In a previous post, I mentioned in passing that Groupon 2.0 very well might turn Groupon into the Facebook of deals. I wanted to take the time to expand upon this idea at greater length because I
believe that Groupon 2.0 is a perfect example of something else I have talked about before–interest based social networks.
For those who missed my first post, Groupon 2.0 expands upon Groupon’s current deal a day framework by providing users with a personalized feed of relevant deals. This shift would immediately allow Groupon to drastically scale their operations and leave their competition in the dust. This opportunity helps justify why Groupon turned down Google’s 6 billion dollar buyout offer. Unlike other social media platforms, the path to monetization for a platform centered around deals is clear as day.
One important feature of Groupon 2.0 is that it would allow retailers to contact users who had previously taken advantage of one of the retailers’ posted deals. This sort of organic interaction between consumers and retailers is very similar to the direct marketing efforts that already take place on Twitter. Today Twitter is used by many marketers as a veritable Swiss Army knife where retailers do everything from advertise promotional offers to answer consumer complaints. However, finding a conversation on Twitter related commerce can at times be like finding a needle in a haystack. Twitter was not built with direct marketing efforts in mind. While some have repurposed Twitter for this aim, the context of Twitter has never been commercial. Retailers, in many ways, remain interlopers in the Twitterverse.
This is where Groupon 2.0 fits in, as the context of Groupon is unquestionably commercial. Coming full circle, I argue that Groupon 2.0 is yet another example of a social network which leverages the interest graph. Groupon 2.0 represents a social network where users connect based on their interest in specific retailers. The comparative advantage of interest networks like these derives from their context. Groupon’s focus on commerce may ultimately give them advantage over do everything websites such as Twitter and Facebook.