Nick O'Neill at AllFacebook has an interesting story, claiming Facebook is testing a new "Facebook Deals" service, which would let businesses provide deals when users check-in to their brick and mortar locations.
We're going to have to keep this one filed under "rumor". The validity of the story is questionable, as O'Neill points out himself, the email screen grab provided that is supposed to be from Facebook to a partner refers to Facebook fans as "followers", which is not a term Facebook would normally use. He says his source is "extremely reliable" though.
Facebook's comment was simply, "As you know, we don't comment on speculation. We have nothing to share at this time."
While this story may or may not be legitimate, the concept is certainly not far-fetched at all, though I'm not sure if businesses can't market deals with Facebook Places without such a service.
One Facebook deal we know is legitimate (because they issued a press release about it) is one between the company and Russian search engine Yandex. The deal will see Yandex integrating Facebook info into some of its offerings.
Yandex's front page hosts a Facebook widget, and the company will now add the data from Facebook into its blog search index. Facebook will provide Yandex with a syndication feed that gathers info about updates on its Pages and profiles created to represent public figures, businesses or organizations.
"Social networks are becoming more open to the outside world and it's a win-win situation for everyone," said Roman Ivanov, Head of Communication Services at Yandex. "Social networking web-sites get more traffic and new users, and search engines obtain a whole load of information that boosts the search quality. We anticipate user interest in social and personal search to keep growing."
"We feel that this partnership will bring a lot of value for our Russian users as we would like the public information on Facebook to be easily searchable via Yandex," added Javier Olivan, Head of International at Facebook.