A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
CBS Outdoor Shares Rise in First Day of Trading (Wall Street Journal)
The billboard-advertising company is splitting off from CBS, as the media giant tries to lessen its reliance on ad dollars for its revenue. CBS Outdoor’s message to investors is that the future of marketing rests just as much in the trusty billboard as in social media, online video or TV.
After Bust, LivingSocial Looks to Boom Again (Street Fight)
LivingSocial isn’t quite the rocketship it was a few years ago. But, after a year of pulling back, and with a change in leadership in the works, the company is looking for a second wind. Street Fight recently caught up with Doug Miller, chief revenue officer at LivingSocial, to talk about where the company went wrong, how it plans to get back on track, and what wave it looks to ride next.
Alibaba Invests $692 million in Chinese Department Store Operator (Reuters)
China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd agreed to invest $692 million in a Chinese department store operator as the e-commerce giant looks to bring the benefits and convenience of online shopping to customers who visit real bricks-and-mortar stores. Alibaba, whose businesses will come under investor scrutiny ahead of the group’s planned mega IPO in the United States this year, said it will buy $214 million worth of shares in Hong Kong-listed Intime Retail.
6 Ways to Use Local Booking Platforms for Marketing (Street Fight)
When used strategically, hyperlocal booking platforms can do more for a business than just help schedule services and manage client appointments. In many cases, merchants with online booking portals are able to rely on these products for customer acquisition and retention, as well.
Uber’s Biggest Problem Isn’t Surge Pricing. What If It’s Sexual Harassment by Drivers? (Daily Beast)
Olivia Nuzzi: Uber is not a car company, but a technology company. They do not own vehicles, but software. Thus, they operate in a gray area where they claim they should not be subject to the same regulations as traditional private transportation services.
Airbnb Accidentally Invited a Journalist to Their First Ever Customer Focus Group: Me (Pando)
Dan Raile: On Wednesday, I was ushered into the Milan Suite, an office space on the fourth floor of Airbnb’s cavernous Brannan St. headquarters, for a sit-down with Chip Conley, the company’s head of global hospitality. It soon became clear that the company was trying to figure out how to explain its disruptive, sharing economy service to regular Joes and Josephines.
Mobile Payment Experiment: Can An iPhone Replace Your Wallet? (Forbes)
Steve Bertoni: Humans made $15 trillion in retail transactions in 2013–$1 trillion of that was via e-commerce, $14 trillion was spent in physical stores and paid for with cash and credit cards. To see how digital payments have progressed in the real world, I conducted a little experiment–I left my wallet at home to see how far I could get with just an iPhone.
Facebook Hashes It Out With a Brand in Public (Recode)
In a long, funny “breakup letter to Facebook,” Eat24 recounted all the reasons that brands are unhappy with Facebook. The biggest complaint: Facebook has changed its algorithms over the last couple of years to highlight more posts by individuals and bury posts from brands — unless, of course, a brand wants to pay for ads to promote its posts.
Tapvalue Raises $2.2 Million For Its Advertising Technology For Offline Retailers (TechCrunch)
French startup Tapvalue raised $2.2 million to boost its international growth and keep iterating on the product. Tapvalue is a cross-device tracking and advertising platform, but with a twist — it is specifically targeted towards offline retailers. In other words, the startup is bringing modern advertising technologies to brick and mortar store owners.