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New Features, Updated Apps, and More Come to Facebook

Category: Internet
Posted: 02:43PM

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a press conference today announcing several new features and updates to the popular social network site. First among them is that Facebook is tying deals and discounts from local businesses with its Places platform. Now whenever you check in to a business via Places, you can access coupons and discounts at that specific place without needing to scour the weekly ads. You can even unlock specific deals if you tag your friends when you check-in. The main purpose of the new Deals platform is to use it through the mobile apps or the mobile website. When you go to check into a business, you will be able to see which ones near you are offering discounts with a yellow icon next to the name. Simply check-in on the phone and then show it to the cashier to receive your discount.

Facebook will also be opening all of its Location APIs so that app developers can write check-ins to Facebook as well as searching the database. The goal for Places is to not have as just an app but rather as an entire platform. Loopt then demoed its own app which now has Facebook Places integrated in and will enable you to see your friends on a map as well as cross-post check-ins. In addition to that, Facebook will now have a "single sign-on" which will do away with multiple logins on mobile devices. This means that Facebook will handle the login for Zynga, Groupon, Yelp, Flixter, and BooYAH, which are launch partners for it.

Since the focus of this event was primarily mobile, Zuckerberg did announce that the mobile apps will be getting upgraded. The Android app will have an upgrade going out today to bring it more in line with the iPhone version, while the iPhone version will get an update as soon as Apple approves it. The one thing that wasn't announced was a Facebook phone which was quickly shot down.

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