reuters:
“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.”
So there will be a relatively large sigh of relief at Groupon and others that Facebook has exited from the party (leaving just, err, Google as the other potential elephant in the room).
But while the decision to end the project so quickly will perhaps surprise many, perhaps it says more about the deals marketplace rather than Facebook.
Barriers to entry do appear to be quite low (thus the abundance of sites emerging almost on a monthly basis), but it is the longevity of the model, or supporting it with resources, which is perhaps testing even the likes of Facebook.