Facebook Deals combines Places, bargains (via @USAToday)

Last week I mentioned the powerful combination that is created when location based services are added to consumer deals and wrapped with social.  Facebook's latest initiative is exactly that.  The key to success with this will be privacy.  It would be pretty easy to use the technology to "follow" people and present deals based on their location or interests.  It would be just as easy to freak people out by doing this!  Currently, less than 1% of adults use any location based service... but hang on, this is in the early stages.

Facebook is going Places with retailers.

Barely two months after it dove into the fledgling location-based services market, the social-media giant has made the mobile "check-in" application available to major merchants and thousands of small- and mid-sized businesses in the USA.

Facebook Deals, available today, is designed to connect users of Facebook Places to deals and specials from the likes of 24 Hour Fitness, Gap and Palms Casino Resort. Deals is available as part of a new update in Facebook's iPhone application or for smartphone users via the site, http://touch.facebook.com.

"Millions of people are living their lives (through Places), and merchants wanted to get involved," says Emily White, director of local at Facebook.

Read the full article here