Street Fight Daily: Google Now Opens Up, Yelp Back in Court

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

Google Now mobile appGoogle Now Becomes “Platform,” Incorporates Third Party Content, Apps (Screenwerk)
Google opened up Now to third party developers, starting with TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Kayak, and Ford among others. In a way, third party content integration into Google Now replicates that “discovery” or “curation” role that Google plays on the PC. Google Now thus becomes a doorway into content from across the mobile web.

How Online Dating Helped Thumbtack Raise $100M (Street Fight)
We recently caught up with Thumbtack’s CEO Marco Zappacosta to talk about the company’s meteoric growth, the challenges facing the on-demand economy, and how online a service industry is changing — whether professionals like it or not.

Yelp Goes to Court to Protect Identity of Anonymous Review-Writer (Consumerist)
A business who is displeased with an anonymous review on Yelp is trying to sue that reviewer and attempting to compel Yelp to reveal that user’s actual identity. But this morning, lawyers for Yelp and consumer advocates were in court to argue that there is no justification for unmasking the writer of this review.

6 Tools for Location-Based Lead Generation (Street Fight)
Nearly three-quarters of the small and medium-sized businesses surveyed by said they participated in lead generation practices, and 50% of these marketers said they plan to increase their lead generation spending in the coming year. Here are six tools that businesses can use for location-based lead generation.

Two Takeaways About LivingSocial From Amazon’s Yearly Statement (Washington Business Journal)
LivingSocial is currently sitting on a pile of cash. The more painful aspects of restructuring have also been squared away — all the expenses related to closing down facilities and laying off workers have been absorbed by the bottom line, so the company has bought itself a bit of breathing room.

How Dennis Crowley Built Foursquare After Quitting Google (Time)
Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley talks about his long road from broke snowboarding instructor to chief of a multi-million dollar venture. He told us about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and continuing on even when a Palm Pilot startup lays you off and Google drops your pet project.

Uber’s New BHAG: UberPool (Above the Crowd)
Bill Gurley: As we turn the page to 2015, Uber has a new big idea, and it’s name is UberPool. The concept behind UberPool is rather straightforward: If you can manage the system such that each driver averages more than a single rider per trip, you can achieve an even higher level of efficiency, and deliver even lower prices to the consumer.

Apple Pay’s Success Has Rivals Scrambling to Catch Up, Could Make Paypal an Acquisition Target (Apple Insider)
The strong initial success of Apple Pay, combined with the news that eBay will spin off PayPal, has led to expectations that PayPal could be a major acquisition target for mobile companies vying for users’ wallets.

PayPal and Dunnhumby Put $1.2m Into Pulsate, a Location Marketing Startup (TechCrunch)
Pulsate, a startup with a platform to deliver content for brands based on a user’s location and preferences, has raised funding from PayPal and Dunnhumby. Menlo Park-based Pulsate is a so-called “end-to-end context marketing” platform.

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