A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
LevelUp Thinks It Has Found A Way To Charge Merchants A 0% Credit Card Processing Fee (Business Insider)
LevelUp is dropping the 2% it charges merchants per transaction to 1.95% rather than increasing it. LevelUp says it will continue dropping the transaction fee for merchants to match its internal break-even point until the percent finally dwindles down to nothing. How is that possible? LevelUp considers itself an advertising company masked as a payment company.
Recent Studies Show Mobile’s Broadening Reach (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: The reports underline what we might call the inherently local nature of mobile search. Whether you are in a store contemplating a high-ticket purchase or downtown hoping to discover a new restaurant, the phone in your hand is your portal to timely and actionable information as well as marketing incentives that are increasingly likely to gain your attention.
Zuckerberg: Facebook Graph Search Is ‘A Five-Year Thing’ (SearchEngineLand)
If you think development of Graph Search has been moving at a snail’s pace, you’re probably not alone. The rollout to all U.S. Facebook users took about seven months. It was almost nine months from the launch until users could search their status updates. In a new interview with the New York Times, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that all of this is by design — that Facebook is taking a very long-term, deliberate approach to Graph Search.
Seamless Delivers Tips Agreement (WSJ)
Online food-delivery company Seamless will revamp its fee structure after an investigation by New York state’s attorney general found that restaurants could cheat delivery workers out of tips, officials said Tuesday. The company Tuesday signed an agreement mandating it change its fee structure for any new restaurant that signs up for the service. Those new restaurants wouldn’t have their tips subjected to the Seamless percentage fee.
Marissa Mayer’s Secret Plan to Get Apple to Dump Google and Default to Yahoo Mobile Search (Recode)
A number of Yahoo insiders said her plan to pitch Apple on the idea as its marquee mobile search partner is far along. The company has prepared detailed decks, including images of what such a search product would look like, and hopes to present them to Apple execs. That has not happened as yet officially and no deal is imminent — it’s just the big honking goal of the new Yahoo effort, said sources.
Case Study: Frozen Yogurt Chain Integrates Payments Into Mobile App (Street Fight)
No clear frontrunner has shown up in the mobile wallet space, and businesses like Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt are tired of waiting for one to appear. Instead of utilizing an existing mobile payment platform, the frozen yogurt chain is rolling out its own mobile wallet as part of an update to its iPhone and Android app. When its mobile payments solution debuts this summer, Orange Leaf customers will be able to pay for purchases with their smartphones at the POS.
Grubwithus Becomes Superb, a Social Platform for Discovering New Places (Pando)
The new iOS app launching today takes the well-worn concept of a local discovery platform and layers on top of it the missing component of an intent-based social graph. More importantly, it does so in a fun and casual Tinder-esque way that invites users to swipe through full-screen, photo-centric cards of possible destinations – right for yes, left for no – to build a to-do list of sorts that will then be matched to friends with shared interests.
We Are Drowning in Data About Readers and Attention, But Which Metrics Really Matter? (GigaOm)
Mathew Ingram: If publishers and media companies shouldn’t be looking at raw pageviews — which many advertisers still seem to prefer as a measurement of how effective their ads are going to be — and they shouldn’t be looking at sharing statistics because that doesn’t measure whether people actually read the content, then what should they be looking at? Not surprisingly, that question is more complicated than it seems, because there is no single answer.
The Same-Day War: Amazon, Google And Walmart Race To Bring Your Groceries (Forbes)
Jeff Bercovici: Same-day home delivery of groceries is to retailers what Mount Everest is to climbers: The lure is obvious, the logistics fearsome, and tackling either without the right plan is suicide. Nevertheless, 13 years after the spectacular collapse of Webvan made it a lasting symbol of dot-com-era hubris, similar services are cropping up in cities and suburbs across America.
Southland Newspaper Publisher Expands With Debut of L.A. Register (LA Times)
Aaron Kushner, co-owner of parent company Freedom Communications Inc., is betting that a strong focus on local news and a keen eye on expenses will win back print readers. Wary newspaper experts question whether he can lead the industry out of its tailspin of the last decade, when advertisers fled to Internet sites and the average age of readers rose.
How One Tiny Business is Dominating Social Media (Inc.)
The Brooklyn Circus, a retail and design company won the Shorty Award for Best Small Business on social media — even without a staggering number of tweets or social media followers. The Brooklyn Circus didn’t even have the most followers among the finalists in the small business category. So how did the company, which has a social media team of just two people, bring home the Shorty?