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Facebook testing new Groupon-style daily deals service

March 14, 2011 |  1:03 pm

Facebook plans to test a Groupon-style service as part of its existing Deals service, which lets businesses pitch offers to users of the popular social networking service.

Facebook logo Facebook will launch the new daily deal in San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, Dallas and Austin, Texas.

With more than 600 million users, Facebook certainly has the critical mass and the social mojo to tap into the booming online deal market and compete with market leaders Groupon and LivingSocial. Facebook will showcase deals and encourage users to share those deals with friends.

U.S. consumer spending  on daily deal sites is on track to hit $3.9 billion in 2015 from $873 million in 2010, according to research firm BIA/Kelsey.

"Local businesses will be able to sign up to use this feature soon, and people will be able to find Deals in the coming weeks," Facebook said in the statement.

Facebook will sell deals through its own sales team and will work with partners including ReachLocal, Gilt City and OpenTable.

Analyst Greg Sterling has some thoughts here.

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-- Jessica Guynn

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