Services & Software

Facebook kills deals after just four months

The Facebook Deals product offered discounted coupons for local businesses, much like Groupon, LivingSocial, Google and others.

Tech is going through a late-summer cleanup: Apple's killing rentals, Google's dissolving Slide, and now Facebook will discontinue its deals product, the company said today in a statement released to Reuters and other outlets.

The Facebook Deals product, which offered discounted coupons for local businesses, had launched only four months ago. Its shutdown follows Facebook's discontinuation earlier this week of its location-based check-in feature for mobile users in favor of broader place-tagging tools. Here's Facebook's statement:

After testing Deals for four months, we've decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks. We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses. We've learned a lot from our test and we'll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.

Deals was one of Facebook's particularly undifferentiated products--it was an almost perfect replica of offerings from Groupon, LivingSocial, Google and others. Facebook's attempt at a novel twist was that its deals were things users could do with their friends, and that it syndicated deals from other providers including Gilt City, HomeRun, and OpenTable. Users could also pay for Deals using Facebook Credits, though Facebook has maintained that its payments product is primarily for games on its platform.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.