Street Fight Daily: AOL Winds Down Patch, Twitter Tests ‘Nearby’ Feature

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

PatchAOL Chief’s White Whale Finally Slips His Grasp (New York Times)
David Carr: Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, is finally winding down Patch, a network of local news sites that he helped invent and that AOL bought after he took over. The hunt to own the lucrative local advertising market, Mr. Armstrong’s white whale, is over. But Patch did not go quietly — hundreds of people lost their jobs over the last six months — and neither will Mr. Armstrong.

Mobile Local Media: The State of the Union (Street Fight)
Michael Boland: The end of the year is upon us and that means top ten lists, year-in-reviews, and predictions galore. Sort of in that spirit but a slightly different format, I’ve been organizing the way I look at the mobile local world into a few buckets. So as this month’s column, here’s my state of the union in mobile local media.

Twitter Test Shows ‘Nearby’ Tweets (Wall Street Journal)
Twitter has an eye on your location — and is testing ways to share it with other nearby users. The short-messaging service appears to be testing a new timeline for its mobile app, called “Nearby.” It shows recent nearby tweets, whether you follow the tweeter or not. The “Nearby” timeline has appeared occasionally in recent days on the phones of users who allow Twitter to see and use their location.

How Hyperlocal Publishers Can Leverage Native Ads (Street Fight)
Eric Cohen: Depending on your perspective, so-called “native advertising” is either a bold new frontier or the re-naming of a tried and true form of advertising — the advertorial. But either way, it is a tool that should be in the kit of every hyperlocal publisher because native ads can deliver content from the native (local) perspective that hyperlocals share with their readers.

Amazon Said To Launch Pantry To Take On Costco, Sam’s (USA Today) is working on a new business called Pantry that will help it expand further into the giant consumer package goods market and take on warehouse club stores Costco and Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club. Pantry, which is run by Billy Hegeman, a senior manager in vendor management and consumables at Amazon, is currently set to launch in 2014, the people said on condition of anonymity.

Foursquare Evokes Minority Report With Talk of Automatic Ads (Wired)
Though Foursquare recently rolled out a new version of its mobile service that closely tracks your movements and delivers suggestions regardless of whether you “check in” to the app or not, these automatic suggestions don’t include paid ads, and officially, the New York-based startup says it has “no plans at the moment to push ads through real-time notifications.” But when we spoke to Crowley, he clearly indicated that, somewhere down the road, it will.

Nextdoor Competitor Meetey Launches Its Local Social Network Internationally (TechCrunch)
Tel-Aviv-based Meetey wants to do something similar to Nextdoor and today it’s expanding to over 90 countries beyond its home market in Israel and says it has hit 200,000 users. It will be interesting to watch this David and Goliath battle. The company also unveiled data from its platform that shows that on average, active users are forming 56 distinct new relationships that don’t exist on their current social graph.

Sponsored Content: New Ebook Looks at Instagram as a Local Channel for Marketers (Street Fight)
Instagram has evolved since its debut in 2010 to become a true local channel, one in which brands can build deeper, more authentic connections with their most devoted fans. A new ebook from MomentFeed, “The Year of the Instagram Strategy,” delves into this topic and provides strategies and real-life examples of how brands like JCPenney, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Disney have successfully tapped into the power of Instagram.

Predictions for 2014: Smartphones, Showrooming, and Micro-location (ClickZ)
Elisa Harca: Technology has played a significant part in opening the doors to closer trade links, erasing geographical barriers, allowing for ease of communication and encouraging a greater understanding of cultural and economic considerations for both countries. So, while we’re focussed on the future and as we approach the end of the year, I’d take the opportunity to look at what we can expect from digital in 2014.

Uber Quietly Spins Up New System Helping Riders Look For Lost Items (TechCrunch)
The car service Uber has quietly rolled out a new version of Uber Lost, the system that helps riders locate items they’ve left in drivers’ cars. The system allows you to quickly reference rides you’ve taken in order to locate it as fast as possible.

The Best Pinterest Place Pins Examples and Why Your Business Should Use Them (Search Engine Journal)
After some unusual site activity last week including a period of network down time, Pinterest Business launched their new interactive map pins, or ‘Place Pins’. Designed specifically for travel enthusiasts, travel brands, and explorer-types, the new Place Pins form an interactive map style board showing Pins by location.

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