Today in Social

It may be a rumor, but it’s a good one, and it’s got the digerati buzzing. BoomTown hears that Google might be in the market to acquire Groupon, the hottest name in social commerce. Over at Business Insider, Henry Blodget thinks it’s a great idea, because Google’s cash is burning a hole in its pocket, it needs some new revenue streams, and it’s bad at all things social. (He thinks social media may threaten Google’s core business; I’m skeptical.) An acquisition, rather than a more nebulous partnership, makes sense for several reasons. Google would get a big salesforce with ties to local merchants. Groupon’s pitch to those merchants is customer acquisition – rather than actual sales – and Google could offer complementary paid search and display ad services. Google might be able to help Groupon with its own customer acquisition, although Google would have to balance the value of house ads versus paid-for inventory, as well as appease competitors.