A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
For Its IPO, Square Scales Back Valuation by $3 Billion (New York Times)
The long-running gold rush into tech start-ups showed signs of faltering on Wednesday, as a much-anticipated market debut had to scale back its ambitions. Square — valued in a private financing last year at $6 billion — priced its IPO at a level that gave the payments company a valuation of $2.9 billion. The difference between the two may be seen as a sign that the market for venture-backed companies has reached too high.
Google Just Scored a Huge Win for Its Mobile Search (Business Insider)
Google has recruited a select group of apps to allow all of their content to be searchable when people use Google on their smartphone. For example, if you search for hotels in Chicago, Google can now pull app-only content from HotelTonight. Previously, the search engine could only show information from apps that had matching web content.
Targeting Consumers on the Holiday Purchase Path Means Reducing Friction (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: Around the holidays, consumers tend to spend a lot more time on multiple devices, altering standard shopping habits and behaviors. This means brands and businesses need to ensure they are accurately and competitively represented in search, social, and mobile channels, and that social engagement and advertising efforts are properly targeted to the right consumers at the right times.
Starboard Urges Yahoo to Drop Alibaba Spinoff Plan (Wall Street Journal)
Activist investor Starboard Value is putting new pressure on Yahoo, calling on the company to halt the spinoff of its stake in Alibaba and instead sell its beleaguered internet business. In a letter it sent Yahoo, Starboard says Yahoo’s planned spinoff of more than $20 billion in shares of the Chinese ecommerce giant now carries too much risk.
Webinar Recap: Marketing and Customer Engagement Tactics for the Holiday Season (Street Fight)
Black Friday is a week away. Is there anything brands and merchants can do before then to make their local marketing stand out amid the holiday crush? Yesterday’s Street Fight webinar, “Real-Time Location-Based Marketing Strategies for the Holidays,” in conjunction with Brandify, indicated there’s still time to implement some practical tactics that can make a difference.
Uber Wants to Give You a Flu Shot, and May Have Greater Health Ambitions (MarketWatch)
Uber’s seemingly limitless ambitions have grown to include healthcare. The ride-hailing company will offer flu shots in 36 U.S. cities, along with a $10 wellness package that includes tissues, hand sanitizer, a lollipop, and a tote bag. The goal of the promotion is more immunizations, but the company’s UberHealth sector may have grander plans.
How Target Is Putting Mobile Front and Center This Holiday Season (Digiday)
Target’s mobile strategy is designed to capture customer attention and facilitate easier in-store navigation. Mobile features new to the holiday season are meant to enable personalized research capabilities and drive Pinterest-like inspiration. For example, on Target’s mobile website, users can now “like” products, and the function saves products for future reference. Recommended products will then become more customized.
Townsquared Raises $5.3M to Expand a Nextdoor-Like Experience for Local Retail, Small Businesses (TechCrunch)
Townsquared, a platform for local business owners to connect and share resources, launches its iOS app today. Merchants can share advice, organize local events, and send crime and safety alerts in real time. There’s a live feed where members can see updates from nearby businesses and topic channels for discussing specific problems, and a resources section on how to manage permits and licensing or seek loans and funding.
This Coupon App’s Ambitious Holiday Campaign Uses Everything from Snapchat to Celebs (Adweek)
Shoppers probably know RetailMeNot as a coupon hub, but like most mobile players, it wants to be known as a one-stop shopping app with features like rebates and location-based deals. So the Austin-based company is launching an ambitious holiday campaign that includes TV, influencers, and social media.
Retailers Can Now Sell Paid Search in Their Apps with Point Inside StoreBoost (Search Engine Land)
In-store marketing solution Point Inside has launched a search marketing program for retailer apps called “StoreBoost.” As the name suggests, it enables retailers to promote specific products or brands in auto-complete or to the top of search results within their apps.