Ladies and gentlemen, we have now officially entered the next phase in Groupon clones: St. Charles-based ImIn.com has replaced most of the written aspects of group-deal sites with in-house videos. The site, which launched only this month, is still fairly spartan, but it's already carved out a clear template for the months ahead.
It also seems ImIn.com is specializing in offering deals from restaurants and businesses from suburbs around Chicagoland and not the city itself, so far. A photography studio in Bolingbrook and a bakery in Westmont are two recent deals that suggest that.
And you know, it's surprising we haven't seen more videos on sites like this earlier. After all, seeing and hearing about a restaurant on Check, Please! is far more enticing and informative than sifting through a couple goofy paragraphs and then seeing an image of a cat. But we'll see if ImIn.com is just another wannabe or if it's bold enough to legitimately become part of the conversation.