A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Starbucks Drops Square App as Mobile-Payments Battle Intensifies (WSJ)
Starbucks and Square, one-time partners in mobile payments, are going their separate ways in the ongoing battle for how to order and pay for items using smartphones. Square’s Wallet app stopped working at Starbucks last week, ahead of Square’s plan to stop supporting the app early next year.
Here Are the Top 5 Exits in Local Tech of 2014 (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: The largest deals came on the public market, where some of the more established firms found late exits and others teamed up with rivals. But the startup scene saw its share of healthy M&A activity as well. Here are the five biggest deals in the local tech of 2014.
Uber Moves to Patent the Surge Pricing Its Customers Hate (Skift)
Uber applied for a U.S. patent last year for “dynamically adjusting prices for service” using mobile devices. The system measures supply (Uber drivers) and demand (passengers hailing rides with smartphones), and prices fares accordingly. It’s one of at least 13 U.S. patent applications filed by Uber or its founders to give it an edge over potential rivals ahead of a potential initial public offering.
The Year in Local Search: A Timeline of the Top Stories of 2014 (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: The holiday season is a time to contemplate the year gone by, so we’ve rounded up some of the top news stories in local search over the past 12 months. It was a year marked by Foursquare’s rebranding, Google’s new SMB interface, and upgrades from the likes of Apple, Yelp, Yahoo, YP, MapQuest, and Bing.
Google Gains Ground on Amazon With Same-Day Deliveries During Holiday (AdAge)
Google is improving its fortunes in the market for same-day package deliveries, stepping up competition with Amazon, eBay and a host of startups during the busy holiday shopping season. Its service, called Google Express and available in big U.S. cities, handled 50% more toys in the two weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Advertising of the Future Will Be on the ‘Thin-ternet’ (AdAge)
Tom Goodwin: The web is changing, moving from a deep place we search to a thin layer that bubbles up personalized information on ambient screens that surround us. We’ve moved from surfing to searching; what is next is glancing.
The Trick To Understanding New Media: Nobody’s In Charge (Business Insider)
In this new era, the beneficiaries will be media companies that can create a constant “flow of content” using people and technology. The successful ads will be part of this flow — so-called “native” ads — rather than banners and other types of sponsorships sold in and around the content, says Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon.
Why Businesses Are More Excited Than Consumers About Wearables (VentureBeat)
While much of the wearable hype tends to focus on consumers, a new report argues that businesses may be far more critical in driving adoption. In the report, Forrester analysts found that 68 percent of global companies surveyed said wearables are a “priority” for their companies.