A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Reports: Facebook Is Buying Social Mapping/Traffic App Waze For Up To $1B To Court Mobile Users (TechCrunch)
Facebook appears to be close to making another billion-dollar acquisition to once again ramp up its mobile efforts: according to three reports Facebook has approached Waze and is now in advanced due dilligence on a deal that the reports puts at between $800 million and $1 billion. TechCrunch has confirmation from a source that both sides have privately confirmed that the deal is happening, and that the pricing reported is accurate.
Employees’ Overtime Suit Forces Daily Voice to Seek Bankruptcy Protection (Street Fight)
Daily Voice, the recently scaled-down regional network of 41 community news sites, filed for and won Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. The move gives the company relief from an expensive class-action suit by two former reporters who said they and other Daily Voice staff worked overtime consistently but were never paid for the extra hours.
Klout Dips into Q&A and Local Commerce with Launch of New Questions Feature (GigaOm)
Klout is adding a new product Wednesday that will ask people to answer questions about topics they’re knowledgeable about in an attempt to improve local search and discovery. The company used the questions of, “what’s the best veggie burrito in San Francisco” or “what’s the best digital SLR camera to buy” as examples of questions that users might answer.
AOL Chief: We Will Use ‘All Means Possible’ to Get Patch to Profitability by Q4 (Street Fight)
AOL’s hyperlocal media network Patch has rolled out its redesign from a handful of pilot communities to around 100 markets across the country, Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chief executive, said during an earnings call Wednesday morning. The move comes as AOL focuses in on Patch’s model, pushing the closely-watched hyperlocal news network to reach run-rate profitability by Q4 of this year.
Trulia Agrees to Buy Real-Estate Software Maker Market Leader For $355 Million (Wall Street Journal)
Trulia has agreed to acquire real-estate-focused software maker Market Leader for about $355 million in cash and stock as the real-estate-listing service looks to beef up its offerings. The combined company will be headquartered in San Francisco. It will have about 46,000 subscribers, which Trulia noted is more than any other company in the online real estate marketplace.
Groupon Rebounds in First Quarter Without Mason (Street Fight)
Eric Lefkofsky, who is serving as co-interim chief executive with Ted Leonsis, opened the earnings call Wednesday evening with an apology to investors, admitting that the company had “spread [itself] too thin and failed to focus on things that will have the greatest impact.” Part of that extension, Lefkofsky admitted, was overinvesting in a secondary businesses like Groupon Goods at the cost of its more profitable local segment.
Foursquare’s Crowley on Automatic Check-Ins and Privacy: ‘Just the Natural Progression’ (AdAge)
A year or two from now, Foursquare users may not have to take their phones out and manually check in to each location they visit, co-founder Dennis Crowley said in an interview from Allen & Gerritsen. “This is just the natural progression of things.” Mr. Crowley added.
How to Benefit From the Mobile Shift in Local Search (ClickZ)
Anna Bager: The use of mobile applications has trained consumers to launch specific apps that directly meet their needs, whether that is looking up the weather in their hometown, catching up on regional news, or making a dinner reservation in the neighborhood.This fragmentation means that it is more important than ever for marketers to build local listing management into their marketing strategy. Local and search may be an ideal match, but it takes savvy to take full advantage of their coupling.
Case Study: Local Deals Site Increases Subscribers With Offerpop Promotions (Street Fight)
When Matt Toomey set out to launch a daily deals site in California’s Bay Area in September 2011, he knew he’d be challenged with competing against industry giants like Groupon and LivingSocial. What Toomey has learned in the 20 months since his company’s launch is that it takes more than just a great idea and close relationships with local businesses to make a deal site profitable — it also takes subscribers.
Go Daddy a Potential Giant in SMB Digital Marketing Services (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: With new CEO Blake Irving (formerly Chief Product Officer at Yahoo) at the helm and some local veterans in its ranks now, the company is making a major push to shift its image and make a much larger play in SMB marketing services. Given the company’s huge installed base of SMBs I believe there’s a very real opportunity here.
Cisco Meraki Launches “Presence”, With Facebook Account Log-In To Wireless Networks (TechCrunch)
Cisco Meraki has launched a new service called Presence that provides data about mobile behavior across location and automatic log-in to wireless hotspots using a person’s Facebook account. Presence provides an API that allows integration with real-time location data into CRM and other business systems as well, and allows for third-party data integration that can be analyzed with location-based information.