Facebook's Network Will Give Its Online-Coupon Service “Deals” a Boost

Now that there is a full-fledged backlash against online coupon services, Facebook has jumped on the bandwagon. Today it launched the imaginatively titled “Deals” service in five test markets: San Francisco, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas and San Diego. Sorry, snowbelt, you'll just have to wait.

Facebook's move comes as Groupon-wannabes, of varying levels of

quality, are flooding the market, and as many local businesses are beginning

to question the wisdom of making use of such services. Last week,

Google announced its own service, the imaginatively titled “Offers,” after failing to woo Groupon for a reported $6 billion last year.

Facebook, though, has a distinct advantage going in: it's a network — and a huge one at that.

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