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Facebook is launching a service to allow users to get discounts and special deals in cafes, restaurants and shops.

Facebook Places Deals as it is known launched in the USA last November. This new service rewards users who visit different locations by logging their whereabouts on the site via their mobile phone. Essentially it is a virtual loyalty card.

Initial partners in Britain include o2, Alton Towers and Yo! Sushi.

The service ties in with Facebook Places, another mobile phone add-on that was launched in 2010 allowing users to share their location with friends. This move is a part of a growing trend which sees the increasing use of mobile phones amongst consumers.

With Places Deals, users will not only be able to tell their friends their location, but they can also take advantage of special offers that the retailer may have.

Facebook phone users must ‘check in’ to access deals and discounts.

The service is free to shoppers and retailers alike, and Facebook does not take a share of any income generated by the leads.