Facebook Places Doesn't Suck… anymore.

, ,

A while ago I wrote a blog post for this blog all about Facebook Places and why it sucked. An excerpt from that post reads,

“It doesn’t benefit the user at all. When I check in on Places I don’t get points,     unlock badges or become the mayor. Although once you check in the businesses     name is plastered on your wall which is essentially free advertising. It is way too lopsided to the benefit the business not the user.”

Well, I’m writing this to let everyone know I was wrong, very wrong. Facebook Places has actually saved me money. Turns out saving money is more valuable than becoming the Mayor of a business that doesn’t care, sorry Foursquare.

Why I am singing a different tune…

A few weeks ago I was shopping with my wife at our local mall. When walking into Macy’s I saw a sticker on the door claiming that if I checked in on Facebook Places I would get a special deal. So, for the second time ever I decided to check-in and boom, I actually got a coupon for 20% off! I was surprised and excited to see such a big discount. Then I did exactly what anyone with a great discount in hand would do, used it.

the result was that I spent about 40 minutes in Macy’s shopping around to find something that was worthy of my newly acquired coupon. Eventually I found some cool shoes for my wife, she can’t have enough shoes. The check out process went very smooth, the cashier was trained on how to use the Facebook coupon before I presented it to her.

Side note, Foursquare could learn a bit about training from Facebook. A while back I tried to use a coupon at Chili’s from Foursquare. This coupon was a collaborative effort between Chili’s and Foursquare and the manger rejected it saying he had never heard of it. Lame sauce…

Facebook is offering 4 types of deals:

  1. Individual Deals: Offering a one-time deal when launching a new product or wanting to clean out inventory or just want to offer a gift with a purchase.
  2. Loyalty Deal: These deals give specials to people that have checked in a certain number of times. These can be set to no fewer than 2 clicks and no more than 20.
  3. Friend Deals: This a great deal for those checking in with groups of 8 or more. These deals can build even more exposure for your business because in order to claim your deal, your customers need to introduce what you have to offer to their friends and family.
  4. Charity Deal: These deals donate to a charity of your choice in an amount of your choice whenever anyone claims your deal. Its a great way to show that you are interested in more than making money.

These types of offerings give social media immediate monetary value, which to be honest is lacking. I am excited to see social media and big businesses coming together in this way, by that I mean saving me money. It makes it easy to look forward to the bright future of social media.



Ben I couldn’t agree more with you on the Places offerings that FB has started. I am also converted to “checking-in” as opposed to Foursquaring. How do you think that Facebook’s location advertising strategy will affect companies like Groupon and LivingSocial? Do you think Groupon was crazy not to accept Google’s 6 billion offer and run now that all these major players are coming into the social buying space?

Greg E

Fantastic article Ben. I had the same issue with Chili’s and it put a bad taste in my mouth for both Foursquare and Chili’s.

Facebook Places has never appealed to me, but after reading this article, I’m starting today. I also especially love the photograph of the Facebook tag that has “No Photography” listed below. Rebel!



Thanks for commenting. I would love to see Facebook and Gorupon work together somehow. The one big problem is Groupon needs to have a certain number of people buy the deal before you get it. Facebook is instant gratification to the person checking in and the business. So, if Groupon and Facebook could come up with a way to make a Groupon work on check-in it would be killer.

Also, I think it was cool to see Groupon tell Google they aren’t interested, they will be just fine without them. Groupon has a strong brand and has tons of mindshare right now.