A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Reddit Introduces Location-Targeted Promoted Posts (Wall Street Journal)
Users on one of the web’s most privacy-conscious sites are about to find their ads a little more targeted. Reddit, a popular link-sharing social community with its own set of dos and don’ts, announced Wednesday that advertisers will be able to target readers at the country and city level on the site’s front page through promoted posts.
Brady on Thunderdome: The Glue at the Core Was Never Able to Dry (Street Fight)
“The local digital news solution is probably going to come from new players rather than legacy ones,” says outgoing Digital First Media editor-in-chief Jim Brady. “Somewhere in that broad swath of experimentation are all the pieces for a successful model. It’s just a matter of time until someone finds the right mix.”
Facebook Posts Earnings Beat as Mobile Soars Past One Billion Monthly Users (Recode)
In its first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, Facebook announced it now hosts more than one billion users visiting its site on mobile devices every month, reaching yet another mobile milestone for the social network. The company makes 59 percent of its advertising revenue from mobile devices, up from 53 percent the previous quarter and way up from 30 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Shopkeep Raises $25M to Build a Better Cash Register for Indie Retail (Street Fight)
Shopkeep, a New York-based startup that builds point-of-sale software for mobile devices, has raised $25 million in its third round of funding. The new funding sets the stage for a drawn-out fight between a handful of well-funded startups, the legacy point-of-sale providers who control much of the market, and a number of other tech giants looking in.
Uber Drives for Asian Expansion (Financial Times)
Uber announced on Wednesday that it has now launched its app in more than 100 cities in 35 countries, doubling the number of cities it operates in, after last year’s investment of more than $250m from Google and private equity group TPG. While a launch in Beijing takes Uber to four Chinese cities, Mumbai is its fifth in India, making it the San Francisco-based company’s largest market outside the US.
Connectivity Raises $6 Million to Make Marketing Automation Work for Small Businesses (Street Fight)
Connectivity, a Los Angeles-based startup headed up by former BIA/Kelsey CSO Matt Booth, has raised $6.5 million in funding to help small businesses structure and draw insights from digital interactions. The company is developing software to identify and analyze references to brick-and-mortar businesses in social media, reviews and other user-generated content, and then aggregate that data into a dashboard for small businesses to monitor their presence online.
Amid Rumors of a Buyout and Reports of Cash Crunch, is Square All Boxed In? (Verge)
Square has vehemently denied that it’s looking to sell, both to the WSJ and in a discussion with The Verge. While that particular detail is in dispute, there are a few salient facts about Square that might help to explain why it’s suddenly being framed as a troubled startup getting shopped around.
Sightly Launches Localized Video Ad Product (Street Fight)
The San-Diego-based company launched TargetView, a new product that will allow local branches of national advertising agencies, small agencies, and SMB marketing teams to develop and deliver localized content on YouTube, Google Display, and social media. Using IP and GPS information, individual ads and campaigns will be able to cater to potential customers in specific locations.
Taming the Digital Wild West (New York Times)
Eric Schneiderman: Enormous amounts of commerce that have long been subject to regulation and policing in the brick-and-mortar world are now moving online. This means big changes in the marketplace, even though many of the fundamental goods and services remain the same. Regulators are left struggling to keep up — and the companies involved want to keep it that way.
Microsoft’s Jorgensen: ‘We Are Building Our Muscles’ in Card Linked Space (Local Onliner)
Speaking at a conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft GM of Local Advertising Erik Jorgensen noted there are significant opportunities to connect the online world with the offline world, closing the loop for online advertising and loyalty. During the past 12 months, Microsoft has launched CLO betas of its Bing Offers, which take off on Microsoft’s initial deals efforts, but don’t require pre-payment.
Unnamed Russian Banks Are Using AlterGeo’s Location Data For Credit Ratings (TechCrunch)
AlterGeo, a company that bills itself as the ‘Foursquare of Russia,’ signed a deal with several large banks in Russia, who will now began to use AlterGeo’s location data when assessing online a borrowers’ credit rating. The company is not disclosing the names of its partner banks due, it says, to “a number of NDAs”.