Street Fight Daily: Investors Cash Out of Payments, Airbnb’s New Logo

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

mobilepaymentInvestors Cash Out Of Payment Technology Startups (TechCrunch)
Even as a clutch of new payment technology companies, it seems like investors are no longer paying out for payment companies. Over the past three quarters, the number of venture-backed payments companies has declined, tumbling from 59 startups in the third quarter of 2013 to just 41 companies in the second quarter of 2014.

Surge Seen in Online Political Ads, But Which Sites Will Be Winners? (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: Digital platforms traditionally haven’t gotten too much in the way of political ad spending, but new projections from Borrell Associates show online outlets making a big leap this year amid the midterms, going from $14.1 million in 2010 to $211.2 million in 2014. But it’s not clear how much community news sites — many of which cover campaign news diligently — will benefit from these gains.

Airbnb Unveils a Major Rebranding Effort That Paves the Way for Sharing More Homes (FastCompany)
The company unveiled a brand overhaul that impacts everything at Airbnb, from its advertising and product messaging to its community outreach and web and mobile services. The company’s branding has also been given a makeover, thanks in large part to a new company symbol which resembles a paperclip stretched out in the style of an A-shaped birdhouse.

How to Use Video Content to Boost Local Search Rankings (Street Fight)
Charlie Rall: Over the past year, online video has become a powerful tool for boosting organic SEO rankings. Search engines still value video because it’s harder to make and is typically much more engaging. Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the most value out of your branded content to compete online.

Google AdWords Express App Aims to Boost SMB Self-Service (Screenwerk)
Google has introduced an app to help SMBs or anyone using AdWords Express to manage their campaigns on mobile devices. Ironically there’s no app yet for the main AdWords product. The new app allows businesses and advertisers to create or edit ads and choose targeting criteria “on the go.”

Tim O’Shaughnessy on the LivingSocial He’s Leaving Behind (Washington Business Journal)
We captured a bit of our conversation with outgoing LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy in our coverage of his replacement, eBay exec Gautam Thakar, who was named to the position Tuesday. Here’s the B-side of our exit interview with the guy who led LivingSocial for seven years.

Google Ventures Says Uber Will Be Worth More Than Toyota (Mashable)
Amid all of that, Bill Maris, the managing partner of Google Ventures, which is an investor in Uber, said the long-term value of the company could be “$200 billion or more.” Maris, who founded the venture capital arm of Google in 2009, said he “was pounding the table” in enthusiasm for investing in Uber this year, similar to last year.

The Newspaper Crisis, By The Numbers (Newsosaur)
With the pre-tax profits of the publicly held publishers cut by 39% since 2003, newsroom staffing has dropped to a historically low level. In spite of the declared determination of most publishers to pivot from print to pixels, the industry’s share of the digital advertising market has plunged by more than 50%.

Brady: Local Coverage Should Involve Communities – and Help Them Improve (Poynter)
In the weeks after Jim Brady announced plans to launch, a local news web site in Philadelphia, he and Poynter’s Butch Ward had an email conversation about Brady’s previous experiences with guiding digital newsrooms.

Why Walgreens Bets on New York to Test Digital  (AdWeek)
Over the past couple of years, Walgreens set up its 250 New York Duane Reade locations to test small digital programs to determine which should be rolled out nationally. Duane Reade’s Calvin Peters, digital communications manager, talked to Adweek about three different initiatives that are fueling this larger digital strategy.

Foursquare Exec Trash Talks Yelp (New York Business Journal)
Foursquare Labs Inc. is preparing for the high-stakes launch of its revamped namesake app, but its new Chief Operating Officer Jeff Glueck took a few minutes off to trash talk Yelp on Wednesday.

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