A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Google Gives Business Owners A Single Place Online To See All Their Customers’ Reviews (TechCrunch)
Verified business owners who are already using the recently updated Places for Business user interface can now go to their profiles, where they’ll find a new “Reviews” section. There, they will find all of their customers’ online reviews and be able to respond to them. The service also offers some basic review analytics so businesses can track how their reputation changes over time.
How Reviews and Ratings are Driving Local Search (Street Fight)
Joe Morsello: Despite the tremendous amount of press we have seen on fake reviews, ongoing interest in reviews by consumers and local search providers make it clear that these services aren’t going away. As platforms give reviews more importance and improve their ability to filter out fake ones — and government officials crack down on dishonest practices — consumer trust and use of reviews can only be expected to grow.
Harman, Placecast Test In-car Radio Ads That Know Where You Are (GigaOm)
Harman’s Aha Radio and location-based advertising firm Placecast are testing out a new ad format on vehicles embedded with Aha’s internet radio and content streaming system. When Placecast’s geofencing technology detects you’re near an advertising partner’s retail store or restaurant, Aha will insert an audio and visual ad into its internet radio stream that will give you the option of receiving an email coupon for goods or services
5 Signs That It’s Time for Your Hyperlocal Company to Pivot (Street Fight)
The majority of hyperlocal startups will pivot at least once in their lifetimes. Many will pivot two or even three times. But as a founder who’s looking to steer his or her company in the right direction, it can be difficult to determine whether to keep plowing forward with an original concept or go a new direction. Here are five signs that it’s time for your hyperlocal startup to pivot, from industry leaders who’ve been there before.
Uber Customer Claims Abuse And Assault By Driver. Uber Confirms: Yes, He Works For Us (PandoDaily)
A San Francisco man has told PandoDaily that he was verbally abused and physically assaulted by an UberX driver Saturday night, and has shared video and documentary evidence to support his account. When you open your home, car, or self up to interactions with strangers through a web platform, this kind of stuff occasionally happens. It’s the difference between a company being a platform — matching providers with users — and it being the provider itself.
#SFSNYC VIDEO: How Big Data Is Revolutionizing Retail (Street Fight)
In a panel at Street Fight Summit in New York last month, experts from the retail analytics space explored the ways big data is transforming the retail industry. Nomi CRO Wesley Barrow and RetailNext CEO Alexei Agratchev talked about how retailers can maximize profit from the moment a shopper walks into their store.
After Acquiring The Online Reservation Startup, Yelp Adds Option To Book SeatMe Reservations From Its Listings (TheNextWeb)
Yelp today introduced a new feature that lets users book SeatMe reservations directly from its service’s restaurant and nightlife venue listings. Yelp says its SeatMe reservation feature helps consumers “seamlessly close that loop between discovering a great local business and experiencing the best that business has to offer.”
eBay Makes Same-Day Delivery Service Free for Holidays (Mashable)
eBay announced Monday in a blog post that it will waive the $5 fee on its same-day delivery service from now through Christmas Eve as part of its fight to win the holiday shopping season. Customers can place orders online or through eBay’s iPhone and Android apps, and are told to expect deliveries within one hour.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Says Events Are The One Thing The Company Can Do Better (TheNextWeb)
“When there are events in the world, the event and the conversation surrounding it unfold on Twitter, the entirety of the experience of that event can be much more rich and engaging and deep on Twitter,” said Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. “The challenge when you try to put these event experiences on Twitter is that if you only show the best tweets, you lose the roar of the crowd that really makes Twitter awesome.”
You Can Now Pay By E-ZPass At Some Wendy’s Drive-Thrus On Staten Island (New York Post)
A new service called iDriveThru will allow fast-food customers to use E-ZPass tags to pay for drive-thru meals. Five Wendy’s restaurants in Staten Island are currently part of the program, which reads E-ZPass tags and links purchases to credit or debit card inform.