A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Groupon Finalizes $260 Million Deal for Ticket Monster, LivingSocial’s Korean Business (ReCode)
Groupon announced Thursday that it had closed its acquisition of Ticket Monster, the Korean deals company owned by LivingSocial. Groupon said it paid $260 million in total for Ticket Monster — $160 million in stock and $100 million in cash. A look at Ticket Monster’s financials suggest that Groupon didn’t acquire it for the business it is now, but for what it thinks it can be down the line.
How Community News Sites Can Get the Most Out of Facebook (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: To get specific about how publishers can maximize their presence on the biggest social media platform, I went to Jake Batsell, who is writing a forthcoming book on audience engagement. Here’s what he told me, based on more than a hundred interviews and visits to many old and new media community news operations.
Uber Driver Hits, Kills Six-year-old Girl. Is “Not our Problem” Still an Appropriate Response? (Pando)
On New Year’s Eve, a few hours before the city’s festivities kicked into gear, an Uber driver hit three pedestrians, killing one of them. Six-year-old San Francisco resident Sophia Liu died after being transported to San Francisco General Hospital. After learning of Liu’s death, Uber was quick to point out — arguably in an attempt to distance itself from culpability — that the driver wasn’t carrying an Uber passenger at the time of the accident.
Openings and New Hires at Whitepages, Advance Digital, LocalBlox & Topix (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, Search Influence’s Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. In this week’s edition, new hires and jobs at AT&T, VendAsta, LinkedIn, AOL, and more.
Shopify Revamps Its iOS App With A Focus On Payments And Store Management (TechCrunch)
Ottawa-based ecommerce player Shopify introduced a totally redesigned version of its iOS mobile app today, with a new core concept that focuses on helping merchants do more to manage and run their stores from their devices. And in keeping with their new strategy post-gigantic raise, the company is looking to help both online and offline retailers in one package with the new app.
Thinking about Local (and Mobile) in 2014 (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: In the broadest sense the major change in “local” over the past two years has been the tectonic shift to mobile and multi-platform and their implications for merchants and marketers, consumer behavior, offline ROI tracking and location targeting (including indoors). Despite the presence of a number of dominant internet brands, I feel like there continues to be opportunity in the consumer market and for B2B services providers.
Meet Square’s Francoise Brougher, Jack Dorsey’s New Secret Weapon (ReCode)
To get to the next level — making Square as indispensable to payments as Twitter is to communications — Dorsey is leaning on Francoise Brougher, a blunt-spoken former Google star with almost no profile outside of the search giant’s campus. Insiders say she was known for a rigorous data analysis approach to problem solving and a call-it-like-I-see-it style that rubbed some colleagues the wrong way.
Here’s Why Foursquare Should Ditch ‘Friends’ for Twitter-like ‘Followers’ (VentureBeat)
Ricardo Bilton: Like Facebook’s system, Foursquare’s model is symmetrical: Two people decide to friend one another, and each sees in their feeds where the other has checked-in. And at the same time, that’s exactly the problem. It’s just not conducive to discovery, which is odd considering that discovery is exactly what Foursquare is focusing on right now.
Pizza Hut: Half of ‘Online’ Orders Now Come from Mobile (i2Go)
Today, roughly 30% of all Pizza Hut orders come from the internet. But half of those are now coming from mobile devices, with momentum favoring mobile (smartphones + tablets) over the PC. The company has the right attitude toward multi-channel marketing and engagement — with its mobile app (and all the personalization it allows) now at the center of its “online ordering” strategy.
LBMA Podcast: 10,000 Predictions for 2014 (Street Fight)
In this week’s episode, hosts Rob Woodbridge and Asif Khan take a look back at their 2013 predictions and forecast what is to come in 2014 including the companies we feel will flare and falter.