A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
50 Million New Reasons BuzzFeed Wants to Take Its Content Far Beyond Lists (New York Times)
BuzzFeed is a web traffic sensation that draws 150 million average monthly viewers. To help make that happen, BuzzFeed just closed a new $50 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz, a prominent venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. The investment values the company at about $850 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
Senator Warns Fitbit Is A ‘Privacy Nightmare’ And Could Be ‘Tracking’ Your Movements (Business Insider)
Senator Chuck Schumer issued a statement Sunday calling for federal protections to guard consumers from a “privacy nightmare” that could be created by wearable fitness trackers. Specifically, Schumer said he was worried companies behind FitBit and similar products could sell location data and other information from these devices to third parties.
It’s Official: The Newspaper Industry Has Given Up on Newspapers (Street Fight)
Josh Fenton: In the past couple of weeks, three of the major legacy media companies announced they were splitting their companies into separate-but-unequal broadcast and print ventures. The decisions by Gannett, E.W. Scripps and Tribune to divide their once “synergistic business models” into separate and very distinct businesses indicate that we are now at the beginning of the end-of-the-end for this industry.
Apple iPhone Privacy Changes Lead to Layoffs at Retail Tracking Startup Nomi (Recode)
When iOS8, Apple’s new mobile operating software, rolls out in the fall, a subtle change in how Wi-Fi networks identify nearby iPhones is set to upend how some retail stores are tracking repeat visits by shoppers. Nomi, a startup that has raised $13 million in venture capital, has laid off at least 20 of its 60 or so employees, in part because of these forthcoming changes.
Mobile-Payments Firms Order Up New Strategy: Restaurants (Wall Street Journal)
Shoppers in stores have so far shown little interest in smartphone apps to pay for purchases. So some technology companies now are focusing on restaurants. Shoppers in stores have so far shown little interest in smartphone apps to pay for purchases. So some technology companies now are focusing on restaurants.
When Payment Processing Becomes A Commodity (TechCrunch)
Christoffer O. Hernæs: With the rise of mobile wallets, peer-to-peer payment, micro lending and various personal finance tools, the banking industry faces a new breed of competitors from the technology industry. But the real implication as with any form of value chain disruption is the probability of payment processing becoming a commodity.
6 Marketing Strategies for National Retailers Managing Local Outlets (Street Fight)
National retailers have access to expertise, money, and boatloads of data-driven marketing tools, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve got it all figured out when it comes to local marketing. One-quarter of national brands say they’re unable to track ROI at the local level, and 33.8% aren’t even investing in local marketing. Here are six strategies that national brands should consider.
Yelp App Users Can Now Add Video to Reviews (Skift)
An update to the Yelp iPhone app now enables users to add 3-12 second videos of their favorite or out-of-favor restaurants, attractions, and other businesses. If previously a restaurant customer would have to be content with writing a review, now the Yelp iPhone app users will be able to record the outrages through 3-12 second video clips.
There’s An App That Directs You Away From Sketchy Areas, And The Company Swears It’s Not Racist (Business Insider)
A new app called SketchFactor has been designed to help users avoid “sketchy areas.” It’s sort of like Waze, but instead of the pins telling you about a nearby cop or heavy traffic, they tell you about a mugging or catcalling.
How Uber Explains Our Economic Moment (Harvard Business Review)
Andrew McAfee: Every once in a while you have one of those “microcosm experiences” that perfectly encapsulates the trends shaping our world. My most recent one came last week during an Uber ride.