Yahoo jumps into the local deals game, partners with Groupon
Rumors continue to swirl that Yahoo would like to buy Groupon, the fast-growing group-buying service.
But Yahoo’s heart seems to be in partnerships these days, and the company announced on Tuesday that it had struck a deal to offer Groupon deals in its new local offers program.
Groupon is one of 20 partners in Yahoo’s local offers program, including Goldstar, ScoopSt and ValPak.
Yahoo executives, who briefed reporters about the new program at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, were tight-lipped when it came to describing what its local offers service would actually look like or when it would officially be introduced, noting that different iterations of the service were currently being “bucket tested” to users in the U.S.
The general idea of the program is to offer coupons from local merchants that are specially targeted to Yahoo users based on the users’ location and other data Yahoo has about the user (similar to the way Yahoo targets online ads to Web surfers).
Will the service be able to target mobile users with local deals from the various businesses near them as they move about town, similar to Facebook’s new deals program? Yahoo was mum on the subject.
Yahoo executives did say that the partnerships with the coupon providers entail a revenue sharing arrangement, but declined to provide more details.
Yahoo also said it had struck a deal with Twitter to allow users of its Yahoo Messenger instant messaging product to fire off Twitter messages directly from Messenger, and noted that it added the ability to post Facebook updates from Messenger as well.