A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Pinterest Acquires Local Recommendation App Livestar (GigaOm)
Pinterest announced Wednesday that it has acquired local recommendation app Livestar, adding the company’s engineering talent to the quickly growing social content site. Livestar’s app lets you see reviews for restaurants, movies, and music from reputable sources such as newspapers, local news blogs, Facebook friends, or people in your contact list.
Patch: Here’s Ten Things We’re Doing RIGHT (Street Fight)
Rick Robinson: Anyone paying attention to this column knows I’ve dedicated plenty of thought to AOL’s efforts in local, primarily via its Patch effort. Some at Patch/AOL were unhappy. Others mailed me with even more colorful complaints, or “can-you-believe-this” vignettes. So I wanted to turn the tables on myself a bit and challenge Patch to sell us on what is going right.
Starbucks’ Shoddy Square Rollout Baffles Baristas, Confuses Customers (Fast Company)
About 7,000 Starbucks locations offer a supposedly simple system for letting customers pay with credit and debit cards using square wallet. Starbucks even invested $25 million in the payments startup. So why can’t it make it work?
Borrell: Promotions Will Dominate Local Media Ad Spend in 2013 (Street Fight)
Local advertisers are set to spend 81% more on promotions than media-based advertising this year, according to a new study by Borrell Associates. The report forecasts that growth in digital promotions will outpace digital advertising by 65% over the next four years, jumping from $32.2 billion in 2012 to over $80 billion in 2017.
Yelp: Study Says Our SMB Advertisers Make $23K More per Year (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: Using findings from a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, Yelp says “small businesses with a free business owner’s account [on Yelp] saw an average [revenue boost] of $8,000″ annually. Advertisers saw an even larger benefit, “generating average annual revenues from Yelp of more than $23,000.” However, BCG found that “online 15% of SMBs knew that they had a free Yelp profile and only 11% had claimed it.”
Walmart Expanding iPhone Checkout System to More Stores and Android (AllThingsD)
Scan & Go, Walmart’s mobile payments solution that allows shoppers to scan an item’s bar code with their iPhone and then pay for it at a self-checkout station, is currently available in about 70 stores. In the coming months, the retailer will roll it out to some 130 more, expanding it to more than 200 stores.
Making Global Local and Local Global (Neiman Reports)
Maria Balinska: It’s time to “mashup” the local and the global. There’s a gold mine of stories crying out to be told, stories that our readers and listeners say are “fresh”, “powerful” and — here’s the kicker — “relatable to.” Once you relate to something, chances are you are going to be interested and engaged.
Mogreet’s New Self-Serve Product Brings Highly-Engaging MMS ads to SMBs (PandoDaily)
Mogreet, which claims to already send two-thirds of all brand to consumer multimedia text messages (MMS) in the US, today extended its enterprise platform with a self-serve offering aimed at SMBs: Mogreet Express. As messages grow more contextual and relevant, churn declines, meaning that a video of the realtime atmosphere in a neighborhood bar, with an accompanying free drink coupon is anything but spam and likely to be well received.
People Will Give Up Their Personal Info If You Give Them a Good Reason (GigaOm)
Just like internet cookies went from major privacy concern to an accepted part of web browsing, the sharing of personal information like location and DNA will become more acceptable once people understand the value they may get out of offering it.