Should Foursquare be nervous? Well, Facebook Places hasn’t caught up to the GPS check-in service nearly as quickly as many thought. But Facebook may have just launched a new trump card in “Facebook Deals“.
Within Facebook Places, users will now be able to see any advertised deals offered by local businesses. These deals include: Individual Deals (offering discounts and rewards based on check-in), Friend Deals (discounts based on you and a friend checking in together), Loyalty Deals (based on consistent check-ins over time) and Charity Deals (which commoditize your check-ins for charity).
Now, is there a way to game the system? Well, because these things are GPS-based, you can usually “check-in” to a place simply by driving near it. So, could you get credit for check-ins without actually soliciting the business?
Well, perhaps there is a way to game the loyalty deals. But, you will have to show the cashier the deal you’ve earned on your phone to be able to cash it in. And expect local businesses to jump on this new train quickly.