A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Instagram Testing Facebook Places Integration to Replace Foursquare (Fast Company)
Popular photo-sharing app Instagram is testing integration with Facebook Places, Facebook’s venue database. Facebook, of course, owns Instagram. The experiment signals that Instagram may eventually wean itself off its current integration with location-based service Foursquare, which made a name for itself through social check-ins.
The Shifting Line Between Free and Paid Local Marketing Services (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: The manipulation of organic reach on Facebook is one of many examples of the shifting boundary between free and paid local marketing services. But that boundary is likely more clear to those of us who know what to look for than it is to the general user.
GOP Hails App-Based Taxi Service Uber, Says Regulations Stifle It (Wall Street Journal)
Uber, the app-based alternative to traditional taxi services, is becoming an icon among Republicans, who say it is an example of innovation stifled by big government. In cities from Miami to Washington, D.C., it has run into government rules that make it difficult for the new service to compete against the taxi industry and other established transport companies.
How One Startup Uses Carrier Data For Real-World Analytics (Street Fight)
For the most part, in-store tracking startups rely on a device in-store — a wireless router, video camera, or bluetooth beacon — to count customers as they shop. But Canadian startup Viasense has created a new system using existing data from cellular networks to provide businesses with information about their foot traffic — and, more importantly, where that traffic goes next.
Cloud POS Startup Vend Raises $20M From Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures And Square Peg Capital (TechCrunch)
New Zealand-based cloud point-of-sale startup Vend has raised an additional $20 million in Series B funding from Peter Thiel international investment vehicle Valar Ventures. With the funding, Vend plans to drastically expand its headcount, especially in the U.S. and Europe.
The End is Near for Classified Ventures (Crain’s Chicago Business)
Classified Ventures LLC sold its Apartments.com business earlier this month and is auctioning off Cars.com, too. So what will be left of one of Chicago’s earliest and biggest digital companies? Not much.
Why Airbnb Wants You to Know How Much Its Users Are Spending (Washington Post)
Few young tech startups have publicly ruminated on their economic impact quite like Airbnb has. Between nine cities, Airbnb says, the site’s users are staying on average nearly twice as long as typical tourists, and spending about $300 more per trip – figures the company has illustrated for mass consumption here.
How the Decline of Cash Makes America a Safer Country (Atlantic)
Economists and sociologists have offered a bounty of reasons for the decline of crime, including more police, more security technology, more economic growth, more immigration, and more imprisonment. What if the decline of crime in America started with the decline of cash?
On Connecticut’s ‘Gold Coast,’ a Local News Incubator (Columbia Journalism Review)
Unlike other communities around the country, the suburban towns comprising the Fairfield County, CT “Gold Coast” aren’t suffering a void in local news coverage. More than 100 media outlets currently deliver local news and information to the area’s residents and businesses, almost all supported by local advertising.