A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Facebook Is Said to Create Mobile Location-Tracking App (Bloomberg)
Facebook Inc. (FB) is developing a smartphone application that will track the location of users, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The app, scheduled for release by mid-March, is designed to help users find nearby friends and would run even when the program isn’t open on a handset, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.
Understanding the Local Consumer’s Online Path to Purchase (Street Fight)
Todd Ebert: Consumers are using the web to become highly informed about everything they buy and what they see (or don’t see) about a business online affects whether they buy from that company. It’s much more complex and time-consuming for small businesses to reach these digital consumers than ever before, so it’s up to solutions providers to help clients create and sustain a total web presence.
Digital First Media is Working on Paywalls, Even Though It Really Doesn’t Want To (PaidContent)
Matthew Ingram: John Paton, the CEO of the Digital First Media chain, says that he doesn’t believe paywalls or subscription models are the solution to the industry’s problems, but he is experimenting with them anyway.
5 Misconceptions SMBs Have About Mobile Advertising (Street Fight)
Even as small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly warming to digital marketing, questions and misinformation persist about how mobile campaigns reach local consumers and influence their behavior. We asked a few folks who work in the mobile sphere to provide us a taste of the kind of concerns about mobile ads they’re hearing from SMBs.
Will “Stalking Apps” Be Stopped? (Time)
Locational privacy is the next frontier in the privacy wars. Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, has drafted a bill that would require companies to get customers’ consent before collecting data on their location or sharing it with non-government third parties. The act has solid bipartisan support, but the industry may yet succeed in blocking it.
Facebook Looking for Local Media Partners With ‘Reach and Relationships’ (Street Fight)
Sponsored Content: “In an ideal world, all SMBs would come to Facebook to manage their own pages,” said Dan Levy, the company’s director of small business. “But our recognition is that there are folks who have those trusted relationships with SMBs,” and Facebook wants to work with them.
City-Focused News App Spun Partners With A+E, AskMen, The Awl, And Others (TechCrunch)
Spun, a mobile app pulling together news stories relevant to your city, is announcing several content deals with well-known publishers, including A+E Networks, AskMen, Gothamist, Untapped Cities, The Awl Network, CultureMap, and “dozens” more. These deals are another way to make sure the app has plenty of locally relevant content and also suggests that content will cover a pretty broad spectrum, not just local news.
Meeteor Shuts Down — Can People Discovery Apps Keep Fighting? (PandoDaily)
Around this time last year we were firing up the hype machine for a class of startups focused on “people discovery” and “ambient social networking.” Since then, many have withered away or changed course. This weekend one such app we first covered shut down: Meeteor, a sort of professional matchmaking service which graduated from Dreamit Ventures accelerator, has closed its doors.
How Local Businesses Can Leverage New Facebook & Foursquare Features (SearchEngineLand)
Wesley Young: Facebook and Foursquare recently announced new features that will drastically change the ways local businesses leverage the social networks to build customer loyalty and drive new sales. As more local businesses and consumers find one another and interact via social media, it’s imperative that companies stay abreast of these latest changes.