A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Yahoo to Spin Off Its Core Businesses (New York Times)
Yahoo has dropped a plan to spin off its $31 billion stake in Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce company, and will instead spin off all of its other assets into a new company. The move is the latest effort by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to assuage shareholders.
Why 2016 Will Be a Big Year for iOS 9 (Street Fight)
Gib Olander: With iOS 9, Apple has established a new standard for conducting “nearby” searches, thanks to an enhancement to the Apple Spotlight search functionality. This accelerates the search process and moves the consumer down the path to purchase in a few significant ways, including proactive local search content and results that change by time of day.
Pinterest Buys Two Startups to Bolster Image Search (Wall Street Journal)
Pinterest has acquired two startups that could help bolster the company’s ability to show users images, or “pins,” they might like: The Hunt, a community-powered shopping service, and Pext, an app that matches images to user-made memes.
PlaceIQ Teams Up with IRI to Tackle Online-to-Offline Attribution (Street Fight)
One challenge marketers face today is pinpointing audiences as they move from device to device — and then from platform to platform on those different devices. Another is making sense of all the data consumers generate in the scores of micro-interactions they have every day across devices and platforms. A third is online-to-offline attribution. The partnership with IRI that PlaceIQ announced today is a step toward tackling these hurdles.
Uber Is Testing a New Service That Sounds Exactly Like a Bus (Business Insider)
Uber has announced a new pilot service called UberHOP that picks up riders in groups from a pre-determined location — a concept that sounds exactly like taking a bus. Only available in Seattle for now, commuters can request a ride on one of three routes available. Passengers will be directed to walk a few blocks to meet up with drivers and other passengers.
Is Facebook Becoming a CRM Platform for SMBs? (LSA Insider)
Greg Sterling: Facebook’s Pages are now a more robust way to manage customer interactions. Facebook has been pushing the idea that Pages are a digital presence solution for local businesses, online but especially on mobile. It also has been building out Messenger as a customer service tool for enterprises. These new features offer corresponding capabilities for SMBs.
German Carmakers Gobbled Up Nokia Maps So No One Else Would Take It (Recode)
The trio of German carmakers that now own Nokia’s Here Maps essentially confirmed that they made the $3 billion purchase in part because they couldn’t afford to see such a precious asset fall into other hands. What if Uber or Apple bought it and cut off their access? It was a purchase not for profit, but for security.
Do Social Network Users Want Buy Buttons? (eMarketer)
Social networks have been experimenting with — even fully implementing — buy buttons into their platforms. And though social media users are turning to those platforms (Instagram, Pinterest) to research brands and products, they’re not that interested in actually using the buy buttons there.