A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
With Foursquare having won the battle for the check in, Gowalla has undergone a serious transformation. Technically version 4.0, the new version bears little resemblance to the previous versions of the app. Gowalla is no longer predominantly a check-in service. That’s still one aspect of it, but the idea is now to focus on two key areas: travel and storytelling. (TechCrunch)
The daily deals market is still a bit chaotic, but it’s opening up opportunities for companies that can make sense of it all. That’s true of CityPockets, which offers a digital wallet for storing past deal offers as well as a secondary market for buying and selling discounts. (GigaOm)
“Major disruption is coming with the move of our offline retail purchases to the point of thought and intend online,” writes Adility CEO Thomas Cornelius. “Considering the shift in control of the consumers’ wallet this is a trillion dollar opportunity and may deliver the next Google or Facebook in the process.” (Daily Deal Media)
Vente Privée, the billion-dollar European flash sales juggernaut, is launching in the U.S. in a joint venture with American Express. While Vente Privée dominates Europe, it’s going late into a very competitive market against rivals like Ideeli, RueLaLa, and the biggest startup in the space, Gilt Groupe. (Business Insider)
“BIA/Kelsey, in its latest report, says that SMBs (small and midsized businesses) in the U.S. will increasingly move to the digital and online media to retain, attract, and interact with customers,” notes Preetam Kaushik. “Any business that helps SMBs utilize online/digital or social media to advertise their products and build brand presence is expected to benefit from this shift in focus.” (Daily Deal Media)
Lashou.com reportedly could become China’s first daily deals site to launch an IPO in the United States, pitting it against major challenger Groupon. But the news could be all bluster and roadshow theatrics. (ReadWriteWeb)