Just three months after reaching 500,000 users, LevelUp hit one million customers, with a meaningful portion of that new audience attracted by adapting the company's offer system to work over Facebook.
"Integrating with Facebook seemed like a no-brainer to us," says Seth Priebatsch, chief ninja (CEO) of SCVNGR, the company behind LevelUp. "What better way to reach more people and potential users than on a network that reaches over a billion people?"
The startup added Facebook integration in October. LevelUp users can claim an offer on their Facebook timelines to see it immediately added to their account; those without LevelUp can register for the mobile-pay service to grab the offer.
"We've done the math, and our Facebook integration nets some serious wins: each offer that's shared by a LevelUp user is seen an average of 1,000 times and gets clicked on by five friends," he says.
Offers are claimed with the click of a button, similar to the "Like" or "Comment" buttons. The process is enabled by the new Facebook open-graph setup.
The LevelUp payment system allows consumers to pay and redeem offers at the point of sale by presenting a quick-response (QR) code on a smartphone's screen. The system also works with Near Field Communication. Merchants do not pay any fees to accept payments, instead paying for LevelUp's attached loyalty program.
Consumers aren't sharing specific transactions on Facebook. Instead, they share only incentives they've discovered or unlocked.
Priebatsch says this approach is a big reason the integration works so well. "My friends don't care that I ate a sandwich but they do care that they can save $2 at this awesome sandwich place that I just discovered," he says.
Facebook integration was one of the main reasons the company gained another half-million users in such a short period of time, says Priebatsch. Other factors include its white-label offering and new migration tools for its loyalty system.
LevelUp recently opened up its application programming interface (API) to allow merchants to integrate LevelUp with their websites, he says.
"When we say we wanted everyone on board with mobile payments, we mean everyone," Priebatsch says. "Enabling everyone from online food ordering services, point-of-sale players, merchants, app developers and more to integrate with our platform will further drive the payments revolution forward … LevelUp is, at its core, way more than a way to pay with your phone."