Facebook is working to combine online discount programs with the social networking experience.
Today, the popular website launches a test-run of a new Facebook Deals service. Local businesses will be able to advertise deals and send out coupons to Facebook’s 500-million users. The users can buy the coupons with a credit card or Facebook Credits. Most of the deals are intended to be for group activities Facebook users can enjoy with their friends. The Facebook Deals service will be competing against other daily deal sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, Yelp and Google Offers. It will start out just in San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Atlanta and Dallas, but will likely be expanded to other cities after an unspecified testing period.