Facebook has used an invite-only London event to proudly unveil... the Facebook phone. No, only joking. It's Facebook Deals, a discounting rewards system that's basically one big Facebook Places-shaped carrot for Android and iOS users.
Much like the rival Groupon service, Facebook Deals gives you location-based deals from a host of participating retailers, deals that are only available to those worthy souls that have signed up.
Not just signed up, but signed in too – signed in to Places. When you do sign in, retailers in your vicinity get to see, and can potentially offer you discounts, BOGOF deals and the like. When you're viewing your Nearby Places list, certain places will show up with a yellow ticket next to their name. Show that ticket to the sales staff at the retailer in question, and voila – you score a good deal.
So who are these participating retailers, we hear you ask? Well, the rather motley launch crew include Starbucks, Yo! Sushi, Mazda, O2, Argos, Debenhams, Alton Towers and Benetton. The usual “more will be added in time” addendum applies, as per usual.
And the benefits? Mazda, on one extreme, is giving away five cars for five months; Starbucks, on the other, is offering up 30,000 free cups of coffee. And there's all sorts in between, from charity donations to free games consoles.