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Valassis-Qples

No need to spend time searching the internet for printable coupons. Just go about your usual online business, and coupons for products you like will be able to find you!

Another futuristic prediction? If so, the future begins now – as two printable coupon providers work together to make this scenario a reality.

Valassis, the publisher of the RedPlum coupon inserts and printable coupon website, has announced a partnership with the printable coupon provider Qples. The two companies will combine their platforms, in a way that will result in more printable coupons appearing where you’re more likely to find them.

Qples specializes in offering printable coupons integrated into social platforms. If you see a Qples-powered coupon offer on Facebook, for example, you can print it without ever leaving Facebook – which appeals to brands, Facebook users and Facebook itself. Valassis specializes in offering coupons just about everywhere else. So their new partnership will allow both companies to expand their reach, and provide more coupons to more users.

“Qples has a very secure platform to deliver coupons on social networks that we didn’t have,” Valassis Marketing Media Enterprise CEO Victor Nichols told Coupons in the News. So Qples provides the social platform, while Valassis pitches in with its large stable of brand partners and offers. And together, Nichols explained, “we’re going to give consumers much greater access to coupons, by delivering them to social channels where they’re spending more of their time.”

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Printing coupons via links embedded in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts is nothing new, of course. But the Valassis-Qples partnership is meant to go beyond merely offering coupons on a brand’s page, where you have to seek them out. The idea is, that coupons relevant to you will appear directly in the feeds of your social networks, much like the sponsored posts that appear in your feeds now – but these sponsored posts will come in the form of printable coupon offers.

You may start seeing coupons for a favorite product in your feed after you like a brand’s Facebook page, for example, or become a Twitter follower. And if you indicate that you like coupons in general by, say, liking or following RedPlum or Qples, you may see an even greater variety of offers. You’ll be able to print, like and share the coupons that appeal to you, and the more you engage, the more relevant the coupon offers will become.

Valassis experimented with a Facebook-specific coupon platform back in 2012, which allowed users to engage with coupons by liking and sharing them. But the “RedPlum Social Savings” app was essentially just a Facebook-hosted version of RedPlum.com’s coupon gallery. The 2015 version aims to feature more personalized offers, and social-specific offers that you won’t find anywhere else. The plan, Nichols said, is “to identify coupons that are more attractive to social platforms” – such as higher-value offers that have the potential to go viral, or boostable coupons that allow you to perform an action to increase their value.

And if it all ends up keeping you on the social networks, instead of clicking away to look elsewhere online for coupons, that will make the social networks happy. The Valassis-Qples news comes as Facebook is expanding its “Instant Articles” service, which allows you to read certain newspaper, magazine and website articles within Facebook’s news feed itself, so you never have to click on a link to an outside news site.

Just as you may never again have to click on a link to an outside printable coupon site.

Some may see it all as further commercial cluttering of your social feeds, when all you really want to see is your friends’ photos and status updates. But the thinking is, if ads in the space are inevitable these days, they might as well be ads that can save you money on the things you like to buy. And it’s also something of an investment in the future of printable coupons, which have been declining in popularity in recent years, increasingly eclipsed by digital and other offers.

“We see it as a big win for consumers,” Nichols said. And if it’s a win for Valassis, Qples, their brand partners, the social networks – as well as a shot in the arm for the printable coupon industry – it may well turn out to be a good thing for us all.

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