A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
LivingSocial Beta Tests Premium Membership Program (Local Onliner)
LivingSocial is testing a new premium membership model branded as “LivingSocial Plus Beta.” For $20 a month, members would receive $25 in Deal Bucks and for the first time, a chance to break into some expired deals. For LivingSocial, the membership opportunity is clear: they can guarantee at least one purchase a month from well-heeled consumers.
Walmart Had a Pretty Good Foursquare Black Friday (Ad Age)
Matt Carmichael: While Foursquare’s audience isn’t all of America whereas Walmart’s customer base is, there’s clearly an intersection and resonance between the two. The numbers show that Walmart continues its dominance as a top-tier retailer on Foursquare, right up there with barista-badge-bestowing Starbucks.
Yipit Secretly Tests Its New Foursquare Integration (TheNext Web)
Yipit has been testing its new service “Yipit Social“, which will show you deals at places your friends have checked into on Foursquare. It’s currently a private, new feature that you must be invited to join. Once you connect your Foursquare account to Yipit, Yipit Social will notify you when there are deals at places you and your friends frequently check-in to.
Amazon Announces Holiday Daily Deals Site, ‘Flurry Deals’ (TechCrunch)
It’s Cyber Monday all month long, at least according to Amazon, which announced its new holiday deals vertical. The site currently features decently discounted items as an extension of the Cyber Monday promotion.
Starwood Hotels Extends Loyalty Program To China’s Equivalent Of Foursquare (PSFK)
Following Starwood Hotels‘ partnership with Foursquare earlier this year, it is now expanding its customer loyalty program into China by partnering with Jiepang, one of the country’s leading location-based services. Guests who regularly stay at Starwood can earn ‘Starpoints’ and rewards by checking in via Jiepang at over 200 of the group’s hotels & resorts in Asia Pacific.
Groupon Mix-Up Leads to Elf Reisgnation, Chaos at Santa’s Grotto (Telegraph)
Foul-mouthed parents verbally abused Santa’s elves and fairies at a Christmas grotto when they heard their Groupon deal promising a magical Christmas train ride was invalid. Groupon had mistakenly sent an email to customers saying that there would be a train ride around the winter wonderland.