A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
Groupon Reports Mobile App Growth, International Expansion Plans (Mashable)
Groupon said it experienced a record-breaking month in December among mobile app users, as one quarter of all Groupon vouchers were purchased via a mobile device. Usage of its mobile app more than tripled over the previous year to 9 million users as of December. To expand the reach of its app, Groupon also revealed plans to roll out mobile service to more than 30 countries in the near future.
How This Month’s Google Search Changes Affect Local Businesses (ReadWriteWeb)
Google announced a big slate of changes to search this month. There are many new tweaks to parts of the algorithm, including “freshness,” link evaluation and detection of official pages. But the most interesting changes are to the results themselves. In particular, there are several changes to the way local search results appear that will significantly affect SEO for local businesses.
Will an App for Broadcasting Our Future Locations Really Work? (Shiny Shiny)
A new version of the location-based application Forecast aims to get us back into the swing of sharing our every movement, but the difference is you don’t check-in as you visit places, you aim to predict where you’re going to be later in the day or week so there’s more chance you’ll bump into those you know.
SoLoMo: The Next Big Thing to Impact Journalism (Digital News Test Kitchen)
Steve Outing: Location-based apps like Sonar could be useful for journalists. Let’s say that you as a reporter get a report of a shooting at a restaurant a few miles away. You pull out your phone, launch Sonar, and locate the restaurant, which shows that three people currently are there or were a short time ago. If one of them checked in very recently, you’ll have that person’s name and social-network information and can attempt to contact him or her as a possible eyewitness.
Did Patch Boss Warren Webster Write BI Comment, Or Not? (Business Insider)
Jim Romenesko says that some of his commenters think that Warren Webster did, in fact, write the comment and that AOL PR got BI to delete it under false pretenses. Mr. Romenesko says the commenters want us to check our IP logs to test this story.