A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Gowalla Co-Founder Josh Williams to Depart Facebook (AllThingsD)
Josh Williams, co-founder of the location-based check-in startup Gowalla (which was “acqu-hired” by Facebook in 2012), plans to soon leave the social giant, according to sources familiar with the situation. After joining Facebook in 2012, Williams became Product Manager for Facebook Pages, Locations and Events, where he most recently revamped the Pages product with a focus on user ratings and reviews, an apparent affront to a comparable competitor like Yelp.
Why Are These 5 Apps Tracking Your Location? (Street Fight)
Data privacy has become a particularly prickly issue in the mobile marketing space. As brands shift more and more of their marketing budgets to mobile initiatives, many want to emulate the behavioral targeting of a data-rich desktop environment on the cookie-less mobile medium. A number of mobile apps have started collecting user location information despite the fact that it’s not particularly relevant to their function. Here are a few that might surprise you.
The False Hope of Hyperlocal (Digiday)
Once expected to fill the void left by shrinking and shuttering local newspapers, community-based digital news sites have not taken off quite the way the New York Times predicted. Local businesses were never willing to fork over big dollars for banner ads, and national advertisers targeting local audiences never materialized, leaving hyperlocal sites with sizable revenue shortfalls. And since the height of hyperlocal optimism in 2009, advertising has grown better at targeting local audiences, essentially rendering the ads available on hyperlocal news sites irrelevant.
6 ‘Microfencing’ Tools for Retailers (Street Fight)
Dozens of popular geofencing platforms help retailers generate foot traffic — but what happens after these potential customers cross a store’s threshold is anyone’s guess. In an effort to drive traffic to specific points inside their stores — like special displays, brand kiosks, or promoted products — retailers and brand manufacturers are beginning to utilize “microfencing” solutions from indoor navigation vendors. Here are six tools that retailers and brands can use for in-store “microfencing.”
Does In-Store Location Tracking Cross The “Creepy Line”? (MarketingLand)
Greg Sterling: While indoor location is an emerging technology segment and privacy standards have not yet been fully developed, it would be a mistake to see it as malevolent or ominous. Not only are indoor location technologies extremely valuable to retailers (for analytics purposes), they have the very real potential to generate much improved customer experiences in stores.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ Loyalty Marketing Has ‘Real-Time’ Needs (AdExchanger)
The use of data tied to a consumer’s brand loyalty remains data-driven “gold” to marketers. And as addressability propagates across digital and offline channels, the importance of a loyalty strategy only strengthens. Scott Hudler, VP of global consumer engagement for Dunkin’ Brands, discussed the decision and loyalty marketing today.
Use Twitter Cards For Branding & Local SEO (SearchEngineLand)
For small business blogs, Twitter cards can be great for online brand development. Similar to rich snippets in search engine results, the enhanced layout makes the account’s tweets more noticeable and engaging, causing their links to appear more legitimate, thereby reducing consumers’ hesitancy to click through. Some tweet pages get indexed by search engines, and the Twitter Card contents get indexed with them.
Voice Media Group Relaunches ‘Best Of’ App (SocialTimes)
Voice Media Group has updated its BestOf app to help readers navigate the best local entertainment, restaurants, and bars in their cities through the eyes of alternative newspapers including LA Weekly and the Village Voice. Readers can also contribute to upcoming issues by using the app to vote in the readers’ poll, the results of which will ultimately be shared with the website and print versions of the alternative weeklies.
The Tech Behind Mapping Shootings In Chicago (Chicago Tribune)
The Chicago Tribune debuted a new shootings map recently, which tracks where and when people are shot in Chicago, a city that’s seen more than 1,000 people shot in the first six months of 2013. It is, unfortunately, a boom time for Chicago crime coverage; the Sun-Times has a Homicide Watch instance going, and DNAInfo has an interactive homicide timeline. Here’s how the Tribune put it together.
Boston-Based Local Marketing Startup Privy Raises $1.7 Million Seed Round From 500 Startups, Atlas, And Others (TechCrunch)
Privy, a Boston-based local marketing startup that was also one of the standouts from the 500 Startups Demo Day this past February, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from Atlas Ventures, 500 Startups, and others for its end-to-end solution for small businesses. After participating in the 500 Startups program, the company shifted more of its resources toward another sector within the small business market: the multi-unit regional and national chains which already have a marketing manager or team in place.