No animated slide shows, glitzy stage presentation, or the familiar black mock-neck sweater and acid washed denim, but the announcement by Mark Zuckerberg & company at Facebook headquarter on Wednesday has much ramification as a product launch by Steve Jobs and Apple. The hour-long event, broadcasted live across the web, centered on improvements to Facebook Places, the recently created location-service application to compete with the likes of Foursquare. The most interesting aspect, however, is the addition of a new feature Facebook Deals.
Not willing to miss the opportunity, several large retailers have already announced their participations. This includes Gap, which declared it will give away free denims to the first 10,000 users who “check-in” with the new Facebook feature at a local Gap store. So how will this transform the way we shop?
One scenario is how deals are announced now. Instead of advertisements on printed matters, flyers, email messages, and such, retailers’ announcements are now more centralized, broadcast to those who wants to know. Of course, this is no different than the current function on Foursquare and other location-base applications. But when a customer “check-in” and purchase the discounted item, it is noted on his or her Facebook page, sharing it among his or her friends. This is something other location-base applications lack of. To put it into a more understandable perspective…
;) Person A saw a deal announced by Gap of a free denim giveaway
;) Person A “check-in” at the local Gap via Facebook Deals and won a pair of Gap denim
;) Friends of Person A are notified of his/her winning a pair of Gap denim via Facebook update
;) Friends of Person A show up at their local Gap for their chance to win
= a “flash mob” of shoppers that is 130 million strong!!!