Facebook Tries to Grow-Up Ahead of Expected 2012 IPO
Facebook Tries to Grow-Up Ahead of Expected 2012 IPO

Jumping onto the bandwagon created by Groupon and LivingSocial, Facebook today is unveiling a local discount program for vendors called Facebook Deals.

The service will launch on a test basis in five cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco, according to a report in the New York Times. Like its rivals, it will let merchants in those markets offer discounted products and services to Facebook users. The kicker is that Facebook users can easily and quickly share these deals with their friends and see when friends actually buy something.

As such, Facebook says it will focus on deals best suited for group activities-such as concerts.

Adding to the Facebook integration is the use of Facebook Credits-the service's virtual currency that's based on real money. Facebook users can use either their credit cards or their Facebook Credits account to buy any of the deals offered via the Deals service.

Groupon has emerged as a valuable resource for concert promoters looking to move tickets in a short period of time. The company last year did special promotions for some 50 dates, and is developing a new service to let promoters add time-sensitive offers on short notice as well for even more last-minute deals.