Archive | January 2011

This is really cool – The Social Ripple Part 1

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Why NOT To Do a Startup.

This guy is a little annoying but the deck is actually spot on.

Foursquare check-ins on Insequent mobile sites January 28.

Check-in

InSequent mobile sites are a true one-stop location for consumers looking to connect with local merchants. One text of the keyword brings you a wealth of information right to your phone – including full social integration with Facebook and Twitter “follow” and now Foursquare “check-in.”

 

Update: This is live.

Facebook to make FB Credits Mandatory

Facebook confirmed Monday that it will be making it’s own virtual currency the mandatory payment method for virtual goods sold on its network. That means any company developing apps for use on Facebook will only be able to use Facebook Credits to conduct in-app purchases.

Starting in July, all Facebook app makers will be required to switch over to Facebook Credits, a move that has faced some resistance.

Google readies Groupon competitor

Google is preparing to launch its own Groupon competitor called Google Offers.

The venture “is a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email,” according to a fact sheet first published by Mashable.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the Internet giant was actively recruiting businesses for a daily-deals offering.

“Google is communicating with small businesses to enlist their support and participation in a test of a pre-paid offers/vouchers program,” the company said in a statement. “This initiative is part of an ongoing effort at Google to make new products, such as the recent Offer Ads beta, that connect businesses with customers in new ways. We do not have more details to share at this time, but will keep you posted.”

With the effort, Google is playing catch up in the nascent but profitable social-buying sector. The Internet giant reportedly tried to buy market leader Groupon for as much as $6 billion but was rebuffed in that effort last month. Groupon, which is rumored to be doinging $2 billion a year in revenue, has since increased its muscle by raising $950 million in financing, giving it a value of about $6.4 billion.

In addition to Groupon, Google will have to contend with Amazon.com-backed LivingSocial, which recently made headlines and fans by selling more than a million $20 Amazon gift cards for $10 each. Living Social said last month it is “currently booking revenues of more than $1 million a day on average and is projected to book well over $500 million in revenue in 2011.”

Can anyone say “me too?” Everyone, I mean everyone, we talk to is preparing a “daily deals” offer. Me thinks that how this benefits merchants is somehow not a priority…

Groupon experiences growing pains with customers, merchants

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This is not news, we’ve covered it on this blog in the past, but it is now getting into the “news” instead of just stories about the Groupon valuation, this article from LA Times begins to ask some (potentially) unpleasant questions:

“…with typical discounts of 50% and an even split of the remaining payment with Groupon, businesses actually receive just 25% of their normal fee.”

Q: Can Merchants afford to offer $50 of goods/services and receive only $12.50 (Consumer pays $25, Groupon takes $12.50)
A: Yes, if all those Groupon buyers come back again and pay regular price next time.
Q: Will they come back and pay regular price? Or will they be looking for other guys offering Groupon deals? Will they become addicted to the 50% off game?
A: TBD

Just remember, Groupon is a force. I am sure they don’t have their heads in the sand over there and are working on other things to mitigate this and expand beyond pure group discounting. Time will tell…

World sends 107 trillion emails in 2010

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Most (un)impressive about this figure – only 10% were not spam.

Read story here – http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/15/world-sends-107-trillion-emails-in-2010-mo…