Groupon clone Google Offers launches in limited markets

Google’s foray into the group buying realm that was born from a failed attempt to purchase Groupon has launched for a few markets in beta.

Google’s Groupon has a slightly confusing sign in landing page- I couldn’t tell if it was only launching in Portland, or if the other areas offered in the drop-down were also available. Listed on the page are Oakland/East Bay and San Francisco in California, Portland, Oregon and Uptown, Downtown and Midtown Manhattan.

As to when the offers will begin rolling in or what products exactly are on offer remains to be seen. Google has added a vague video that suggests the service could focus on… claymation classes? (Actually, it rolls through clay tacos, phones, cupcakes, flowers and shoes, all items that would be in line with current Groupon offerings.)

Sign-up was easy- I was able to eventually opt-in to uptown, midtown and downtown Manhattan from the same account. (I know Groupon kind of makes you feel like you have to move permanently from one city to another if, for instance, you live on Long Island but want to opt into a Manhattan deal.)

Do you think that Google will be taking Groupon down one way or another? Or are group-buyers going to stick with what they know? Will there be an app like Groupon’s iPhone app to allow users to redeem coupons?