A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Apple Acquires Indoor Location Company WifiSLAM (Wall Street Journal)
Apple has acquired indoor-GPS company WifiSLAM, a sign that the war over indoor mobile location services is heating up. Apple paid around $20 million for the Silicon Valley-based company, which developed ways for mobile apps to detect a phone user’s location in a building using Wi-Fi signals.
Local Retail Won’t Disappear — Mobile Will Transform the In-Store Experience (Street Fight)
“The changes in the next five years in retail will be more profound and transformational than the last 100 years in retail have been because largely because of mobile,” said Cyriac Roeding, CEO of Shopkick. “I don’t think people will go [to stores] because they need something. I don’t even think they’ll go because they want something. I think they’ll go because they want to feel better.”
Changing Trains: The Local East Village, NYU’s hyperlocal blog, Moves from The New York Times to New York Magazine (Nieman Lab)
After a two-and-a-half-year partnership with The New York Times, the newspaper is shutting down The Local: East Village and NYU is launching a similar collaboration with New York magazine. Coming later this spring: Bedford + Bowery, a blog that will expand its focus to include the East Village, the Lower East Side, and neighborhoods of Brooklyn (Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick).
6 Tools for Creating Performance-Based Offers (Street Fight)
As pure-play daily deals sites struggle to remain attractive to local merchants, a new model for offers is beginning to emerge. Rather than giving blanket discounts on general merchandise — a hallmark of the original Groupon deals — brand advertisers are increasingly opting to use performance-based offers as a way to drive traffic without necessarily hurting the bottom line. Here are six tools that merchants can use to create performance-based marketing offers.
Local Search Service Roamz Shifts Again – Now “Local Measure,” Startup Brings Geo-Based Data To Businesses (& Gets Them To Pay) (TechCrunch)
Roamz, a local search and discovery startup that has been struggling to gain traction as a consumer-facing service, is shifting its focus again. This time, it’s shopping its aggregated location-based data to businesses and retailers under new branding “Local Measure.” And though only a few weeks old, Local Measure already has paying customers, the company says.
The “Barbell Problem” in Media: The Ends are Fine, but the Middle is Getting Squeezed (PaidContent)
Matthew Ingram: Some of the larger traditional brands in journalism will probably wind up prospering in the new digital era, and some hyper-local ones will as well — but what happens to the players in the middle? Their future remains uncertain.
What’s in Your Digital Wallet? (Wall Street Journal)
The rise of digital wallets, which allow consumers to pay for purchases through mobile devices, is sparking a battle among payment networks, banks and technology firms over lucrative transaction data. Card companies such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express fear their access to information generated when a consumer swipes a credit or debit card is being blocked by some of the digital applications.
The Exciting Uncertainty At The Intersection Of Content And Commerce (TechCrunch)
Mike Jones: Content and commerce have always had a symbiotic relationship that many traditional content providers tried to separate. Depressed revenues, layoffs and shrinking bully pulpits are the results of an industry that doesn’t quite know how to monetize content beyond selling advertising space. Today’s successful digital companies know to blend content and commerce so that the content is compelling and, frankly, still sells stuff.