The dog days of summer are upon us, but there’s a bright spot gleaming like Gatsby’s green light from the West side of Manhattan. Google Offers, which apparently still exists, has teamed up with Boingo to provide free Wifi in six subway stations this summer. Can you imagine the awesomeness of being able to check your email while waiting on a sticky, rat-ridden platform for the ever-elusive M train?
Daily deals were on the rise last year, and for a few heady months everyone got really excited about them. Groupon’s copy was still cute and quirky and hadn’t yet begun to tip over into cloying; 2-for-1 skydiving lessons were still a happy novelty; this reporter even interviewed for a Google Offers copywriting gig (and no, she didn’t get it).
But then came that faint gloom cloud, and suddenly the daily deal business model was being called into question. And frankly, it got really, really tiring to delete emails from Groupon, Living Social and Google Offers on a regular basis for coupons we would occasionally buy and then never use.
That’s why we’re thankful for Unsubscribe Deals, a new web application from a “recovering lawyer” named Edwin Hermawan and a West Village waitress named Lea Pische. In one easy step, the app connects to your Gmail account and automatically unsubscribes you from the deals emails you signed up for, including Groupon, Amazon Local and Daily Candy.
Betabeat received a very meta treat in our inbox this morning: a link to this Google Offers deal sent along by a tipster who appended the Kanye-esque hashtag #salesonsalesonsales. The Google deal apparently offers a 50 percent discount to buy items on One Kings Lane, which is itself a discount site that offers sales of up to 70 percent on items like household furniture and accessories.
The markets reacted to Google’s acquisition of venerable guide brand Zagat, pushing Open Table’s stock price down eight percent. The move is based on the assumption that Google is trying to get closer to the action in terms of reviews, reservations and someday payments.
JP Morgans analyst Doug Anmuth thinks Google will integrate Zagat Read More
Deal With It
If you’ve ever tried to click on a restaurant listing off of Google Places, well, let’s just say it makes you miss Yelp. And if you’ve ever used Google Offers instead of Groupon, then you’d be the first person Betabeat has ever heard of. This might explain why Google just acquired Zagat. After failing to acquire both Yelp and Groupon, Zagat’s millions of ratings and reviews “will be a cornerstone of our local offering,” writes Google’s Marissa Mayer in a peppy post announcing the news.
The deal price has yet to be disclosed, but as Business Insider points out, Zagat took a reported $200 million acquisition price off the table back in 2008 when it couldn’t find any buyers. Indeed, although Ms. Mayer touts Zagat’s 32-year-old history (they made the Silicon Alley Reporter 100 list back in 2001 for being ahead of this whole internet thing) and the fact that “their surveys may be one of the earliest forms of UGC (user-generated content)—gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the Internet as we know it today even existed,” Zagat questionnaires seem a touch out-of-date with more lightweight UGC in these more mobile times, i.e. Yelp, Foursquare tips, etc.
It really seems like the search giant is incapable of staying out of competition with any of the big players on the web. Today Google rolled out Offers, a new program that will let local merchants offer discounts and compete directly with companies like Living Social and Groupon, which recently rebuffed a massive multi-billion Read More