Facebook is ending a Deals program launched in April which offered online bargains like Groupon, LivingSocial and other companies.
“After testing Deals for four months, we’ve decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks,” the Palo Alto, California-based social network said in a statement.
“We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses,” Facebook said. “We’ve learned a lot from our test and we’ll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.”
Facebook began testing deals in April in five US cities — Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco — in a bid to expand its revenue stream beyond advertising and carve out a niche in the growing online bargain space.
Chicago-based Groupon, which offers subscribers discounts on a broad range of consumer goods and services, has enjoyed a spectacular rise since its founding in 2008 and rejected a reported $5 billion takeover offer from Google last year.
Google is currently testing its own online coupon program, Google Offers.
Facebook said that while it was shutting down Deals, it remains “committed to building products to help local businesses connect with people, like Ads, Pages, Sponsored Stories, and Check-in Deals.”
Check-in deals are offered by individual businesses to Facebook members who visit an establishment and “check-in” using a mobile phone.