Street Fight Daily: Airbnb Eyeing Former Square COO, Nokia Opens ‘Here’

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.

keith_raboisAirbnb May Hire Former Square Exec Rabois as COO (Wall Street Journal)
Airbnb is in talks to hire Keith Rabois as its chief operating officer, according to people familiar with the matter, in the wake of his departure from a similar role at Square. Rabois, a longtime Silicon Valley executive, resigned from Square in late January, amid accusations of sexual harassment by an employee.

5 Strategies for SMBs Using Social Gifting Apps (Street Fight)
Translating Facebook fans and Twitter followers into actual sales is a challenge that even the largest brands are still working to overcome. To break through the clutter and get noticed, small businesses are increasingly using social gifting platforms to send gift cards and physical items to online fans. Here are five tips from the experts on what small businesses can do to ensure a high ROI on any social gifting promotions.

Nokia Opens Up Here platform With an Eye to the Future (GigaOm)
Nokia’s mapping and location-based services suite will be available on multiple platforms and open to third-party developers. This gives the company an OS-independent platform to exploit, and a chance to make the most of smart glass.

Voice Media Group Relaunches City Apps — Can Mobile Really Be Alt-Weeklies’ Salvation? (Street Fight)
Voice Media Group, which acquired 11 alt-weeklies around the country back in October, is re-launching its various cities’ mobile apps, which it hopes will become go-to listings and reviews guides for their local markets. According to Tiffany Shackelford, the executive director at the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, many alt-weeklies, like VMG, are beginning to understand the importance of mobile.

Why Big Brands Fell Out of Love with Check-Ins (Digiday)
The shine is now off the check-in. Consumers still use the functionality, but big brands aren’t pushing check-in programs with nearly the fervor they did three years ago. Brands like Starbucks called it quits with check-ins through third parties like Foursquare and Facebook, and they instead let consumers check in to their locations via its own branded app. Retailers like Target are doing the same.

After Selling To Google, Founders Buy DailyDeal Back (The Next Web)
In what seems a very unusual move, the founders of DailyDeal are buying back their company from Google after selling it to the search company just a year and a half ago. DailyDeal is a coupon promotional site much like Groupon, and was founded in Germany only four years ago. Google is said to have paid $114 million for the firm, but was reportedly getting ready to shut down the company down.

Facebook to Partner With Acxiom, Epsilon to Match Store Purchases With User Profiles (AdAge)
Facebook is testing out a new kind of ad targeting that will let brands market to users based on what they’ve bought offline, according to execs briefed on their plans. The social network is partnering with data giants including Epsilon, Acxiom and Datalogix to allow brands to match data gathered through shopper loyalty program to individual Facebook profiles, much like it’s done previously with marketers’ customer data from their CRM databases.

Google Quietly Rolls Out New Offer Extensions in AdWords (Search Engine Land)
Google is now rolling out Offer Extensions, their latest ad extension that lets AdWords advertisers post deal offers underneath a normal Google Search ad. Offer Extensions could be the nail in the coffin for Groupon, who has been struggling to stay afloat as their stock has plummeted.

Startups are Disrupting the Loyalty Industry (PandoDaily)
Gabe Zichermann: Sensing weakness in incumbents and the fragmentation of retail loyalty, dozens of startups aimed at transforming the industry have entered the market in the last decade but with mixed results. Their mistake was underestimating the inertia and myopia of traditional loyalty programs.

Why Local Commerce Will Be Larger Than E-Commerce For The Next Decade, An Analysis (TechCrunch)
Mike Ghaffary: While Marc Andreessen holds firm that e-commerce will completely overshadow physical retail, the debate missed why some industries will never go completely online. Some industries will have a hard time competing as more consumers embrace online shopping, but some industries will do just fine.

With Hyperlocal Forums on the Rise, Will They Replace or Complement Local News? (Online Journalism Review)
Hyperlocal efforts got an infusion of cash earlier this month, when the neighborhood social network Nextdoor scored $21.6 million from leading venture capitalists. The backers — led by Greylock Partners David Sze, who has invested in Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pandora — are betting that the platform for private, geographically based forums will be the next hot thing in local news and information and could even build community in neighborhoods across the country in the process.

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