A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Amazon Plans to Roll Out Restaurant Delivery in Cities Across the Country (Recode)
Amazon announced that it’s starting to offer restaurant delivery in the Los Angeles area through its Prime Now app, which provides one-hour delivery in more than a dozen metro areas. “I’d characterize this as beyond the concept being experimental to something we’re actively growing,” said Amazon Restaurants general manager Gus Lopez.
Google Maps Is Adding Offline Navigation and Search (The Verge)
Offline search and navigation was one of Google’s biggest announcements earlier this year. Now the feature is finally reaching users. This week, Google Maps is rolling out a new offline mode.
In Local Marketing, ‘Obsolete’ Is All Relative (Street Fight)
Rafi Cohen: The pace of innovation is such that many new technologies are deemed “obsolete” before SMB owners get the chance to fully understand them, let alone implement them. Many feel left behind the curve. But obsolete is not an absolute condition when it comes to marketing techniques. Where marketing tactics and technologies are underutilized, potential for competitive gains still exists.
Brand Advertising in Programmatic Era Fattens Margins for Big E-tailers (Ad Age)
Publishers that rely on advertising have been getting pummeled by ad fraud, ad blocking, and a storm of competition for marketers’ budgets. But there’s one growing area of the web finding a big upside: ecommerce sites.
Do You Bing? If Not, It’s Time to Start (Street Fight)
Gib Olander: Microsoft recently announced that Bing turned its first profit since being launched in 2009. The company continues to extend its reach, grow its share of the search market, and add features that make it a stronger commerce tool. The question businesses should be asking is not whether Bing will catch up to Google, but whether they view Bing as a critical publisher to improve the reach of their location data.
Elle Magazine’s Location Celebration: ShopNow Effort Drove Half-Million In-Store Visits (GeoMarketing)
Elle Magazine is claiming success for its big experiment with location targeting and indoor proximity marketing, hailing its partnership with Swirl Networks on beacons, coupon marketplace RetailMeNot and ShopAdvisor on mobile app deals, and proximity specialist Gimbal on geofencing. The program delivered 500,000 in-store visits and more than 12 percent content engagement rate for participating retailers.
On-Demand Workers Need ‘Portable Benefits,’ Tech and Labor Leaders Say (Wall Street Journal)
A group of tech, public policy, and labor leaders says it’s time to create portable benefits for on-demand contract workers. In a letter sent to lawmakers and posted to the website Medium, the group, which includes the CEOs or founders of Lyft, Handy, Etsy, and Instacart, called for new protections. (Subscription required)
A Hot London Startup Announced the First Step in Its Wild Plan to ‘Give a City an Operating System’ (Business Insider)
Improbable, a startup that claims it wants to be the “Google of simulation,” is officially launching its operating system today. “You could take this thing, plug in live sensors, and start using it to really run day-to-day operations,” said founder and CEO Herman Narula. “If a garbage truck is late, what will be the implication across the city? We can find out in a moment. If you wanted to create a new service, [it] might be able to hook into this, leverage it to become much more efficient.”