10,000 Free Jeans Quite A ‘Deal’

Major companies are committed to making Facebook Deals–the social network’s answer to Foursquare–a success.

Gap alone is offering 10,000 free pairs of jeans to consumers who use Deals, an extension of Facebook’s Places mobile feature, to check into 900 of the chain’s nationwide stores. Notes AdAge, Deals combines location-based check-in services, such as Foursquare, with local group deals services, such as Groupon. It has been launched with 22 major brands–like Starbucks, McDonald’s, H&M and Gap–and 20,000 small-to-medium-sized businesses.

“It’s important for us to connect with our customers where they are,” Gap spokeswoman Olivia Doyne told AdAge. “This can be used in so many ways. If a store has too much inventory, we can use Deals for that. We can tailor the deals to our customers’ locations.”

The Deals feature–and its enthusiastic embrace by big-name companies–could be what gets general consumers to adopt LBS en masse. Don’t forget, as Justin reported from the Location-based Marketing Summit in September, an estimated 80 percent of U.S. consumers don’t even know what LBS means, let alone actively use it, and only 1 percent of online consumers use LBS.

Facebook is vastly popular among consumers regardless of their interest in technology. Thus, its Deals, Places, and any other LBS features have a built-in extensive audience that may be willing to try them. As AdAge says, “Like everything Facebook does, it has the potential of taking a niche phenomenon now exploited by a coterie of small startups and turning it into a mass phenomenon.”