A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Uber and Foursquare Team Up to Make It Easier to Find Your Destination (Mashable)
The ride-hailing company has inked a new deal with Foursquare to use its location information to make Uber’s app better at finding the addresses of specific locations. Under the new “global, multi-year agreement,” Uber’s app will incorporate Foursquare’s Places data so that riders can find the addresses for exact locations by only typing in the restaurant or venue name.
New App From GoDaddy Wants to Help Entrepreneurs Brainstorm Business Ideas (Street Fight)
The app is a community space that fields and vets ideas from its users. People can log on and anonymously enter a concept they have for say, starting a local gardening service and receive support and advice in the form of “loves” — which is sort of like a Facebook like.
Twitter Disbands Commerce Team, Ceases Product Development on ‘Buy’ Button (BuzzFeed)
Twitter has curtailed product development on its “Buy” button and product pages and shifted its commerce team into other divisions within the company. Twitter’s decision to reallocate its resources in this way speaks volumes about the sluggish progress so far of social commerce, a much-hyped push by social media companies to enable the sale of products directly within their platforms.
Heavy-Hitter Investors Plan a For-Profit Launch Next Month in Denver (Poynter)
The growing wave of local digital news startups is about to get a new player. The investors behind Business Insider will launch Denverite in June. Like Jim Brady’s Billy Penn in Philadelphia or Ted Williams’ Charlotte Agenda, this is a for-profit venture, and, if successful, may be replicated in other cities.
Connecting Dots in the Path to Purchase, Empyr Focuses on Pay-Per-Sale for SMBs (Street Fight)
The company’s CEO Jon Carder says that when you can prove attribution to local marketers, their rate of attrition drops dramatically: “It just gets incredibly better because there’s proof of how well the advertising’s working.” Empyr’s solution for attribution connects credit card information with mobile impressions.
Local Papers’ Love-Hate Relationship with Facebook is Proving a Heartbreaker (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: What if local newspapers, instead of chasing after ever-bigger traffic numbers via platforms like Facebook, cultivated fewer but more receptive users — the kind that would be more attentive to advertising messages, especially if the messages had less blare and more flair. Could going deeper on community coverage result in higher CPMs?
A Local News Startup With an Emphasis on Uplift Looks to Grow (Columbia Journalism Review)
What’s the right formula for a for-profit, local online news startup in a smaller market? The people behind Richland Source say they have a recipe. It includes original content that’s free to read, a diversifying revenue base anchored by digital ads, engagement with live events, a relaxed approach to the traditional “church-state” divide — and an unapologetically upbeat attitude about the local community.
Automakers Are Solving a Major Problem by Investing in Uber and Lyft (Business Insider)
Matthew Debord: Much of the commentary around these investment plays suggests that hot new enterprises are shifting the world away from car ownership — a bogus claim, obviously, as automakers are now selling more cars and trucks than ever. But what GM, Toyota, and Volkswagen are really doing is attacking one of their thorniest challenges.
Confessions of a Newspaper Publishing Exec: ‘We’ve Screwed Up by Pursuing Scale’ (Digiday)
“The digital media industry has completely screwed up by pursuing scale for the sake of scale. There’s been a relentless pursuit for the biggest number you can get, which has partly been driven by what advertisers want, and partly driven by vanity.”
Facebook Wants Advertisers Buying Mobile Ads, Not Desktop Ads (Recode)
Facebook is closing its FBX ad exchange, a service that advertisers used to buy retargeting ads on Facebook’s desktop platform. Facebook still offers retargeting ads (the ones that show you products and services based on your Internet search history), but it sells them primarily for its users on mobile devices. It wants advertisers buying the mobile ads instead of the desktop ones.
A Stark New Reminder That Investors Don’t Care About Yahoo’s Core Internet Business (Business Insider)
On Wednesday, investors showed once again that Yahoo’s stock value is almost entirely tied to Alibaba’s performance, not Yahoo’s core internet business. Yahoo’s stock is down 4% Wednesday afternoon after Alibaba disclosed that it’s being investigated by the SEC for its accounting practices. Alibaba shares are also down roughly 6%.
Are Loyalty Programs Getting Lost in the Shuffle? (Local Onliner)
Peter Krasilovsky: A wide range of innovative loyalty programs are in the marketplace, and they report impressive ROI and user engagement. But are they a high priority for retailers? Many retailers (and their agencies) have been slow to commit to loyalty programs.