ADOTAS – I was a little surprised last week when Groupon announced it had partnered with location-based mobile social network Loopt, serving location-relevant and time-limited Groupon Now deals to consumers through Loopt’s push-notification-based Rewards Alert system. Last month Groupon purchased Pelago, maker of Loopt competitor Whirrl, so I was expecting a mobile app for Groupon check-in deals and recommendations any day now.
Here comes another wrinkle — apparently Groupon CEO Andrew Mason has been dropping into Foursquare’s NYC headquarters as the two companies are putting together something big, something along the same lines as the Loopt deal. AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes couldn’t pry open Foursquare’s lips, but she did get a Groupon spokesperson to comment, “We see a lot of potential for Groupon Now! to be showcased via services like Loopt. No bigger picture to announce yet, but stay tuned for additional collaborations.”
While Foursquare is the leader in the seemingly tapped-out check-in space with 9 million users, Loopt has a not-shabby user base of 5 million. So perhaps Groupon is trying to impress some of these location-sharing exhibitionists before launching its own check-in service? Perhaps the company needs to iron out the real-time offers of Groupon Now? I’m not convinced the company isn’t planning on taking over the check-in space.