Facebook “Offers” Switches to Paid Model (and that’s a Good Thing)

Facebook Offers Set Budget

When Facebook initially introduced Offers earlier this year, I was incredibly enthusiastic from the free distribution opportunities it embodies for merchants. I even suggested that Offers may kill the already-dying daily deal services. And then Facebook went public. And what was originally free, shall now be paid.

But my opinion hasn’t changed. I still believe that the future of the deals industry dwells in the social media. Only now while Offers expands to all Pages internationally, merchants will have to pay to promote their offers widely.

After months of gradual expansion, Facebook finally announced on the global roll out of Offers, which is now available to all Pages with over 400 Likes. However, the feature will no longer be free of charge- Page admins will now have to set a budget and pay for posting Offers on users’ News Feed (starts at $5). Posting an offer on the Page Timeline alone will remain free but of course that holds a very limited distribution.

Alongside the full global roll out of Offers, Facebook also added few more options to the product (perhaps to mitigate the paid model transition): The service is now available to purely Internet businesses without a physical presence as well and an addition of a new option which allows to add barcodes/QR codes to the offer for easier redemption.

Facebook Offers AdEven though business owners surely aren’t happy from the fact they have to spend money in order to serve their deals across the social network (especially if they had already experienced with it freely before), I actually think that this move {don’t hate me} makes perfect sense.

No matter how you look at it, posting some deal or discount offer on the users’ News Feed IS an advertisement. Therefore, it should receive the same treatment from Facebook as any other ad product the company has (meaning to pay for it). Why should Facebook grant free ad listings on its platform?

But more importantly, a paid model of Offers will mostly benefit the users. When the service was free it opened up a hatch to all sorts of News Feed spam and once it has a price tag, the spam has shockingly almost entirely disappeared. Spammers don’t like to pay for things, you know.

Additionally, many users were also very disappointed to reveal that many Offers on their News Feed weren’t relevant to their geographical location when the service was free. Merchants simply hadn’t wasted their precious time to geo-target their Offers. You can bet that now when it has a price, they definitely will.

So if Facebook Offers now cost money, why should merchants choose it over the daily deal services like Groupon and LivingSocial? Oh, there are only nearly a billion reasons for that…

You can find more information about Facebook Offers in this Help Center page and in the following video (no full screen allowed):