A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
LivingSocial Now At 5,000 Employees, Half The Size Of Groupon (TechCrunch)
While CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy won’t reveal LivingSocial’s revenues, he says: “We’ve grown very significantly in the last 12 months. We entered 2011 with 3 countries,, now we are at more than 20, with 60 million members worldwide, and just around 5,000 employees worldwide. We have been able to aggressively grow the business.”
Foursquare Brand Pages Become Chain-Friendly (About Foursquare)
Foursquare launched a change to their brand pages last night that makes the pages much more friendly to chains. When claimed venues are linked to a brand page, users now get a map showing all the nearest stores from the particular chain right on the page. A new box has been added that shows which of their friends have visited any of the chain’s stores.
Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Retailers (Mashable)
The two-year-old social bookmarking site that lets users collect and share things they like on the web, is driving increasingly significant amounts of traffic to retailers’ websites. Search still dominates, and the site has yet to prove itself as a potential sales channel, but the site’s popularity is quickly growing.
Alt-Weeklies Mine Roots to Drive Web Revenue (NetNewsCheck)
Alternative newsweeklies may have gotten off to a slow start on the digital front, but according to Tim Keck, publisher of Seattle’s The Stranger and Portland, Ore.’s Mercury, such newspapers can draw on their iconoclastic voice, strong local entertainment coverage and close relationships with local businesses, to take the online lead in their communities.
Walkbase Showcases Indoor Location Tech With Auto Check-in App (GigaOm)
While location-based services are bringing a lot of context and relevancy to the world, the technology is a lot harder to use indoors. But a Finnish company called Walkbase is looking to bring to market a very simple and scalable solution for indoor positioning that can help map out rooms using crowd-sourced data and smart self-learning algorithms.
LivingSocial CEO: Lumping Us With Groupon Is Like Lumping eBay With Amazon (TechCrunch)
LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy said “a lot of people lumped eBay and Amazon together 10 years ago” because they both were “ecommerce” companies. And while there were plenty of similarities and direct competition, each one ended up taking a different path. He suggests the same thing will happen with local commerce between Groupon and LivingSocial. “Fundamentally, I am sure we don’t think about things exactly the same way,” he says, “so we will have different strategies.”