A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Ad Buyer: Spend on Instagram Has Increased ‘Something Like 11,000%’ Between Q3 and Q4 (Business Insider)
Chances are Facebook is going to talk a lot about its photo-sharing app Instagram in its fourth-quarter earnings call in January. Ad spend on the app is going through the roof, and it’s helping advertisers spend more on Facebook, too.
5 Keys to Small Business Success in 2016 (Street Fight)
It’s no longer enough to just have a Facebook page or a website that’s optimized for mobile. To stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace in 2016, local merchants will need to dig in and start using hyperlocal technology to its full potential.
The New ‘Zigzagging’ Customer Journey: Think Local, Act Mobile (GeoMarketing)
Luke Edson: Today’s consumers are zigzagging from device to device, platform to platform, and online to offline when searching for products and services. This fragmented journey makes it harder than ever for brands to be where local consumers are looking and to gauge success. Consequently, marketers need to rethink all points of that journey and reimagine how, where, and when they’re engaging.
Local Tech’s Top 5 Exits of 2015 (Street Fight)
The local technology space saw plenty of M&A activity in 2015 and remains poised for another busy year in 2016. Rampant expansion of certain areas, like on-demand services and delivery apps, makes further consolidation likely. The startup scene saw its share of healthy — if not billion-dollar — exits as well. Here’s a recap of the five of the biggest exits in local tech this year.
Google Plans New, Smarter Messaging App (Wall Street Journal)
Google is building a new mobile messaging service that taps its artificial intelligence know-how and so-called chatbot technology to try to catch up with rivals, including Facebook, in the fast-growing messaging arena. Users typically join messaging services because they know other users; Google has struggled to create such network effects with both Hangouts and Messenger, its two existing services.
Let’s Face It, 2015 Was a Pretty Lousy Year for Unicorns (TechCrunch)
Gené Teare: It’s been a pretty awful year to be a unicorn in 2015. Altogether, just five companies with billion-dollar-plus valuations have gone public this year. They include Box (January), Shopify (May), Pure Storage (October), Square (November), and Atlassian (December). That’s a small number compared with the 156 companies globally that are privately valued at above $1 billion.
How the Internet of Things Is Making the Retail Industry Smarter (eMarketer)
The rise of ecommerce has changed the game for brick-and-mortar retailers, but the Internet of Things may restore some luster to physical stores. David Morin, retail analytics expert at in-store visualization technology provider Prism, spoke about some of the ways in which connected visual sensors and analytics tools can help marketers make the traditional shopping experience more appealing.
The Happy Home Company Raises $3.5M to Make Home Maintenance Easier (TechCrunch)
The Happy Home Company is aiming to eliminate the headaches of home maintenance and improvement, and it’s raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Because other startups have struggled in this market, Happy Home Company CEO Doug Ludlow has been intentionally quiet, perfecting his model as companies like Purch and Homejoy suffered through layoffs and shutdowns.
Targeting Experience Spenders, Everfest Co-CEO Talks Festival App (Xconomy)
Experiential spending is at the core of Everfest, an Austin startup that aims to be the online center of festivals of every kind. Everfest provides both an online site to search for festivals and a mobile app for attendees seeking to navigate events, and sees money to be made from advertising, sponsorships, and deal-based offerings as it acquires users.