Facebook will soon start charging merchants to run Offers as a way to earn more revenue at a time it desperately needs it.
Facebook’s stock on the NASDAQ exchange has struggled under continuted scrutiny and concerns about declining revenue. So the company needs to come up with new ways to generate revenue from its many businesses and users. Making Offers — a service introduced in April where businesses can publish coupons or special promotions to a user’s Facebook news feed — a paid service works toward this aim.
“We think this aligns incentives nicely,” Gokul Rajaram, director of product management for Facebook’s ad and Pages businesses, told Reuters. “The best results on Facebook Offers will come from organic distribution plus paid distribution.”
Facebook also has added some new features to the Offers platform including barcode scanning and more advertising options. First up, there is the option to give a unique barcode to each user who purchases an Offer. This allows for a better way to track transactions and easier redemption at the counter. It also means Offers could potentially run on other e-commerce sites.
On the advertising side, businesses will now have to pay Facebook to run an Offer that can be seen in the News Feeds of users who like it. (This is how Facebook will actually be taking money from merchants.) There will still be a free option for businesses to run an Offer that can only been seen on their page.
Offers will also be available to Internet-only businesses instead of just folks with physical locations.