If you happen to stumble upon a deal from a retailer on Facebook, you'll have to jump through hoops to get it, including waiting for an email from Facebook with instructions on how to claim the offer. But Facebook is testing an update to its Offers program that will help you find and buy deals, according to an Inside Facebook report.
However, even the update falls short of social deal services like Groupon and Living Social.
Facebook will add an "Offers" link to the left-hand navigation close to "Apps," that will show available offers on a single page. That means you won't have to worry about an offer getting buried in your newsfeed.
Further, you will be able to take two new actions. You can "Shop Now." Clicking this link will take you out of Facebook and over to the merchant's site. Alternately, you'll be able to set a reminder and receive an alert from the store when the deal is about to expire.
Compared to Groupon and Living Social, two of the most popular deal services, Facebook Offers seems woefully out-of-date. While Facebook is in the process of updating its Web-based application, it has neglected its mobile app , and still leaves the fulfillment of offers up to the various retailers, while its deal site competitors offer a seamless experience, even on a mobile device.
Sites like Living Social and Groupon will store not only your purchases and vouchers, but your credit card information as well, making shopping for and redeeming offers convenient even on a whim. Facebook Offers lacks this functionality, which these sites offer even on their mobile apps.
No word yet as to when the Facebook Offers update will roll out to users, but it will still have a long way to go if it wants to get serious about deals.