Could The New Deals Actually Hurt Facebook?

With Facebook constantly searching for new monetization opportunities on the site, could the expanded deals service go to far?

With Facebook constantly searching for new monetization opportunities on the site, could the site’s deals go to far?

It’s a sort of unwritten agreement between users and Facebook: The company provides a free service and in exchange, users give the company the right to support their operations through advertisements and other commercial activities.

Additionally, the company can promote new commercial services that they think could benefits users, including the new deals product.

As Facebook searches to uncover new monetization opportunities, there is always the potential that the company crosses a line and turns the site into a completely commercial experience.

For the time being, Facebook hasn’t crossed this hypothetical line, but with deals, one has to wonder if users will hit a saturation point.

After being bombarded by Groupon and LivingSocial for months, I can tell you that my own default action when I receive a deal in my inbox, is to quickly delete it. While I like paying for fun activities, I prefer to discover those activities on my own terms.

However with the new Facebook deals service, Facebook is now blasting out commercial offers through two channels that I personally like to have free of advertisements: my inbox and the feed.

Granted, both channels have naturally become deluged with commercial offerings. In fact, I’ve written guides on how to exploit the feed for commercial use and have also studied the same thing for the inbox. However when the owner of the channel decides to exploit it themselves, something about it feels different.

For the time being, I’ve opted in to the Facebook deals service to see how it impacts my overall experience on the site. Fortunately, if I don’t enjoy it, the social network has made it possible to opt-out of the service (although I have no idea if that will cleanse my feed of all deals-related activity).

The deals product is a new milestone for Facebook; it’s the first product to leverage both of Facebook’s most powerful communication channels with users simultaneously: the feed and the inbox.

Only time will tell whether or not this gamble pays off, but given the company’s integration with Credits, it’s clear that the company has high hopes for the new service. What do you think of the new service? Have you opted in? Are you interested in seeing deals via the feed?

Publish date: April 26, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT