Reading List: Missing Groupon’s Red Flags

Each day we provide a roundup of five stories from around the Web that our editors read and found noteworthy. Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day @digiday.

Groupon’s Deal of the Day is Regrets: Reading Andrew Ross Sorkin’s column in the New York Times on Tuesday, which highlighted the numerous red flags missed by potential investors in Groupon, one has to wonder, why in god’s name didn’t the company take Google’s $6 billion offer late last year. Groupon CEO Andrew Mason surely knew how many problems the company had when it comes to revenue coming in versus marketing and acquisition dollars going out — and just how shaky the company’s long-term prospects looked. Why not jump at the money? Now it seems that Groupon desperately needs its IPO just to pay bills it has already incurred. NYT — Mike Shields @digitalshields
Facebook’s Gaming Audience Shrinks Overnight: Social gaming continues to boom, allowing companies such as Zynga to build robust businesses from virtual farmyards and Scrabble pieces. Much of that success is owed to Facebook’s developer platform, though, through which most major games are syndicated. Yesterday the social network dealt a huge blow to the owners of those games, altering the way it measures unique users and effectively slashing their audiences as a result. AllThingsD — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall
Tweet of the Day: The digital marketing manager at Seamless is not a fan of ad networks. — Sara Livingtson, @saralivingston

Moot is Unimpressed: Facebook and Google might be the belles of the ball with investors, advertisers and hundreds of millions of consumers, but they’re doing it wrong, according to Christopher Poole, better known as Moot, the founder of Internet meme site 4chan. In Poole’s view, the Internet giants have a confused and disingenuous view of identity. To them, their social networks are a mirror of who people are. That’s obviously untrue, unless everyone has the fabulous lives they choose to share on Facebook. Poole is an advocate of anonymity, a feature that is a bedrock of 4chan and has fed its creativity as well as its seedier aspects. This is a debate that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon as society grapples with what it means when a couple of huge private, for-profit companies wield so much power over personal identity. ReadWriteWeb — Brian Morrissey @bmorrissey

Google Wants Your Wallet: Google today introduced new features to its Google Wallet service, allowing consumers to shop and redeem coupons with a single tap using NFC technology. Although the Google Wallet works with more than 20 retailers, including Macy’s, OfficeMax and Toys “R” Us, it is only supported on the Sprint’s Nexus S 4G Smartphone, and this will keep Google offering ploys of every kind to get consumers to see it as worth a switch from iPhone or BB. Google will have to do much more than offer local deals, however, to make consumers shift to NFC-based payments, even if the service will be offered on other phones. Google can’t replicate the Amazon experience or fully integrate social into its Wallet, so the “why switch” question will linger for consumers. EWeek — Carla Rover @carlarover
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