Foursquare and Groupon mulling partnership

Ronny Kerr · May 24, 2011 · Short URL:

Location and daily deals: a match made in heaven?

Foursquare and Groupon, the biggest names in location-based services and daily deals, are discussing whether to form a partnership, according to multiple sources (via All Things Digital).

You don’t see it as much anymore, but people used to have a habit of calling Groupon a “social commerce” service. In reality, the only social thing about it was that a certain number of people had to purchase a Groupon before the “deal was on.” And even that is a little bit of a cop-out, considering that pretty much every single Groupon surpasses that minimum number these days.

Basically, the company got bundled in with all the other exciting Web companies--Facebook, Twitter, Zynga--and through osmosis took on the “social” label.

Groupon is not social, however. Groupon is local.

The company has triggered a bit of a local revolution, which could be as big as the social revolution, by creating an online platform that encourages consumer spending in the real world. Where before, a person either ordered something through an online store or visited a brick-and-mortar establishment to make a purchase, people now have a system for starting the purchase online and finishing it at the physical location.

For that very reason, a Foursquare and Groupon partnership would work extremely well. Foursquare has done a great job of securing its brand as one of the most respected location platforms and Groupon has done the same for daily deals.

Perhaps, checking in to a restaurant on Foursquare will unlock a Groupon deal that you can purchase directly from your phone. Or, even better, Groupon could be to Foursquare what LevelUp is to SCVNGR: buy a deal online, use your American Express card and get instant credit.

The possibilities for integration are endless.

Today, about 10 million people use Foursquare to check in and about 400,000 merchants use the application to increase traffic.

"I think we're in a position to do something revolutionary for local advertising," said Foursquare CEO and co-founder Dennis Crowley during the Reuters Global Technology Summit last week.

As a deal-offering platform, Groupon is actually incredibly flexible: I wouldn’t be surprised to see it forming partnerships with a plethora of companies as the months roll by.

Just a couple weeks ago, the company joined forces with Live Nation to create GrouponLive, a service that will soon be offering exclusive discounts on sports, concerts, theater and other events. The effort is slated to start with the summer concert season.

image source: VentureBeat

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Ronny Kerr

I am a professional writer with a decade of experience in the technology industry. At VatorNews, I cover the zero-waste economy, venture capital, and cannabis. I'm also available for freelance hire.

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