A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
Groupon Buys Hyperpublic, a Local Data Start-Up (New York Times)
Groupon has purchased Hyperpublic, a start-up that builds databases of local information and makes them freely available to developers. It’s not hard to imagine that Hyperpublic would be able to help Groupon better target subscribers in some of its coming products, including Groupon Now. It’s also an area that companies like Foursquare, Facebook and Google are widely thought to be eying.
What Yelp’s IPO Means About the Future of Crowdsourced Media (GigaOm)
Ryan Lawler: Yelp is one of the first almost entirely crowdsourced media entities to go public. Yelp’s entire business is built on the more than 25 million reviews that it has accrued over the years from its users. That user-submitted content is the reason that Yelp attracts more than 66 million unique visitors a month. What’s interesting is how Yelp’s valuation compares it to other Internet companies and what it means for the future of media and publishing.
Why LivingSocial Lost $558 Million Last Year (Business Insider)
LivingSocial lost $558 million last year and its revenue came up to just $245 million, an Amazon filing with SEC revealed earlier this month. The site’s CEO and co-founder Tim O’Shaughnessy explains: “The reason that we raised so much money was not to go and have it sit in bank,” he said. “It was to go and build a moat and scale.” LivingSocial raised $176 million in 2011.
Facebook Commerce Has Been a Big Flop (Business Insider)
The first generation of stores inside Facebook have been total flops, Bloomberg reports. This is a problem for Facebook because it’s one less business it can “tax” to generate further revenue. Gamestop, JC Penney, Nordstrom, and Gap have all opened and closed stores in Facebook in the last year.
Groupon On A Shopping Spree: Buys Mobile Payment Specialist Kima Labs (TechCrunch)
Another acquisition for Groupon, and a sign of how the e-commerce company is getting more focused on mobile as a route to future growth: it has picked up Kima Labs, which makes mobile barcode reading app Barcode Hero and mobile payment app TapBuy. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
BI Commenter Claiming to Be a Patch Employee Trashes Company (Business Insider)
A commenter named “Lipstick on Pig” chimed in on Business Insider’s post about Starboard Value’s preparations for a proxy duel with Tim Armstrong. In the rant, the commenter calls Patch’s daily deals effort an “utter failure,” suggests that underqualified new editors are now filling out the ranks, and says that the six Patches that were claimed to be profitable in 2011 may have only been that way for two months.
St. Louis Beacon Test Drives iBooks Author With ‘Meandering Mississippi’ (Nieman Lab)
The nonprofit St. Louis Beacon just produced an ebook that collects its writing, photos, and video on last year’s record floods. Taking your best coverage and converting it into an ebook isn’t new, but the Beacon may be one of the first news organizations to do so using iBooks Author.
Report: 52 Pct Of Local-Mobile Search Clicks Turned Into Calls (SearchEngineLand)
Greg Sterling: Local-mobile ad network xAd released a treasure-trove of data from Q4 2011. The US-based information is drawn from mobile sites and apps that run its ads and the related user behaviors that xAd observes. These data are interesting in part because xAd has what is probably the largest network offering local search and display advertising outside of Google (AT&T might dispute that claim).