A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Can Foursquare Crack Local Search? (New York Times)
Foursquare has finally started to find itself. The company on Wednesday showed off its completely overhauled smartphone app, the fruits of a multiyear rethink of how people should interact with the location-based service.
How Seattle’s South King Media Grew From Hobby Into Profitable Mini-Net (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: Southend was long dominated by “legacy” Robinson Newspapers, which last year was forced to consolidate its Southend print weeklies into one subscription product because of what it called “market forces.” Meanwhile, Scoot Schafer’s independent “pure-play” South King Media is profitable and growing.
Facebook Ads Become ‘Costlier’ Choice for Small Businesses (Wall Street Journal)
When it comes to advertising on Facebook these days, small-business owners are competing for more limited ad space—and paying more for ads even if they don’t result in sales. The average per ad price increased 123% in the most recent quarter compared with a year ago. (Subscription required)
Case Study: Boxing Gym Uses Mobile Flyers to Attract Crowds (Street Fight)
Paul Wade, the owner of Third Street Boxing Gym in San Francisco, had a nagging feeling that there could be better ways to promote his live boxing events than the printed posters and flyers he’d been creating with the help of a graphic designer for the past 10 years..
Yelp Lied About Review Policies to Inflate Stock Price, Lawsuit Claims (GigaOm)
Yelp allowed fake negative reviews to remain on its website in order to extract advertising money from local businesses, according to a class action complaint filed Wednesday in San Francisco. The lawsuit could help determine if rumors about the company’s ad practices, which have never been proven, are true.
Google Acquires Directr, a Small Business Video Marketing Startup (Mashable)
Google’s YouTube has acquired Directr, a startup aimed at helping small businesses create promotional videos. Directr markets a mobile app on iOS that provides small businesses with a way to create and publish videos. Google has made numerous recent moves to bolster its offerings to small businesses, a market sections that spends about a $140 billion a year on local advertising.
Amazon Same-Day Delivery Selection Grows in New York. Are Groceries Next? (Recode)
Amazon shoppers in New York City now have a wider selection of products they can order for same-day delivery, the company announced today. And it’s increasingly looking like groceries could be the next category of items available for same-day delivery in the New York metro area.
Will Square ‘Inevitably’ Creep Into SMB Marketing Services? (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: Stepping back, Square sees itself as a broad commerce enabler — not merely a payments company. To that end, it now offers a range of services, including SMB financing (Square Capital) and modest CRM functionality (Square Feedback), as well as some marketing (Square Market).
Easy Website Builder Wix Targets Hotels With a Special Reservation-booking Engine (TheNxtWeb)
Wix is to target those looking to book a holiday online with its own booking engine builder. Users can access WixHotels through the platform’s app market and then install it onto their primary dashboards.