Street Fight Daily: Uber Confessions, Smartphone Adoption Slows

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

new_uber_logoUber Cab Confessions (GQ)
City by city, Uber is upending the taxi business, even though its rides can be pricier than cabs. So what’s the hook? Instant gratification, a hint of glamour, even some sex appeal. That’s what GQ’s Mickey Rapkin discovered after spending one week as an Uber driver. He also saw and heard some things he’ll never forget.

How Qualcomm Wants to Reinvent Retail (Street Fight)
Qualcomm Retail Solutions works with retailers and other venue owners to put the company’s two positioning technologies, Gimbal and iZat, to use. Street Fight recently caught up with Kevin Hunter, senior director of product management for Qualcomm Retail Solutions, to talk about the explosion in retail technology, the emerging technology driving innovation, and what the introduction of mobile will mean for the existing retail landscape.

58% of US Adults Say They Have a Smartphone — And Other Sobering Stats From Pew (Poynter)
In Pew Internet’s recent report on the state of the Internet 25 years later, the study found that fewer than 3 in 5 adults in the U.S. own smartphones. What might be more shocking still is that just 87 percent of Americans use the Internet. That’s something like 39 million people in this country who aren’t online at all — unfathomable to anyone reading this post.

Openings and New Hires at Angie’s List, Resolution Media, Leaf, Kenshoo, Sensis (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, Search Influence’s Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. In this week’s edition, jobs at AOL, Yahoo, Google, VendAsta and Street Fight.

How Foursquare Uses Location Data to Target Ads On PCs, Phones (AdAge)
Foursquare is formalizing its entry into the programmatic ad world as it moves to diversify beyond ads within the Foursquare app and generate more revenue from its trove of location data. The company’s director of sales and revenue operations, Eric Friedman, says that Foursquare has been working with Turn to show display ads to users on the web since late spring of last year, and mobile inventory was added to the mix in early fall.

Cut Loose by UC Berkeley, Hyperlocal Site Mission Local Looks to Spin Off as a For-Profit (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Mission Local will be spun off at a private entity with a less-than-certain future, no longer getting student reporters as part of the school’s course offerings. Dean Edward Wasserman said in a memo that the move was prompted by Mission Local’s cost and because it distracted students from the core curriculum of the program. The site, which covers San Francisco’s Mission District, will relaunch as a for-profit.

Groupon CEO: ‘Our Best Days Are By Far Ahead of Us (Mashable)
“I think we’ll look at [2013] as the year of stability when we got focused on the things that we had to do right to really get to the next level,” Lefkofsky told Mashable in an interview on Thursday. “We got focused on stabilizing our operations so that we could have a solid foundation and we could grow.”

Mobile Owners Reluctant To Use Phone For Retail Payments (MediaPost)
Despite all the buzz, investment and start-up activity around mobile payments, a key ingredient for success is still missing: consumers. Only 16% of mobile device owners have used their phone to make an in-store payment in the last three months, according to a new Yankee Group study.

Kellogg’s Mobile Campaign Layers in Retail Location to Push Sales (Mobile Commerce Daily)
Kellogg’s Special K cereal brand is hoping to drive sales for a new snack product with a click-to-map mobile advertising campaign to lure consumers into retailers. The consumer packaged goods brand is using the mobile ads to introduce a new 70-calorie snack bar that is the size of three bites.

Dining Payments Startup Dash raises $1.2M to Expand in N.Y. & Launch in Chicago (VentureBeat)
Now two years old with a total of $1.9 million in funding, Dash’s app enables you to pay your bar or restaurant tab via your smartphone — without having to flag down a server or hand over a credit card. Alongside the fresh capital, the New York City-based Dash is launching a redesigned app for iOS 7, including a new payments flow and iBeacon integration.

LBMA Podcast: Urban Airship, Future of Privacy, Facebook/WhatsApp  (Street Fight)
Welcome to This Week in Location Based Marketing, a weekly video podcast from the Location Based Marketing Association. Top stories of the week include highlights from Broadcom, Philips, rock band Archie Pelago, Baidu, Weve, Innovid and Cisco, eHarmony and Foursquare and Ruckus.

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