Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.
After testing for three months with select users, GroupMe is officially moving its Groupon-like Experiences service out of private beta and into the larger New York market.
As TNW previously detailed in July, the debut of Experiences was a bold move on GroupMe’s part, expanding the Skype/Microsoft-owned messaging service with a head-first dive into payments and event discovery. At the time, GroupMe described Experiences as “the easiest way to do something awesome with your friends.” Here’s the pitch:
With Experiences, you can browse an always-fresh, curated list of awesome activities and events that we’ve tailored especially for groups. Choose one, and rally your friends using a personalized plan page we’ll create for you. We have an awesome group-payment system so whatever you’re up to — be it a birthday dinner or a week at Coachella — we can help you split the bill. In other words, each of your friends pays his or her share in advance, so no one has to fight over the check or front money ever again.
Now, the service is open to the public with two new, highly requested features: “an optimized mobile web view and, for some Experiences, variable group sizes so users can choose how many friends to bring along.” In addition to these updates, a number of new offers are also going up today — featuring partnerships with Rent the Runway and The Guggenheim.
The group-focused nature Experiences certainly fits well with GroupMe’s core, and along with that, the excitement and exclusivity angle could end up being more appealing than Groupon’s angle of finding the cheapest deal of the moment. The real test starts now as the service expands to all NYC residents and tourists — a decently sized, diverse pool of some 8 million potential customers. As for the rest of the country, GroupMe tells TNW that it has plans to roll out its offering to more US cities in 2013.
You can learn more and try out the service for yourself via the link below:
Image credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images
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