News broke late Friday night that daily deals site LivingSocial was hacked, exposing the personal data of 50,000,000 users. [New York Times]
Robert Scoble showered in his pair of Google Glass and everyone on the Internet cried themselves to sleep. [Google Plus]
Jack Dorsey has a new plan for world domination: revamping how McDonald’s charges you for that Big Mac. [USA Today]
Facebook is losing users quickly as many decamp for new social network experiences on platforms like Path. According to one study, just last month the site lost 6 million U.S. users, a 4 percent drop. [The Guardian]
What you Google can predict how the stock market behaves. Time to buy all the stocks in “Sergey Brin arms” then? [BBC]
Zuck apparently wears a t-shirt while swimming in the ocean. Who’s surprised? [Valleywag]
Buy Together Die Together
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 has been covering the layoffs at BuyWithMe since Wednesday, when more than half the staff, at least 100 people, were laid off without warning or severance. There has been almost no word from the company or its management. As a result, we’ve had to rely mostly on anonymous sources who know bits and pieces. But over the last 24 hours, we’ve been able to put together some big pieces of the puzzle.
The statement released yesterday by CEO James Crowley, that the company was reorganizing to best serve its clients and customers, was disingenuous at best. Numerous sources Betabeat spoke with confirmed that BuyWithMe is looking to be acquired by a larger player in the daily deal space, and has been for some time now. The layoffs were intended to make it a more attractive purchase.
How did BuyWithMe end up in such dire straights? Betabeat has heard from a source that not only did the company purchase six smaller startups in the last six months, burning through some of its capital, but it also took out a $10 million debt round from its backers that was never disclosed to the press. That goes a long way towards explaining how the company got to where it is today.
Deal With It
UPDATE: A source familiar with the situation says BuyWithMe founder Andrew Moss based layoffs on a list of employees he liked and didn’t like.
A member of BuyWithMe’s engineering team who had a direct view to the company’s traffic numbers says that it never had any organic growth. “We would buy a new company Read More
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