A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
OpenTable Buys Ness, Tests Mobile Payments (TechCrunch)
During an earnings call with investors, restaurant reservation platform OpenTable that the company has acquired Ness Computing, makers of the personalized restaurant recommendations app Ness. Just earlier in the day, the company announced a pilot of a mobile payments service in San Francisco.
AOL’s Armstrong: ‘We’re Not Giving Up on Patch’ (Street Fight)
Aol’s tenure as Patch’s sole owner may be over, but Tim Armstrong, the company’s chief executive, is not giving up on the hyperlocal network just yet. During an interview on CNBC Thursday morning, Armstrong said that the company has retained a significant stake in Patch and called reports that the company “jettisoned” the struggling property to Hale Global incorrect.
Chicago Cabbies Sue Over Unregulated Uber, Lyft Services (Bloomberg)
Chicago-area taxi operators claim in a lawsuit that the city is violating their rights by allowing the unregulated ride-share services run by Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to operate on its streets. The failure to apply taxi and limousine rules to the two San Francisco-based companies threatens to devalue the more-than 6,800 operating permits issued by the city, which have a total market value of $2.38 billion.
5 Marketplaces for Buying, Selling and Sharing With Neighbors (Street Fight)
Startups are looking for new ways to reinvigorate the function of traditional newspaper classified listings. Positioned as an alternative to Craigslist, hyperlocal marketplaces that facilitate the buying, selling, and sharing of goods between neighbors are filling an untapped niche and bringing together people in local communities.
For Yelp, an Expanding Push Into Politics (Hill)
Building on a push to have its voice heard in Washington, urban Web guide Yelp is joining an Internet trade group. The San Francisco-based company announced on Thursday that it would join The Internet Association to help press its message on Capitol Hill.
How Toyota Scion Is Tackling Hyperlocal Targeting (AdExchanger)
Although national automotive ad budgets are often planned three years in advance, the successes in digital media and marketing on local campaigns have brand managers rethinking those appropriations more frequently. Such was the case with Toyota’s Scion line, a brand designed for younger auto buyers.
Windows Phone ‘Cortana’ Personal Assistant Will be Powered by Foursquare (Verge)
The software maker is currently beta testing a “Cortana” personal assistant in Windows Phone 8.1, named after the same character found in Halo. Foursquare’s data will help Cortana push out tips, discounts, and suggestions based on location.
Platforms Rush to Prove Their Value to Retailers (Digiday)
Foursquare, Google and Yelp are all scrambling to show that their platforms can drive people into stores. Whichever company can best show how its platform delivers foot traffic stands to access an untapped ad market worth more than $100 billion annually.
Russia: Where the Deliveryman Gives Fashion Advice (Businessweek)
Lamoda, an Internet fashion retailer in Russia, sends sales assistants directly to shoppers’ homes. Not only does Lamoda’s uniformed deliveryman bring the clothes that a customer orders, but he also waits for her to try them on, offers fashion advice, takes returns, and processes her payment on the spot.
LBMA Podcast: Smartphone-Linked Signs, Transportation-Aware Ads (Street Fight)
On the show: AT&T partners with Sabre; AdTile’s new reward-based motion ads; our Mobile Minute with Chuck Martin ponders the need of store hours in the age of mobile; and our special guest is newly-acquired Donna founder Kevin Cheng.