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“Deal” Done

How do you know when a new idea isn’t working?  When it doesn’t even leave the test-stage.

Facebook’s “Deals,” a direct attempt to take on companies like GroupOn and Living Social by offering localized coupons to people on the service, is dead.

Facebook is ending its Deals program, which offered the site’s 750 million users discounts similar to those offered by daily deals site Groupon.

Facebook said in a statement Friday it decided to end Deals after four months of testing. The service will wind down in coming weeks. It was available only in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco.

Facebook says it remains committed to serving local businesses through ads, pages and other products. And it will continue to offer “check-in deals.” These lets businesses like restaurants and stores offer deals to customers who “check in” through Facebook to let their friends know where they are.

Facebook’s “Check-in” deals is no doubt connected to their “Places” feature.  There, you can see the company’s trying to go up against social-location apps like “Foursquare” and “Gowalla.”

I can understand the need for Facebook to want to branch out, but if they’re failing at these ventures, I don’t understand why they don’t stick with what they’re good at and excel there.

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