A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
MasterCard, Visa Back Smartphone Payment (Financial Times)
MasterCard and Visa are about to make it easier for consumers to pay for goods with a tap of a smartphone. The credit card groups on Wednesday announced separately their support for a type of technology that could resolve longstanding industry disagreements over how to develop mobile wallets that allow users to store their card data on their phones and then pay with near field communications, or NFC, technology.
Reuters’ Salmon: Facebook and Twitter Don’t Replace Community Journalism (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: We all know that Facebook, Twitter and other social media are transforming news in major ways. But Reuters blogger Felix Salmon says social media — especially Facebook — aren’t just changing news as we have known it, but creating an entirely new news product that is defined by “personalization.” I went to Salmon to find out if there’s a place for community news sites in this world of personalized information.
In Mobile Location Tie-Up, Skyhook Wireless Sold to TruePosition (Recode)
Cellular location company TruePosition, a subsidiary of Liberty Media, acquired Skyhook Wireless for an undisclosed price. Skyhook was also involved in multiple lawsuits against Google over unfair competition and patent infringement, having accused Google of getting its Android partners Samsung and Motorola to stop using Skyhook positioning software in favor of its own.
Case Study: Hospitality Group Replaces Direct Marketing with Hyperlocal Campaigns (Street Fight)
As mobile marketing picks up steam and consumers get more comfortable downloading branded apps on their smartphones, Wind Creek Hospitality marketing VP Michael Perhaes is becoming less reliant on direct marketing techniques for customer retention and acquisition. Although Wind Creek’s mobile apps are still new, Perhaes is already seeing response rates that are much higher than those he has achieved through email marketing alone.
Why the Web’s Biggest Players are Gobbling up Location-based Apps (Digiday)
Some of the largest Internet companies — including Apple, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft — are rushing to either acquire or strike licensing deals with smaller, location-based mobile platforms. The trend underscores the importance of location data for ad-targeting purposes and illustrates how large platforms are trying to avoid being left behind as the Web becomes increasingly mobile.
How Airbnb and Yelp Are Changing Hotel Marketing (Adweek)
As the lodging industry grapples with Airbnb, TripAdvisor and other locally oriented services, major hotel brands are increasingly taking a back seat to the surrounding neighborhoods. About half of travelers want to explore the local area while on a business trip, according to a 2013 survey released this week by Millward Brown. For business travelers, “discovery” now ranks higher than “escape” or “indulgence,” per the survey.
Why People Trust Online Reviews for Dinner but not Doctors (Quartz)
You look at reviews before you purchase a new product or choose a restaurant for dinner, but do you read them before picking a doctor? Around one out of four US adults surveyed has used online reviews of physicians to make their healthcare choices, according to a study published Feb. 19 in JAMA.
The New Google Maps for Desktop Rolls Out to the Masses (GigaOm)
After releasing a preview during last year’s I/O, Google is rolling out its “new” maps to all users, complete with exploration and recommendations. The maps are larger and easier to read, and the new design places an emphasis on being “smart”: users can not only bring up directions to a location, but also find the most efficient method of transport to get there and nearby places to stop.
Groupon Shares Might Not Be the Best Deal (Wall Street Journal)
Groupon has always offered its customers a unique trade-off: a bargain price for a meal, facial or yoga class in exchange for what is sometimes an unpredictable experience. For investors, the stock has clearly been unpredictable, yet not much of a bargain. Following its late-2011 initial public offering, the shares reached a valuation of more than seven times estimated sales, or about five times Amazon.com multiple at the time.
Loop, A Digital Wallet That Works Just About Everywhere (Forbes)
Jeff Bercovici: The main drawback of digital wallets is that while you may be an early adopter of new technologies, chances are slim that every coffee shop, drycleaner and grocery store in your neighborhood is, too. LoopWallet reverse-engineered the magnetic stripe reader that most retailers use to swipe credit cards and figured out how to make it a receiver for wireless signals.
Mondelēz Prioritizes Hyperlocal Engagements Over Branding in Year-two Tests (Mobile Commerce Daily)
More than one year after launching the Mobile Futures program that paired nine snack brands with start-ups to spur innovation, Mondelēz International is seeing initial results of what is working and not working for CPG brands on mobile. Last year, Mondelēz launched eight out of nine identified pilot programs that paired up different snack brands with mobile start-ups as part of the snack giant’s spinoff from Kraft Foods.