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by Christian Bryant

News and views from inside the media bubble 

FACEBOOK THROWS HAT INTO THE PILE OF ONLINE DISCOUNT SERVICES

Facebook, the social networking empire, has expanded its reach just a little further with a new discount feature. Emily White, director of local at Facebook, announced the launch of Deals on Facebook, a service that rivals Groupon and LivingSocial, on Tuesday. Although initially available for a test-run in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco, Deals on Facebook purports to offer users discounts to social activities in your area that are “easy to share, buy and plan with your friends,” White says. The advantage that Facebook has over it’s rivals is that the deals feature will be more tightly integrated within the network, unlike the other services that utilize the Facebook network for deal sharing. Users can now choose to have discounts delivered via e-mail or can find them in their news feeds. Although aiming to partner with more businesses and garner some positive attention, Deals on Facebook is not without it’s detractors. One Facebook user commented directly below White’s announcement saying: “Spam is awash on Facebook, that communicating with friends is the last thing you want to do on it….” Another user writes: “They need to drop the Google mentality… trying to do anything and everything and worry about the lackluster experience that Facebook currently is.”

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