Game On, Groupon. LivingSocial Makes a Splash

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UPDATE: Looks like Google is about to get in on the game, too. This fact sheet uncovers Google Offers. That didn't take long, after Groupon famously rebuffed Google's $6 billion buyout offer.

In one swift motion, LivingSocial emerged this week as Groupon’s most serious competitor. On Wednesday morning, January 19, LivingSocial offered a $20 Amazon.com gift card for $10. And by that same evening, 1,000,000 had been sold – at a rate of 85 per second. That’s faster than any of Groupon’s deals including The Gap, which sold about 10 per second.

Of course, Amazon invested $175 million in LivingSocial in December 2010. It makes sense, then, that LivingSocial’s coming out party was hosted by Amazon. It’s particularly interesting that the first big deal from the newcomer is an online deal. While LivingSocial also offers localized, brick-and-mortar deals, the Amazon coupon has done enough to claim some online-only mindshare with consumers and advertisers. Groupon, on the other hand, has branded itself as a local deal site.

LivingSocial might have delivered a very public uppercut to Groupon but they are hardly the only ones looking for a piece of the group-sourced pie. Yelp.com recently started offering daily deals, YouSwoop and Woot.com have been around a while, Restaurant.com is in the mix, Tippr.com is new but gaining momentum and Facebook has been very quiet about their daily deal offerings … for now.

Your move, Groupon.

 
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