A curious pair of trends have trickled into Thursday's social tech headlines.
1.) If you own an iPhone 4S and opted to update your iOS to 5.1, congratulations, you now have a deeper Yelp integration than ever before. Before the update, if you asked Siri to tell you what restaurants were nearby, you'd be told where to eat merely based on what's around you geographically at the moment. That makes sense. But what if you want to know what's close by and also good? Well, screenwerk.com is reporting that before the update, you had to flip down to the very bottom of this list to see what the hive mind at Yelp recommends. Now, what's nearby is sorted by rating -- courtesy of Yelp. Though not a perfect system by any means: If I knew nothing about restaurants in town and trusted Yelp implicitly, I'd wander over to Alinea and find myself unable to get a table, or if I was, be in for a sizable bill when all I wanted was a slice of pizza and not outer-space baby food from and freeze-dried, dangling strips of Kobe beef. (Which is what I was served, I think, the last time I was there.)
If you don't have Yelp, if you tap on a rating you'll automatically be taken to the app store to get Yelp. While screenwerk says this feature was "nearly worthless" before, I don't think that's exactly true -- but it does seem like a missed opportunity for Groupon to get in on, particularly for its GrouponNow deals. Imagine if you wanted to find a place to eat, and Siri could sort it not only by Yelp ratings but also by who's nearby and also offering deals at this very moment. That might be just the thing Groupon needs to help it catch on, since, as Crain's reported Wednesday, GrouponNow "isn't getting much traction."
2.) Where Groupon is getting traction, however, is among Hispanics. PR Urgent, a press release service, says "Hispanics are major-seekers of daily deals, having almost zero qualms filling inboxes with an endless procession of promotional emails in exchange for huge deals." And when they seek daily deals, they tend to favor Groupon. Well, you know what they say about statistics. Still, it's an interesting factoid.
As of press time, Groupon's stock is at $16.89.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.