Facebook and Google Getting In On Daily Deals

When it comes to Daily Deal sites, the question used to be, When will Facebook and Google be major players? Well, it seems the social network and search engine giant are more than ready to play in that space.

Speaking earlier this month at the Daily Deal Summit in New York, Yipit co-founder/CEO Vinicius Vacanti said both Facebook and Google have shown signs that they want to enter the rapidly-growing flash sales space.

Facebook has shown it can be a social aggregator, which is Yipit’s role in the Daily Deal industry. That means Facebook is collecting deals from business partners including Gilt City and HomeRun.com and relying on Facebook users to share their enthusiasm and experience with their friends.

What’s more, with the information Facebook has on each of its members, Vacanti says the social media powerhouse offers a great personalization model that will help it distribute the right offers at the right time.

Vacanti says Facebook’s success as an aggregator will depend on how well Facebook Places, its geolocation app, takes off. Vacanti says he can see Facebook following geolocation site Foursquare’s lead of offering deals at places its users are checking in at specific restaurants and stores.

While Facebook is taking the aggregation route, Google launched Google Offers in January as a competitor to Groupon. Google Offers enables businesses to create their own deals and offer them to the Google audience via an “offers” tab.

Google, too, can offer personalization through a few avenues. One is through Gmail, as Google announced this month it would offer personalized ads based on a user’s Gmail conversations. The other is through Google AdSense, which has been used by Groupon to pitch targeted deals to potential buyers.

Though it’s a self-serve model, Vacanti says the platform Google has in place allows it to compete with Groupon’s 3,000-person sales force.