A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Second Quarter Reveals Facebook’s Big Push for Local (Wall Street Journal)
While mobile, mobile, mobile was the focal point of Facebook’s strong second quarter report card, local was also a key bullet point. In an earnings call Wednesday, COO Sheryl Sandberg, who has called local the “holy grail of the Internet,” reiterated her focus on local advertising on the earnings call and attributed the recent growth in the category to better targeting tools and simpler ad products. Nearly 18 million local businesses now have a Facebook page.
Broadstreet’s Mission: Liberate Sites for What Matters Most (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: Serving ads can be a big pain for the entrepreneurial publisher of a small community site. Broadstreet Ads’ mission is to make the pain go away. Then, says Broadstreet co-founder Kenny Katzgrau, the publisher can focus on important things like revenue generation, improving editorial content, and enhancing audience engagement.
eBay Is Testing A New Local Service Provider Marketplace In The UK (TechCrunch)
eBay is testing a new local service provider marketplace in the U.K. called eBayHire where you can find traditional service providers like plumbers, movers, contractors, drivers and more; but you can also access more specialized providers like photographers, those who specialize in antique valuations, upholstery cleaners and more. While some details are still unclear, the project seems more like Angie’s List or Home Depot’s Red Beacon than TaskRabbit or Exec.
Local M&A Activity Hits $7.2 Billion In First Half of 2013 (Street Fight)
Whether it’s through acquisition or investment, money keeps flowing into the local space. The first half of 2013 saw total investment activity, which includes both M&A and private financing, grow from a year earlier, as the number of deals stayed flat but total reported deal value jumped from $5.2 billion to $7.2 billion over the same period, according to a new report from BIA/Kelsey.
Angie’s List 2nd-Quarter Loss Narrows (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Angie’s List said Wednesday its second-quarter net loss narrowed as membership and service-provider revenue both rose. Membership revenue rose 41 percent to $15.9 million, while revenue from businesses reviewed on the site rose 72 percent to $43.3 million. The results were in line with expectation and the company’s high-flying stock fell almost 5 percent in extended trading.
Case Study: Loyalty Program, Targeted Emails Lead to Daily Sales Spikes (Street Fight)
At Gelato Fiasco in Portland, Maine, director of marketing and public affairs Bobby Guerette says his team initially developed the company’s digital loyalty program — dubbed the Red Spoon Society — as a way to promote individual Gelato Fiasco locations. What they later discovered was that the card-less program could be useful in promoting the wholesale side of Gelato Fiasco’s business, as well.
Can A Neighborhood Social Network Dominate The Local Web? (Forbes)
Launched in October 2011, NextDoor, a San Francisco-based company, connects neighbors via a Facebook-like newsfeed. Fifteen thousand U.S. neighborhoods have joined the site while the governments of cities like New York, Dallas and San Jose, Calif. partner with the company to provide residents with information from police departments and local services.
Transparency, ‘Surveillance’ and the Promise of Indoor Marketing (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: Indoor location and marketing represent a new frontier that will have a potentially profound ripple effect up and down the digital marketing ecosystem — with implications that extend well beyond the store. Consumers must be given clear information as well as opportunities to opt-in to these program and stores and venues must provide consumers with assurances that there are privacy safeguards in place and that their data and shopping behaviors aren’t being misused.
Thanks To Smartphones, Amazon Is Softly Killing Retail Shopping and Is Better At It Than Google (GigaOm)
Om Malik: The rise of smartphones has led to a smarter shopper, one that is almost always looking for a bargain. A new study shows that this behavior of price matching is rising and the beneficiary is none other than Amazon, which has out-Googled Google.
Citymaps Revamps Mobile App, Nabs Big Brands (AdWeek)
Citymaps, which debuted as a Web-based business tool a few years ago, is relaunching its iPhone app that will be tested by mobile advertisers ranging from fashion retailer Aeropostale to hospitality chain Bliss Spa to Vitamin Shoppe, among other brands. The New York-based firm’s revamped mapping technology is designed to be super social, letting on-the-go consumers see icons of local businesses and public places based on their interests exhibited on Facebook and Twitter—as long as they agree to share such information with the app.