On May 10 international daily deals and group buying suite Groupon announced the launch of its new time-based deals app Groupon Now, which aims to provide users with instantly redeemable offers.

Groupon Now was first announced by the company earlier this year in March, yet the alteration to the Groupon application was not launched until May 10.

The Groupon Now addition to the mobile app gives users the opportunity to find Hyperlocal deals in real time and businesses the chance to bring in customers at times when business is normally slow, over a specific time period on a specific day - for example 3-4pm on Thursday.

A customer in the vicinity can check their smartphone to receive information on the daily deals currently available in the immediate vicinity and purchase the deal. A coded receipt will then be sent to the buyer's smart phone which can be scanned by the vendor when the buyer claims the deal.

Groupon illustrated the new service with an explanatory video which is available to watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgk1YfInZoM.

Currently Groupon Now is only available in Chicago, though it could potentially expand to other cities if it proves successful. The service is available through an update to Groupon's apps in the iOS app store and Android marketplace.  

Daily deals are available through Groupon at www.groupon.com; one of the site's main rivals is Amazon's Living Social www.livingsocial.com which also offers daily deals on products and services in cities throughout the world.

Other companies are also experimenting with the group buying and daily deal models - Google is currently trialing Google Offers ( https://www.google.com/offers) and Facebook Deals ( http://www.facebook.com/deals) is available across some European and American cities.