A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Amazon’s Fire Phone Introduces Firefly, A Feature That Lets You Identify (And Buy!) Things You See In The Real World (TechCrunch)
With the debut of the Amazon Fire Phone this afternoon, the company introduced a new feature called Firefly, which is largely designed to let you identify things you see out in the real world. The feature is a perfect example of how much this new hardware is about bringing customers into Amazon’s ecosystem and turning them into regular online shoppers.
What Booker’s New Partnership Says About GrubHub’s Future (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Booker has announced a new partnership with Como to use the firm’s technology to allow businesses to instantly generate a customized consumer-facing mobile application with full booking capability. The move offers an insight into how back-office software companies could undercut commerce companies like Grubhub
Uber Isn’t Worth $17 Billion (FiveThiryEight)
Aswath Damodaran: The value of any business, no matter what it does and where it is in its life cycle, is based on its capacity to generate real cash flows. For young firms like Uber, the expected cash flows are in the distant future, and estimating them will require making big assumptions about how the market and the competition will evolve.
Why ‘Google My Business’ Helps, But Doesn’t Fix, Local for SMBs (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: The company’s redesign of its SMB portal replaces both the old Google Places for Business interface and the equivalent within Google+, and consolidates several features into a friendlier interface. The features for the most part are not new, but the update does a good job of tying together the claiming and profile management process with Google+ sharing.
How Pinterest Tapped World Cup Enthusiasm with Place Pins (Fast Company
Ben Chiaramonte of Pinterest’s brand design team wanted to create a Pinterest page that brought together all the best places to watch the World Cup in various countries around the globe. The profile would showcase the power of “Place Pins,” a relatively new Pinterest feature that helps pinners make travel plans on a map.
Mobile Marketing Stumbles as Pandora Plays SF Ads in NY (Bloomberg)
A smartphone user who signs up for Pandora’s app in San Francisco and then moves to New York could still be getting ads for California restaurants months later. Therein lies the challenge for advertisers trying to reach a specific mobile-using audience: A lot of locally targeted ads get lost along the way.
Airbnb Wants to Recommend Trips to Users Before They Even Start to Search for Them (GigaOm)
Airbnb has a ton of data to work with about everything from the length of a person’s trip to the kind of house they prefer when they travel. Vice President of Engineering Mike Curtis says that the future is in using that data to help predict what kind of accommodation someone might like, before they have even expressed a preference.
Google Search Now Lets You Call Businesses via Hangouts From Your Computer (TheNextWeb)
If you head over to Google Search and type in the name of a local business, followed by the keyword “phone,” you’ll now see a linked number at the top of the page. This isn’t the most revolutionary feature, but it builds on the useful cards and Knowledge Graph tools already baked into Google’s incredibly popular search engine.