A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Uber Tests Standalone Food Delivery App (TechCrunch)
Uber is taking the next step to push its well-funded brand into the food delivery space, launching the UberEATS service as a standalone app in Toronto. UberEATS delivers food prepared by local restaurants to users via Uber drivers.
Walmart to Offer Smartphone Payments in Stores (Wall Street Journal)
Walmart is planning to offer its own way for shoppers to pay with their smartphones in its stores, setting itself up as a competitor to Apple and other companies that already have rolled out mobile payment technologies. (Subscription required)
Why Location Management Matters in the Age of Mobile and Social (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: If SEO is about websites and marketing is about brand awareness, location management is about brick-and-mortar businesses and removing friction along the customer journey from online search to offline purchase. It’s about consistent, accurate, actionable location data, broadly available on all the entry points where consumers are likely to be looking for businesses. Ignore it at your peril.
Facebook Is Updating Instant Articles to Help Publishers Make More Money (Adweek)
Facebook is updating its policies for Instant Articles, which could mean up to 40 percent more ads for publishers on the platform. Publishers should welcome the tweaks, as some have complained that Facebook’s policies made it difficult to get as much revenue as they could from simply publishing articles on their proprietary websites.
6 Ways Local Merchants Can Use Rewards to Bring in Holiday Shoppers (Street Fight)
Consumers are expected to spend $630.5 billion this holiday shopping season. Local merchants are fighting tooth and nail to take back a larger share of that revenue from their ecommerce competitors. Here’s what industry leaders said about the types of incentives that work best for encouraging shoppers to make holiday purchases at local retail businesses instead of big-box stores or ecommerce sites.
Slash Raises $1.3 Million for an iOS Keyboard and Mobile Search Engine (TechCrunch)
Capitalizing on the growth of mobile messaging, Slash has raised $1.3 million for its development of a search engine that’s tucked inside your keyboard. Launched just a couple of months ago, the Slash app lets you share rich media, including videos, links, news articles, maps, and more without having to turn to a separate application.
This New On-Demand Transportation App Wants to Be the ‘Amazon Prime of Cars’ (Business Insider)
All the talk about shunning car ownership in favor of the Ubers and Lyfts of the world may be misplaced — at least, that’s the bet being made by Jon Alain Guzik, the founder of Prazo, a car-leasing app. Prazo aims to be the go-to place for all things transportation, with ambitious plans to lease cars (and a host of other related services) through smartphones.
Paper Lions: Why Hyperlocal Newsweeklies Are Making a Quiet Comeback (Forbes)
The new media landscape includes a few national papers like the New York Times and Washington Post up top, while the middle — ambitious regional papers and alt weeklies — has disappeared. But hyperlocal newsweeklies can survive at the bottom. “Papers with thriving retail rural markets are outperforming and growing profits,” says Max Heath, the National Newspaper Association’s Postal Chair.