Street Fight Daily: Airbnb Eyes Travel, Square Goes After Grubhub

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

airbnbAirbnb Looks Beyond Flat-Sharing to Tickets and Travel (Financial Times)
Home-rental start-up Airbnb, recently valued at $10bn, is trying to expand from enabling people to let out their flats or holiday homes to helping their visitors buy and pay for everything from event tickets to travel. The focus is figuring out how to use the service to sell other products to its millions of users in nearly 200 countries.

For Local Commerce Startups Like Homejoy, A Choice of Whom to Disrupt (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Airbnb’s recent decision to become a hospitality brand has deep implications for a growing segment of startups that have built similar digital marketplaces for a number of traditionally offline industries. Today, these startups face a similar ontological decision: should they become a consumer brand should they expand horizontally to disrupt Yelp, Google and the others.

Square Branches Out Into Food Ordering With New Square Order Service (TheNextWeb)
U.S. payments giant Square is expanding its services after it launched Square Order, a new mobile service that lets users order and pay for food pickups from their mobile device. The service is initially available in New York and San Francisco only, and it follows a closed trial that has run in the two cities since February.

6 Tools Publishers Can Use to Monetize Their Business Directories (Street Fight)
Hyperlocal publishers are frequently on the lookout for new ways to generate revenue from their sites, and one of the most straightforward revenue diversification strategies involves launching a business directory. Here are six tools that publishers can use to monetize business directories on their hyperlocal sites.

Foursquare Goes Oprah: You’re a Mayor and You’re a Mayor (Engadget)
When Foursquare announced plans to split check-ins off into their own app last week, it didn’t reveal too many details on how the finer points — like Mayorships — would factor in. But in what Foursquare is calling Mayorships 2.0, you compete only with your friends to hold office at your favorite coffee shop — not the fella that sits in the corner all day, every day.

Uber Learned the Hard Way: Transparency Rules the Sharing Economy (Wired)
Carl Alvani: Although it’s not a peer-to-peer service like, say, Airbnb, Etsy or RelayRides, Uber has replaced a long-standing business model with a digital marketplace that links independent providers directly with consumers. That subjects Uber to a unique set of consumer expectations governing the way information is shared.

How Data Visualization Answered One of Retail’s Most Vexing Questions (Harvard Business Review)
The rise of in-store analytics has created a deluge of new data for brand marketers to parse. Greg Yin, Belk’s vice president of innovation, told me that the heat mapping is particularly valuable when it comes to maximizing the value of staffing – making sure customers have a salesperson to assist them, easing the burden of the busiest times on sales associates.

LivingSocial’s Barry Judge on attracting customers to deals using data (Washington Post)
LivingSocial largely halted its efforts to attract new customers last year as waning interest in daily deals and a series of financial hits forced the company to retrench. Now, Chief Marketing Officer Barry Judge said the deals company has begun to unfurl fresh ways to entice new customers, win back old ones and turn those customers into repeat buyers.

People Go Bananas Over MonkeyParking (TechCrunch)
In a place where you could pay for almost anything to come to you via mobile, to have empty parking spots eventually come to you via mobile. That is the premise behind Italian app MonkeyParking, which allows you to “sell” your parking spot (or rather, the inside information about whether your parking spot will be available shortly) starting at $5.

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