After weeks of rumors, Groupon is finally coming to Foursquare, both companies confirmed Friday. Starting today, Groupon Now deals will be available in Chicago via Foursquare's "Special Offers" tab, and by Sunday they should be live in all 25 U.S. cities that Groupon Now currently serves.
Earlier this month, Foursquare rolled out its new daily deals feature, which is logically designed to allow mobile users to locate nearby deals. Makes sense. To do this, it partnered with LivingSocial, BuyWithMe, Gilt City, AT&T Interactive, and Zozi.
The problem: the deals offered by those companies aren’t instantly redeemable. You buy the deal, but then you have to wait for the deal window to close (usually within a day or two) before you can redeem it—which does nothing for the mobile user who's standing in front of the restaurant they just bought the deal for.
So, now, Foursquare users (in any of the 25 cities in which Groupon Now operates) now have the option of buying and redeeming deals on-the-spot, rather than having to wait. It’s worth noting that Groupon isn’t the only partner that offers instant mobile deals. LivingSocial launched Instant Deals around the same time Groupon launched Groupon Now, so it’s a little odd that Foursquare didn’t integrate Instant Deals, but that could be due to Instant Deals’ limited distribution. While Groupon Now serves 25 cities, Instant Deals (which actually debuted a couple of weeks before Groupon Now) has only rolled out to three cities: Washington DC, New York City, and San Francisco.
The partnership will give both Groupon and Foursquare a leg-up in terms of monetization, especially considering the fact that both companies are being mimicked so closely by copycats. Groupon will now get access to Foursquare’s 10 million users, while Foursquare gets a much-needed “instant” category to add to its deal selection.
"We're excited to offer Groupon Now! deals on foursquare's platform - check in, and check out Now! deals you can use right away,” said Groupon spokesperson Julie Mossler.