Kiwis develop app to solve Facebook Offers pain

Three Aucklanders pounce on a major pain point with Facebook's promoted offers feature, by creating an app which does all the dirty work of collecting, discovering and redeeming offers.

Offerbook (free from the Google Play Store) is an Android app which stores your Facebook Offers in one place. Through the app the user is able to accept an offer from a brand and keep an eye on when it's about to expire. In addition the app shows offers near your location using the smartphone's built in GPS, and crowdsourcing other Offerbook users shows offers that might not appear in your newsfeed.

Facebook says more than 42 million users have claimed an offer since the launch of the service last year.

Ankit Seghal, Dwain Douman and Jourdan Tan have been developing the app since January, but Douman says planning started as soon as Facebook Offers launched globally late last year. A simplified version was launched earlier in the year, but version two of the app which includes the discovery features was launched two days ago. According to the Play Store the app has had fewer than 1000 downloads so far.

The app is free and there's currently no advertising on it (apart from the offers themselves, of course). Douman says there's no immediate plans to monetize the app.

"We're just looking to solve a gap in the market for people to claim and discover offers. In the long run there might be some business opportunity, but we'll discuss that when we come to it," he says.

Offerbook relies on Facebook's own APIs to gather offers. What happens to Offerbook if (more likely when) Facebook develops its own Offer app, or integrates it into its existing Facebook app?

"Hopefully our Offerbook app will have traction in the market by then and become the preferred application. We don't see Facebook launching an app for this anytime soon", he says.

"We still have the crowdsourcing functionality which I can't see being shut down by Facebook, and we're constantly working on new ideas to incorporate."

One such idea is integrating Twitter and Instagram into the app, giving the user an idea of an establishment's atmosphere through photos and tweets.

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