Facebook Shuts Down Deals, Boosts Photos

Facebook has decided to shut down its Deals feature after testing it for several months with big name brands like Gap, Starbucks, Macy's, JCPenney and American Eagle Outfitters.

Simultaneously, the company is also upgrading Facebook Photos, one of its most popular features, by making it faster and increasing the size of the images.

Facebook's decision to close Deals, which it announced in November 2010, is the latest sign that the novelty of online coupon services may be fading as consumers get bombarded with daily specials from a multitude of distributors.

"We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses. We remain committed to building products to help local businesses connect with people, like Ads, Pages, Sponsored Stories, and Check-in Deals. We've learned a lot from our test and we'll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses," Facebook said in a statement via e-mail.

In a separate announcement, Facebook said that it is increasing the size and resolution of photos people post to their albums, as well as doubling the speed at which they render. In addition, Facebook is tweaking the interface of its photo viewer, turning the previously black background into white.

"With over 250 million photos uploaded each day, sharing pictures is one of the most popular activities on Facebook," Facebook official Justin Shaffer wrote in a blog post.

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