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Why Brands Are the Key to GroupMe’s New Business
adAge.com/DigitalNext – by ADAM BROITMAN
As planners seek to extract greater insights from social media, tech entrepreneurs are inventing new ways to engage the social consumer. Last year we saw the growth and consolidation of startups like Beluga, Fast Society, Kik, Yobongo, Text Plus, which offered to make group messaging simpler and more effective. From this pack emerged GroupMe, which recently launched a product called “Experiences” a platform that may hold the keys to a new wave of insights from social media.
On the surface, one might think this product is the newest competitor to Groupon or Living Social. Each service is based on the notion of group buying. With Groupon the idea is if X number of people purchase something, everyone saves money. With GroupMe, the idea is not that people will save money by buying during the same time window, but that they will be able to organize outings that are “the easiest way to do something awesome with your friends.”
An example of a GroupMe Experience is the Long Island Bike Odyssey, in which friends can share a bike tour on the north shore of Long Island. The trip includes wine tasting, lunch and other amenities. The platform makes it simple to organize and pay for the experience, alleviating the usual hassles that individuals might encounter when trying to organize a group outing.
Upon learning about the details of this new platform, my inner strategic planner asked, “What is the opportunity for brands?” It became clear that there are two:
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