A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
PayPal Refreshes Mobile App to Woo Shoppers and Fight Off Rivals (New York Times)
On Thursday, the company released a new version of its application for both iPhone and Android devices, one that it hopes will help increase adoption and secure the company’s footprint in the mobile e-commerce market. The company has reshuffled the main screen of its application to highlight the features that it hopes will appeal to users most: The ability to send money to friends or pay for certain items in some store.
GoDaddy Cleans Up Marketing and Simplifies Product for VSBs (Street Fight)
The internet services company announced a major rebrand this morning, chucking the racy ads and convoluted site for a cleaner product and entrepreneur-focused pitch aimed at repositioning GoDaddy as a small business marketing firm. The rebranding includes a new marketing campaign as well as a redesign of both the company’s site and its flagship website-building product.
Braintree Is On The Block, Had Acquisition Talks With Square (TechCrunch)
Chicago-based payments gateway Braintree is currently shopping itself around to potential acquirers, TechCrunch has learned. The company has been on the block for some time, having previously tried to work out a deal with Google which fell through. More recently, it had been in acquisition talks with Square, which also fell through, possibly because Braintree is asking for too high a valuation. Talks with PayPal, however, may still be ongoing.
Well-Funded SocialRadar Works on App for Local Social Discovery (Street Fight)
In April, Blackboard co-founder Michael Chasen founded a new venture called SocialRadar, planning to build a new app that will provide real-time location-specific information about people nearby. Eight weeks later, Chasen and his team raised nearly $13 million. We asked Chasen about how his quick and successful fundraise, how Blackboard informed the founded of SocialRadar, and why the world needs another social discovery app.
Last-Minute Deal App HotelTonight Raises $45 Million (Wall Street Journal)
HotelTonight, an app for last-minute hotel room deals, has raised $45 million — funds it hopes to use to expand into new international markets and to grow its workforce. The company, based in San Francisco, helps travelers find same-day discounts on empty hotel rooms through its mobile application by working with local hoteliers to source deals.
Case Study: Boosting Customer Retention With a Card-Based Program (Street Fight)
Local merchants need to keep their customer base in mind when deciding which hyperlocal loyalty platform to use. After experimenting with a mobile-only loyalty platform, Alex Su, the owner of Tpumps Tea Shop in San Mateo, Calif.,was surprised to learn that his customers weren’t as interested in earning rewards through their smartphones as he had previously thought. A different kind of loyalty program from FiveStars provided an alternative.
Retail Industry Remains the Largest Spender in U.S. Digital Advertising (eMarketer)
The U.S. retail industry’s advertising spending on paid digital media will hit $9.42 billion in 2013 and rise to $13.50 billion by 2017, for a 10.5% compound annual growth rate, according to a new eMarketer report. While gains in digital outlays have slowed over the past several years, retail remains the top spender among US industries and will retain this lead for the duration of the forecast period.
Authenticity Through Mobile Marketing (ClickZ)
As more and more online traffic is coming from mobile devices, marketers are scrambling trying to find ways to better expose people to their brands and messages in a natural way. When done successfully brands are finding ways to insert the brand into things that are happening for consumers at the moment based on where they are.
Placed Combines Location Data With Viewing Habits and Finds Some Funny Things (GigaOm)
Location analytics startup Placed has released a new report that ties the company’s fine-grained mobile-phone location data with a survey about users’ TV habits and interests. The findings are equal parts obvious, ironic and telling, but they’re all indicative of the future of polling.
Survey: 70% Want to Control Who Sees Their Digital Location (Screenwerk)
A new online privacy and security survey from Pew found that 70% of users wanted to “authorize” who accessed their location information. The US FTC and California consider geolocation to be a form of sensitive personal information worthy of greater protection. However, thus far, US courts in their various decisions have mostly considered it to be public information (e.g., movements being tracked).
Foursquare Aims To Improve Venue Database By Expanding Superuser Program (SearchEngineLand)
Foursquare’s superuser program, now 40,000 people strong, is getting an overhaul. The company says it’ll soon launch an automated test that will make it easier for users to become superusers — they’re the ones with special privileges to edit business listings and venues in Foursquare’s database of 55 million places. Until now, Foursquare’s six-person support team has manually reviewed all superuser applications.
LBMA Podcast: Ubimo and Belly Funded, Foursquare’s Pro-active Recs (Street Fight)
On the show: Foursquare’s proactive recommendations; McDonalds’ NFC Happy Table; JDS Uniphase launches Location Insight Services; 7Eleven invests in Belly with Andreessen Horowitz. Plus our featured app is CO Everywhere, our mobile minute with Chuck Martin looks at the biggest threat to your mobile strategy, and our special guest is journalist and author Nora Young.