Last month we reported on a new experiment Yelp was running that put it in competition with the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial: time-sensitive daily deals, offering steep discounts at local businesses that users can pre-purchase. Reached for comment at the time, the company said that it was “always testing new things” and also pointed out some of the previous marketing programs it’s run over the years (it was essentially downplaying the experimental local deals).
Today, the company is making things a bit more official: it’s announced a new sneak peek on its blog that says it’s now offering local deals in San Diego, with plans to expand to San Francisco, New York, and other cities in the near future.
As we’ve noted before, this is a perfect fit for Yelp (and doesn’t really come as a surprise). The site has a sizable audience of 36 million users a month who already view it as a hub for information on local businesses — deals, which have proven to be immensely lucrative for Groupon, are a logical extension of that.