This article was published on September 20, 2012

Facebook updates Offers with new barcode and advertising features to push more deals into user News Feeds

Facebook updates Offers with new barcode and advertising features to push more deals into user News Feeds

Looking to make its Offers platform more relevant for people and give businesses more control over deals, Facebook has today updated the product to include barcode scanning and new advertising options.

Facebook’s two new features have been rolled out as a result of early feedback on its Offers platform from businesses, which sought to gain more control over the deals they ran and the ability to measure the success of those campaigns.

With this in mind, Facebook added support for barcodes (or a unique code) that could be tagged to an Offer. As one of the most requested features from businesses, it enables campaign managers to better track the results of the deals they share on user News Feeds and also extends Offers to be run on a retailer’s own e-commerce platform, not only making it easy for the business but also the user who chooses to redeem such an offer.

Advertising underlies a lot of what Facebook is working on and that focus has been adapted to run on its Offers platform too. Campaign managers must now create an advertisement with their Offer, running them for “a minimal budget,” but they are now a requirement for any brand or business looking to run a new Offer.

This isn’t much of a surprise, Facebook initially rolled out its Offers product to a limited number of businesses, testing how they interacted with the platform and making it free to use. With the introduction of an advertising requirement, Facebook is looking to finally earn some money from the product and “help people see Offers of greater quality and relevance in their feeds.”

If you’re unaware of what Facebook Offers are, you may have already seen a company you Liked run a promotion for a free chocolate bar. You click ‘Get Offer’, you get an email with details about the offer and the company receives your details in return.

It’s a twist on the traditional Daily Deals market, particularly because it allows Facebook users to remain in direct control over the offers they see. Instead of functioning as a dedicated website like Groupon, LivingSocial and AmazonOffers, Facebook has the ability to drop targeted deals into a user’s News Feed in line with status updates, photo posts, location checkins and other more social features.

More interestingly, when a user claims an offer, a story about it will be added to their timeline. By default, the story is visible to that person’s friends, but they can change the audience of the story before they post it.

The bigger the brand, the wider the Offer can potentially spread.

Facebook will be hoping that its users aren’t put off by its consistent focus on advertising, with more features to promote stories, embed sponsored posts and today’s updated Offers. The company needs to monetize its 850 million users and this is how it’s going about it.


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