Street Fight Daily: Google Tests Local News, Foursquare Sells Location Data

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

Google-nowGoogle Now and Google Glass Could Become Your Hyperlocal News Readers (Quartz)
Google has hatched a plan to boost the visibility of its existing local news product, and in the process is testing a whole new way to get people to pay attention to the news that is geographically most relevant to them. The search giant is testing a local news “card” in its Google Now service, which is built into all new Android smartphones and is available on the iPhone through Google’s Search app.

With Strong Earnings, Yelp Nears Profitability (Street Fight)
The reviews site brought in $55 million in revenue during the quarter on a $878,000 loss, the closest the company has come to run-rate profitability since going public. The results come on the heels of a busy past few weeks for the company as it began to stake its position in a local market that’s increasingly shifting toward commerce technologies.

Foursquare Selling Its Location Data Through Ad Targeting Firm Turn (AdAge)
As part of its efforts to generate new sources of revenue, Foursquare is working with ad-tech company Turn to allow advertisers to use its treasure-trove of location data to retarget Foursquare users on other websites. After finding their desired Foursquare audience, advertisers can serve display and video ads to those Foursquare users’ desktops, smartphones and tablets via Turn’s ad exchange partners including Facebook Exchange.

Hulafrog Pins Focus on Hyperlocal for Kids (Street Fight)
“Hulafrog’s focus is to connect parents to the events, businesses and promotions in their local communities that cater to families,” says Sherry Lombardi. “So everything from parades and puppet shows to kid friendly restaurants and karate studios. Somewhat like a Yelp for parents with a focus on activities.”

OpenTable and the ‘Ecommercification’ of Local (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: OpenTable arguably originated local e-commerce (reservations). Then Groupon advanced the trend by taking an upfront payment for later offline fulfillment. And others, such as ReachLocal’s Club Local, go even further blending online and offline commerce. Online and mobile payments create an interesting hybrid opportunity: local consumers interact with and receive the product or service in the real world but payment happens “in the cloud” via mobile app or online stored credit card.

Yelp’s Recipe for Conquering Local Advertising: Partnerships With a Dash of M&A (AllThingsD)
The vast majority of Yelp’s revenue comes from local advertising — business-listing ads that sometimes contain user reviews and appear at the top of Yelp search pages and also on the profile pages of similar businesses in the advertiser’s geographic area. To do well, Yelp is trying to prove to those local advertisers that it is turning its readers into customers.

ByteLight Illuminates The Mobile Wallet Using LED Lights (GigaOm)
Boston startup ByteLight’s ultimate goal is to turn a store’s lighting fixtures into a communications, but for now it’s starting out small. It’s developed a countertop LED reader that can communicate with any camera phone.

Report: Building Contractors Number 1 Local Ad Category (SearchEngineLand)
Restaurants is still the most widely searched local business category according to YP’s Q2 Local Insights report. However restaurants doesn’t even show up in the top 10 when it comes to advertising spend.

Carrier-backed Payments Service Isis Expanding Nationwide, Will Work With iPhones (PaidContent)
The U.S. carrier-backed Isis mobile payment service, which is still only in a couple U.S. markets, has announced two big things: it plans to expand to nationwide coverage by the end of the year and the service will work on Apple’s smartphones. The near-field communications-based service has so far only been accessible to Android smartphones — and Apple, notably, does not make products that use NFC.