Street Fight Daily: Google Kills The Carousel, Facebook’s Local Ambitions

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

googleGoogle Debuts New Look For Hotel Booking Ads As The Carousel Disappears (Search Engine Land)
The grand, awkward Carousel experiment appears to be coming to an end — for local listings at least. Google is abandoning the Carousel of horizontal listings that appeared at the top of local search results for hotels, restaurants and a few other verticals.

Can Traditional Retailers Nail Digital Before Amazon Figures Out Brick-and-Mortar? (Street Fight)
Pete Coleman: If you believe that Amazon’s move into physical retail is essential for its long-term growth, then traditional retailers will be formidable players in the future landscape of retail. The road to the type of world domination that Amazon seeks goes over a leased line in a town near you.

Facebook’s New Privacy Rules Clear the Way for Payments Push and Location-Based Ads (Recode)
Facebook is updating its privacy policies and adding tools that are supposed to make it easier for you to understand them and to opt out of certain kinds of ad targeting. It’s worth noting two things that Facebook itself is highlighting in its new text: Language that spells out its ambitions to sell you stuff and to serve you ads based on your location.

Apple Pay Doesn’t Have to Kill the Wallet to Be Worth SMBs’ Adoption (Street Fight)
Matt Matergia: More and more, software is influencing the way consumers evaluate the places where the shop in the real-world. It is crucial for small businesses to break down any potential barriers surrounding purchase, especially when consumers are offered numerous alternatives including national chains and ecommerce giants.

Can Tech Companies Solve Their Temporary Labor Problem? (Pacific Standard)
The venture capital-funded promise of companies that provide cheap, accessible services from car rides to house cleanings on demand is that they are developing technology that allows them to do so. But unlike Google, these companies rely much more heavily on people instead of machines and algorithms to let them turn a profit.

In First Acquisition, SocialRadar Snaps Up Location Tech Firm (Street Fight)
Location analytics startup SocialRadar, founded by Blackboard founder Michael Chasen, has made its first acquisition. The company has come to terms with Gridskippr, a startup specializing in location management and mobile advertising technology for smartphone apps.

Now I Know Why Investors Are Going Hog Wild About Uber (Business Insider)
Most observers view that valuation as a sign of obvious insanity — further confirmation of “a new tech bubble.” Based on what I am hearing about the company’s financial performance, these observers are clueless. For two reasons, the investment is probably a more reasonable bet than it might initially appear.

What Can Jim Brady’s New Site Do For Philadelphia Journalism?  (Columbia Journalism Review)
The track record for news startups in the city of 1.5 million people is not encouraging. But there’s a new crop on the way, trying a variety of models in search of the right mix of relevance and sustainability

Why Tech Brands Are Suddenly in Love With Billboards and Subway Ads (AdWeek)
A few years ago years ago, out-of-home advertising was still primarily used by either big, traditional brands or local businesses. But as technology becomes more engrained in everyday life, a crop of startups are putting new twists on old-school advertising to build brand recognition and drive app downloads.

Three out of Four Beacon Programs Will Fail: Here’s Why (AdAge)
Puneet Mehta: I predict that three out of every four beacon programs will fail in 2015.Beacons will be treated as a hammer looking for a nail; marketers will try to fit beacons everywhere they can. The principles that should guide any marketing effort of this sort will be forgotten.

Startup Gorilly Is ‘showrooming’ Without The Showroom (USA Today)
Sometimes you just want to see, touch and feel a product you’re about to spend your hard-earned cash on. That’s why an emerging San Francisco startup wants to more officially marry the brick-and-mortar retail world with e-commerce.

LBMA Podcast: Factual Teams With EQ Works, Digital Element Partners With Skyhook (Street Fight)
On the show: Bionym pioneers wearable payments; Adsquare raises $4.3M; The NHL is testing virtual Dasherboards; Our resource of the week looks at the impact of Apple Pay on Whole Foods..

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