A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Pew Study: 18% Of U.S. Smartphone Owners Use Check-In Apps (TechCrunch)
According to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the popularity of check-in apps continues to grow, though it still isn’t quite mainstream yet. Pew’s latest survey found that in February 2012, 18% of U.S. smartphone owners over 18 used geosocial check-in apps like Foursquare. That’s up from 12% in May 2011.
Journatic CEO: Efficiencies Make Hyperlocal Work (NetNewsCheck)
Brian Timpone, the company’s CEO, said that Journatic’s real value to publishers lies in its ability to absorb the more menial aspects of community reporting — the city council agendas and police blotters — freeing staffers to focus on more meaningful, nuanced stories. Such efficiencies, he said, can save publishers millions of dollars over time.
PayPal’s Key to Winning Mobile Payments: Data (GigaOm)
PayPal is in a unique position to use its growing cache of user data to create a better experience for consumers and more valuable services for merchants, said PayPal’s chief scientist Mok Oh, who has been with the company for a little over a year after the acquisition of WHERE.
Circle: If Highlight And Path Had A Beautiful Ambient Location Child (TechCrunch)
Alexia Tsotsis: The people behind college flirting network Likealittle have launched a new app, Circle, that attempts to be more granular and thoughtful about the burgeoning ambient location space. Overall the initial interface looks like what would happen if Steve Jobs had designed Google+’ Circles
Geofeedia Helps Journalists Locate Real-time Photos, Tweets Where News Breaks (Poynter)
The service enables location-based searches for social media content. Users can type in a place name, address, even the name of a sports venue, or they can simply outline an area on a map. The service will display the latest geotagged content — from Twitter, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr and YouTube — within that area.
Groupon Rewards Rolls Out Nationally (Local Onliner)
Groupon Rewards — “the easiest rewards program in the world” — rolled out nationally this week after tests in 36 markets that began in October. The product is Groupon’s answer to the emerging “transaction marketing” space that many believe will be the natural successor to the daily deals business.