Last week, Facebook revealed that it was shutting down its Deals product (though it’s keeping check-in deals).
“Facebook deals relied heavily on inbound sales which even for someone with as large a user base as Facebook that clearly missed the mark,” Yuupon CEO Mary Song, who predicted the demise of Facebook Deals told WebProNews. “Daily deals are not as easy to source as Groupon and LivingSocial make it appear. Additionally Facebook users belong to Facebook primarily to keep in touch with friends and family, people didn’t join Facebook to receive marketing messages. There are so many deals available today that people opt to receive that getting them to dig to find Facebook deals is easy to see in hindsight was not a winning strategy.”
It has also been reported that Yelp is cutting 15 of its Deals positions, indicating that the company is also putting a little less emphasis on its deals offering.
Google, on the other hand, who tried to buy Groupon for $6 billion appears to be pushing its Google Offers product even harder. According to Reuters, Google even featured an offer right on the Google.com homepage on Wednesday. That’s a major piece of online real estate right there.
Google has a lot of various products that it could integrate offers with and have a potentially huge impact on the deals industry should it make its way into more markets. Right now, it’s only available in the following markets:
“We occasionally include a link on the Google homepage that points users to important information, whether it be about a relevant cause, a new product or an offer,” a Google spokesperson is quoted as saying. “Users can benefit from learning about great deals from local organizations.”
This is just a reminder that Google is very powerful when it comes to making something visible if it wants to. Expect to see offers not only on the home page (though I don’t expect this to happen all the time), but in the Gmail inbox, Place Pages, Google+, Google Wallet, paid ads in search, and probably other Google products.