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Facebook to augment Places with Groupon-style rewards?

Facebook Deals Email ScreenshotFacebook is rumored to be the latest site to jump on the daily business coupon bandwagon. AllFacebook is displaying a screenshot of an e-mail outlining plans for Facebook to begin offering an application called Deals, a service comparable to Groupon or Living Social. Following in the footsteps of companies like AOL, which will soon launch Wow!, the social networking site is possibly offering a way for businesses to offer incentives for “checking into” a location. The speculated feature would tie to Facebook’s recently introduced Places feature.

For now, this is only a rumor, but Facebook fanned the fire a bit by issue this response directly to AllFacebook: “As you know, we don’t comment on speculation. We have nothing to share at this time.”

The tool would undeniably benefit businesses, which would welcome the attention from the world’s most widely used social networking platform. The claims suggest that users who wished to receive rewards for their business would be required to locate themselves using Places and tag a number of friends in the post. However, devoted Groupon users should be wary — this could present some definite challenges for the coupon promoter.

Users of location-based sites like Foursquare and Facebook Places currently receive nothing in return for the free promotion they offer, and Deals would change that completely — possibly, and probably, becoming a model for its predecessors. It could also sway more Facebook users to begin utilizing Places, which some said unsafely identified too much about an individual. If there were a prize for revealing your location and even publicizing that to your friends, if might be worth it to start using the application.

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