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Instagram . The free app exclusive to the iPhone and iPod touch is described by its creators as the “fun & quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo, then choose a filter to transform the look and feel of the shot into a memory to keep around forever.” Some people love Instagram, yours truly and Robert Scoble among the more notable ones, with many others loathing the app for a variety of reasons, most recently the app’s security flaws .
When the video of the door that unlocks with Foursquare check-ins went viral, I decided to go see how it works--and whether I could get my own. It was tempting to whip out my phone, check in and walk right upstairs, announcing that I didn't know where I was--just that I was blindly following my MapQuest. Instead, I fired off a tweet ahead of time and was greeted by Nick Hall , a Brooklyn Web developer at Apartm.net who happens to have built this little piece of Foursquarey magic right up the street from me in Brooklyn. Hall and his brother Erin Sparling , also a Web developer, installed the Foursquare door a couple of months ago as a way to let their underlings neighborhood friends and allies enter the office. He took me through the door system and the rest of his uber-wired stuff, which include a home-built touch-screen media system, improvised satellite T1 connection, and a coffee table made of an Apple X-serve.
This week was dominated by the deal that didn’t happen. While the rumored $6 billion acquisition of Groupon by Google fell through Friday night, the drama set tongues wagging this week, seemed to spur action among local e-commerce rivals and prompted a lot of thought about the future of local social shopping. So to recap, here’s a look back at This Week in Groupon . First, why the interest in Groupon in particular and social local shopping in general? Groupon, which offers daily deals to customers and delivers mobs of customers to local merchants who sign up, is generating between $500 million and $2 billion a year and has deployed an army of sales people to sign up local merchants.
Update: this post was picked up by Mashable , Business Insider , Screenwerk and was the top story on Techmeme on October 24, 2010. Update: full details of the program are available here . Groupon is quietly testing a self-serve deal platform for merchants to manage real time offers for consumers named Groupon Stores. According to Groupon, this is the future of the company: “Groupon Stores is a place where your favorite, local businesses can sign up, create a store page, and post deals at anytime for you to see. Welcome to the future of Groupon.”