One of the new products that Yahoo introduced at this week's Web 2.0 Summit conference as part of its ongoing attempt to turn its brand around was Yahoo Local Deals, an aggregator of discount-distribution sites like Groupon and LivingSocial that have fast become one of the hottest new ways for local businesses to advertise.
It's not quite clear how Yahoo's product will be structured. But they're certainly veering into the territory of start-ups like Yipit, which already offer similar services and say they can do it better. "I was surprised they are only working with 16 partners," Yipit co-founder Vinicius Vacanti told CNET when asked for his take on Yahoo Local Deals. "Yipit currently aggregates over 130 daily deal services creating a much more comprehensive experience. If users rely on Yahoo for their daily deals, they will be missing out on 80 percent of the deals."
That said, Yahoo does ultimately want to add more partners to the Local Deals lineup. Yipit is expanding, too, with the launch of nationwide deals for discounts on e-commerce and big retailers. "Magazines, vertical Web sites, TV shows, and other big media brands with a large nationwide audience are eager to get into the daily deal space and will be focusing on nationwide deals rather than local deals," Vacanti said.
He did, however, have good things to say about Yahoo's emergence into deals in the first place, suggesting that it may make profits better for the individual deals companies themselves, which, in the old tech-industry speak of "validating the space," could indeed mean more business for Yipit.
"Yahoo's announcement is great for the industry," Vacanti added. "They have significant traffic and will help drive significant sales for all of the daily deal sites they are working with."