By Jordan Heller
MANHATTAN — Black Friday has gone digital.
Special bargains are being posted on Twitter, "Mystery Deals" are being revealed on Facebook, and some retailers are even creating their own "Black Friday" websites in advance of the busiest shopping day of the year.
"The rules for Black Friday have changed significantly," said Matthew Shay, the president of National Retail Federation, which expects 138 million shoppers nationwide to hit stores this weekend.
In addition to finding some deals by searching "#BlackFriday" on Twitter, users of the popular social networking tool are also going directly to the blackfriday Twitter feed to find news about deals and promotions.
A Kodak Mini Video Camera is going for $49 (51 percent off) at Amazon.com, a bit of Nintendo news (new DS is available Black Friday at $149 a pop) and a teaser for a mysterious Black Friday event on the Apple Online Store, in just a quick glance at the feed on Tuesday.
Another digital clearinghouse for all things Black Friday is the blackfridaynet Twitter feed.
The links provide valuable links to discount codes, even if they appear incomprehensible at first glance:
"Macy's Black Friday Ad Released http://tinyurl.com/2gxxs43,"one post says.
Toys "R" Us created a Facebook page to post holiday specials and a preview of more than 60 unadvertised "Mystery Deals," which will be available in-store only between 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving and 1 p.m. on Black Friday.
Among the Toys "R" Us deals are a $50 gift card with the purchase of an iPod Touch, half-priced MP3 players and digital cameras for as low as $39.99.
Old Navy skipped the social networking sites and created their very own Black Friday website.
Called Gobblepalooza.com, the site advertises such deals as 50 percent off all outerwear, and $15 jeans and $5 graphic tees. Visitors to the site can also print out a coupon worth $10 off of a $50 purchase — redeemable only on Thanksgiving Day.
And if all this online support leaves you too sedentary, there's always Gold's Gym, which is advertising free access to its facilities on Black Friday.
"We open our doors to anyone who wants to get in a good post-chow-down workout free of charge," the site reads. "Your body and credit card will thank you."