Local Deals Come to Facebook Places

VIDEO: NY Times tech reporter Jenna Wortham on Facebook Places vs Foursquare
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The rumors are apparently true — at an event today at Facebook headquarters, the social networking site revealed that it will, in fact, be launching a deals service for Facebook Places. Watch out, Foursquare.

Deals is a new application within Facebook's iPhone app (which just got a refresh) that lets you find deals at nearby businesses.

There are four types of deals: Individual Deals (for discounts, free stuff or other rewards), Friend Deals (where you and a pal claim something together), Loyalty Deals (for the regulars) and Charity Deals (which allow you to donate to a cause).

VIDEO: NY Times tech reporter Jenna Wortham on Facebook Places vs Foursquare
The Conversation: Facebook Places vs Foursquare

The service is only available in the refreshed iPhone app, but Android users can access deals via touch.facebook.com (as they did when they wanted to use Places before the Android refresh).

So how does it work? Users can find deals by looking for the yellow icon when go to check in using Places (see below). Simply click on the deal to claim it, and then show it to the cashier to cash in. Deals claimed will be shared on your News Feed, which will allow your friends to reap the same benefits if they so choose.

Right now, Deals will be rolling out in the U.S. over the next few days, but Facebook says it will be expanding over time.

VIDEO: The latest social networking tool and the easy way to learn Indian languages.
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Currently, a ton of businesses are offering deals, including Chipotle, GAP and 24 Hour Fitness. You can check out more details on the Facebook blog. Facebook has also posted a video to show other merchants how they can start using the Deals platform.

This announcement is sure to be a big game-changer when it comes to the future of geo-location services. Keep an eye on Mashable for further analysis.

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