Street Fight Daily: The Gap Geo-Fences, Loopt Sells, Gowalla Shutters

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.

Gap Campaign Rethinks Old-School Bus Station Ads (TechCrunch)
It’s not just startups that are trying to push what’s possible with mobile advertising — the Gap recently completed an ad campaign combining traditional transit ads with geo-fencing technology. The Gap worked with out-of-home ad company Titan to place ads at bus stops and other transit locations in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. Then Titan created geofences around the ads, which activated the mobile part of the campaign for people who were nearby.

Loopt Sale Shows Future of Location Is Commerce (GigaOm)
Loopt CEO Sam Altman said the future of location-based services is increasingly about commerce. That’s behind some of the acquisitions in the location space, he said. Groupon bought Pelago in order to bring together consumers and local discount offers. EBay bought WHERE to help bolster PayPal’s ability to deliver location-based offers to consumers with PayPal closing the loop on redemptions.

Foursquare Nears 20 Million Users And Crowley Talks About His Co-founder’s Recent Departure (Business Insider)
When asked about his co-founder’s recent departure, Crowley replied, “Naveen is going to stay on the board and he’ll continue to be one of our trusted advisors. As a company gets bigger, people’s roles at the company change. Naveen and I have been talking about it for a while.”

Well That’s That: Gowalla Shuts Down (TheNextWeb)
Three months after the acquisition of Gowalla by Facebook, the company has officially closed it doors. The termination is a timely one. The company was headquartered in Texas, home to SXSW, which is being held this week. The event is synonymous with the launch and promotion of location based startups including Foursquare, now the location space’s clear winner.

Foursquare Is The New Yelp (Buzzfeed)
Matt Buchanan: Foursquare becoming the Yelp-that-should’ve-been is in some ways a tacit admission of a certain kind of failure. The thing in location that everybody’s been trying to nail, and that everybody’s failed to, is persistent, passive, real-time location. The underlying consensus seems to be that real-time will be the future of location services — it’s just a matter of who cracks the nut first. More and more, I don’t think it’ll be Foursquare.

Survey: People Don’t Want to Be Tracked Even If It Means More Relevant Ads (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: A new US consumer survey (n=2,253) out from the Pew Internet Project shows pretty clearly that people don’t want to be tracked and targeted even if that means more “relevant” advertising or search results. The report, which is focused on search, shows that people like and have generally favorable views of search engines but also don’t want personalized results.

Amber Case & The Invisible Button (ReadWriteWeb)
“I had watched a lot of geo companies go down,” said Geoloqi co-founder Amber Case, “and so I’d been keeping this large notebook of what made them go.” Factors she considered in the notebook included pricing, positioning, time when they came out, feature set. She concluded that the big issues were battery life, setting up the logic for the geofences to trigger, and making a visual editor. Positions Itself as Anchor for EBay Local (Local Onliner)
Inventory hasn’t yet emerged as a “must have” for merchants, but the strategic importance of tracking store inventory remains undiminished. Merchants will potentially use inventory levels to drive users to specific locations, build promotions to get rid of overage (or remove promotions when supplies are running low).

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