As Facebook ramps its own Deal platform, it appears as though they might be testing a new ad unit / format with the web's leading deal provider: Groupon. The following ad appears as a Facebook sponsored unit on the main page and is essentially a mini feed post includes:

- the friend's / purchaser's name - the exact same text as Groupon's automated feed post (see the feed screenshot below) - the Groupon deal's image and location - has a unique three button base that allows for comments, likes and "Deals" .... that "Deals" link goes directly to the Groupon page and also appears on the feed post (like a custom application link)

The ad itself is hyper relevant: - time (expiring) - relationship (my friend) - and location (specific to me - I imagine I would NOT get an ad for a Minneapolis deal).

I wonder how automated the buying and publishing is... and I wonder if it is a sign of an ad platform being built directly into the Facebook Applications platform. From the look of it, it appears that could be true.

The Facebook Sponsored Ad Unit

The Feed Post for that Same Groupon Deal