Street Fight Daily: Square Adds Loans, Foursquare Declares Search Broken (Again)

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

Square_Logo_PortraitSquare Expands Into Small Business Loans (Financial Times)
Payments start-up Square is expanding from helping small businesses accept credit cards to extending small lines of credit to them. The expansion into a realm traditionally handled by banks and credit unions is intended to help turn Square from just a payments processor into a business with a wider variety of services to offer small merchants.

New Listing Services Will Help Local Data Go Digital (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: Somewhat unexpectedly, 2014 has seen a profusion of companies entering the listing management arena, many of them veterans of related disciplines. Those of us with long experience in the space are not surprised that others would see the value in helping businesses get found on local search sites and apps. But why the sudden surge of activity?

Foursquare Declares Local Search (Yelp And Google) Broken, Vows Fix With Personalization (TechCrunch)
Foursquare escalated its battle versus Yelp and Google today with a blog post explaining that its redesigned app will beat their “one-size-fits-all results” that users get “regardless of their interests or places they’ve been before.” Foursquare explains it transplanted check-ins into its Swarm standalone app to let the forthcoming overhaul of its main app focus on local search, which it calls “fundamentally broken.”

6 Tools for Gathering Insight from Digital Customer Interactions (Street Fight)
A number of hyperlocal platforms are now aiming to streamline that process by giving small businesses access to advanced marketing automation tools and analytics suites that were once reserved for national brands and agencies. Here are six platforms that businesses can use to gather insight from online customer interactions.

The FTC Condemns the Data Brokerage Industry’s Collection Practices (Pando)
The private sector’s data collection is about as scary as the federal government’s, despite arguments that corporations can’t put “warheads on foreheads.” Now, the Federal Trade Commission argues that data brokers should be more transparent in their dealings, and that consumers should have “greater control over the immense amounts of personal information about them collected and shared by data brokers.”

Why Intuit Paid a Big Premium for Check (Recode)
Jason Del Rey: Check could eventually do more than facilitate bill tracking and bill payments; it would also potentially be an app that shoppers would use to pay for goods and services while in physical retail stores. Intuit wouldn’t confirm those plans, but would says that Check would work to “create network effects between our small business and consumer businesses.”

The Google Local Carousel Is Still Spinning Out Of Control (SearchEngineLand)
Greg Gifford: Almost a year ago, Google threw everyone for a loop with the rollout of the Google Local Carousel. The SEO community scrambled to try to figure out how it worked, and theories started flying about how it would change search behavior. It was immediately evident that a location’s Carousel photo would be all-important.

Google to Use Partners, Maybe Uber, in Self-Driving Car Release (ZDNet)
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the company would use a range of partners when it came time to release its self-driving car project. Brin would not be drawn on the logistics of using the cars, saying that the company would sort it out closer to release, but said that the project could possibility partner with Uber.

Uber Says Its Drivers Are Making $75,000 – $90,000 A Year (WashingtonPost)
According to Uber, the median wage for an UberX driver working at least 40 hours a week in New York City is $90,766 a year. In San Francisco, the median wage for an UberX driver working at least 40 hours a week is $74,191.

Revel Adds A Drive-Through Option To Its iPad-Based Retail And Restaurant Sales Systems (TechCrunch)
California-based iPad point-of-sale maker Revel Systems has added a drive-through option to its lineup of software and hardware accessories, making it possible for business owners to get set up with a way to cater to their drive-up customers without the use of a central server and complicated dedicated systems.

Ex-Whisper CTO launches Knowzz Mobile Platform to Unlock Local Recommendations (Pando)
Knowzz is a new friend-curated local directory platform which simplifies the process of making recommendations and sourcing trusted professional on a moment’s notice. The Los Angeles-based startup was founded by former Whisper CTO Steve Sobolevsky, a man who knows a thing or two about building highly scalable consumer applications.

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