Eyes on Groupon, Facebook takes another crack at social shopping

"Facebook Offers" gives small businesses a way to send special promotions directly into news feeds.

Another try from Facebook in the direct offer category, Facebook Offers went live today with the beta version of an offering to let small businesses to send promotions directly to user news feeds.

Despite its astounding growth as a social network, Facebook's experience in the daily deal business has been pretty much of a non-starter. But with its massive IPO drawing near, Facebook is giving it another shot.

After clicking on a Get Offer link that will appear in their feeds, users can redeem the coupon either online or offline from businesses that they 'like.' The coupon will get sent via e-mail to their address or to the address they assign -- or to their mobile phone.

A spokeswoman said that Facebook has made Offers available to a handful of clients in the U.S. Also, a "limited amount of businesses" in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Turkey" are now able to start using the product. But this roll-out is neither global nor available to additional US businesses, the spokeswoman added.

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