What PEOPLESTRING CORP (OTC:PLPE) and Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) have in common is: Coupons. What they don’t have in common is PLPE’s patent pending "Insta Portal" technology which allows users to import pieces of their favorite websites into their own PeopleString homepage.
History shows us that “Communication Companies” like to expand by their very nature, and short of violating anti-trust laws, I’m all for that; a proponent of the free markets. In the last century, newspapers added ‘lifestyle’ sections, real estate sections, a Sunday magazine with a little bit of everything, and then bought a TV station, a radio station, a cable company, and eventually an internet space. And the irony was of course that the ‘expanded products’ wound up supporting the declining newspaper business.
As things on the net have developed to date, search engines became e-mail providers and some innovation, almost as a ‘pure play’ has evolved, as other innovations have fallen to the wayside. Of course those ‘pure plays’ had their predecessors; AOL forming a ‘community’ and MySpace leading to Facebook.
Twitter emerges and another ‘pure play’ called GroupOn emerges and the evolving technology leads to a model that is really very, very good at one particular task or duty. Of course ‘copycats’ and 'offsprings' come about; and acquisitions, such as the Google+ social network with a ‘guesstimated’ 90 million users trying to buy Twitter early last year; which at $10 billion offered was a ‘no go.’ The hunter becoming the hunted, 250 million people ‘Tweet’ each day and the Company, like Facebook is waiting to capitalize in the public markets on its value.
Local discounts from merchants were already being offered on local portals when GroupOn came along and sort of “Nationalized and Standardized” the coupon experience and in going public cemented its place as a one-of-a-kind brand and technology. GRPN worldwide active users, those who bought a deals coupon, at the end of December, posted a 275% increase from the same period a year earlier.
Is Becoming a Hybrid All That’s Left?
I think that looking at PLPE will give an investor an ‘insight or two’ into that question. PeopleString is currently both a ‘coupon’ site via its "Share It Up" technology and a social networking site via its "Insta Portal" technology which allows users to import pieces of their favorite websites into their own PeopleString homepage. It’s like Facebook meets GroupOn.
The PeopleString social network and portal ran a thirty-second television commercial, which has been booked to run over 13,000 times in February, and features the Company’s new jingle and the “I People Stringed My” slogan: "I People Stringed My Couch" for example.
The television campaign is part of the company’s new initiative to raise awareness for the PeopleString Social Network & Portal where members share in the revenue the company generates. Sharing revenue may lead to yet another portal, which I mentioned above, could lead to the irony of ‘expanded products’ becoming the ‘primary product.’
The 13th annual Reputation Quotient Study by Harris of 17,000 people asking about net attributes, including emotional appeal, products and services, social responsibility, vision and leadership, workplace environment and financial performance had Facebook receiving a reputation rating bordering between fair and good, falling short of very good and excellent.
So there is room for PLPE to make gains in market-share. Obviously ‘reputation’ is key to keeping people as members. If PLPE does find its “Singular Voice” it will no doubt, like Twitter, become an acquisition target.
There are “One-of-a-Kind” Internet business models which of late all seem to be focused on APPs and mobile ease-of-use parameters.
At giant conglomerates and at angel-funded start-ups, a lot of very, very smart people spend their working day on thinking of “What’s Next?”
If I come across it, I’ll let you know.
I haven’t, don’t, and do not intend on holding any of the companies mentioned in this article.