Facebook Deals, the check-in service that allows you to claim special offers in places that you've "checked-in" to, is making its way across the Atlantic today as the social network officially announced the launch of Deals in the UK.
A list of launch partners has also been announced, with Starbucks, Yo Sushi, Alton Towers, O2, Debenhams, Benetton, Mazda and Argos all committed to the scheme. Announced offers are mostly time limited, with Yo Sushi offering the first 1,000 check-ins free food and drink, as long as they've tagged a friend as being there with them.
The service itself is relatively simple to use, as US customers already know. By checking-in to a participating business on their smartphone, the user receives an on-screen virtual voucher that can be presented to the cashier to claim the offer. Places participating in the scheme will appear in the list of nearby places with a yellow ticket by their name. Deals in the US have been varied, from buy one get one free at Chipotle, to a $1 charity donation at McDonald's.
Facebook doesn't make any money directly from the Deals scheme, but new features such as Deals that keep people coming back to Facebook are key to the company's survival. Joanna Shields, Facebook's EMEA Vice President, is confident in the scheme. In a statement earlier, she said:
We all love a bargain so whether you’re on the lookout for a special offer at your favourite restaurant or tips from a fashionista friend about a discount on shoes in a department store, Facebook Deals will help you find it.