A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Google Maps Platform Arrives, Changing the Game for Developers (VentureBeat)
Google today announced a massive revamp of its Google Maps business: The new Google Maps Platform promises streamlined API products, a simplified customer experience, a single pricing plan with pay-as-you-go billing, free support, a single console, and new industry solutions.
LMC Aims to ‘Think Completely Differently’ About Future of Local News (Street Fight)
“The biggest challenges for the LMC and the local news industry are concerns around transparency, viewability, and fraud, which produce disconnects between buyer and seller,” says Local Media Consortium Board Chair Chris Loretto.
Amazon Echo Losing Market Share as Smart Speaker Rivalry Intensifies (eMarketer)
While Amazon Echo dominates the voice-enabled speaker market, its user share is slowly shrinking, as those of Google Home and smaller rivals begin to grow. Overall, smart speaker usage is accelerating as device capabilities expand.
Retailers Use AI for In-Store Experimentation, Customer Service (Street Fight)
Brick-and-mortar retailers are looking for an edge in their fight against the e-commerce behemoths, and as the battle rages on, it’s looking like artificial intelligence might be the answer.
Square’s Loss Widens As Spending Picks Up (WSJ)
Square reported a wider first-quarter loss as the financial-technology firm spent more on product development and marketing, and signaled that it would continue to invest big sums into its payments and services businesses.
App Market Set for Expansion, Projected Spend to Reach $156B (MediaPost)
Among other aggressive measures, app makers need to encourage new app downloads through product innovation and investment in organic and paid installs, according to the latest report from App Annie.
Publishers Find Modest Success With Facebook Groups (Digiday)
Aside from driving audience loyalty, publishers are working out what Facebook groups are actually useful for: shaping editorial strategy, generating leads, audience research, and supplementing email newsletters.
Brandless’ Pop-Up Focuses on Community Engagement (AdWeek)
Unlike other pop-ups that center on selling products, Brandless is hosting two weeks of programming from May 1 to 13 in Los Angeles with different panels centered around wellness and nutrition.