A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Street Fight Hyperlocal Analyst Predictions for 2016 (Street Fight)
With 2015 drawing to a close, it’s time again to look ahead to what we can expect in the hyperlocal space in 2016. We invited our regular analyst contributors to weigh in on what they felt would be a “sure thing” in the coming year, offer a prediction on something that might get big (but might not happen), and identify something that hyperlocal marketers and merchants really don’t need to worry about. This is the first of several predictions pieces we will feature this week.
Why Groupon Needs to Go Private to Rebuild Its Vision (TechCrunch)
Fabio Sisinni: Groupon is one of the few players, if not the only one, that still has a chance to create a local platform with broad adoption on both the merchant and consumer sides. Investors should take the company private and give it the chance to reemerge stronger and more relevant.
In 2015, Google’s Personal Assistant Broke Out of Its Shell. Now It Has to Fight (Recode)
If one line goes down in Google’s history from 2015, save the whole Alphabet thing, it will be the full-on pivot to mobile. Each part of the search engine was pushed to execute on mobile devices. Central to that is Google Now, the intelligent personal assistant. The product had a landmark year, inking integrations with over 100 apps and unfurling a feature — Now on Tap — essential to Google’s strategy.
10 Ways Retailers Can Create Awareness of In-Store Mobile Channels (Street Fight)
Consumers increasingly prefer to communicate with businesses through their smartphones rather than face-to-face, even while they’re shopping in-store. Retailers have reacted by investing in beacons and mobile apps, only to find that consumer use of these technologies is low. To understand how merchants should go about building these relationships and creating awareness of their mobile channels, we spoke with seven industry experts.
Relcy Founder Says He’s Built a Better Mobile Search Engine (Search Engine Land)
The founder of mobile search app Relcy, Rohit Satapathy, focuses less on mobile web content and more on “apps and actions.” For the past two years, Satapathy and his team have been constructing what he says is a superior knowledge graph and an index of deep-linked in-app content.
The Secret to Uber’s Success: Be Everywhere All the Time (Business Insider)
Uber is practically impossible to avoid. Meanwhile, users have to do more work to seek out Lyft or any other upstart that hopes to challenge the ride-sharing and logistics app. Making itself available on every single operating system and platform is just one more way Uber crowds out the competition.
Yelp’s Struggles and the Evolution of Online User Reviews (Skift)
Growing skepticism about the validity of online reviews is a challenge for companies like Yelp and Angie’s List, which have both lost favor on Wall Street. Waiting in the wings are heavyweights like Facebook vowing to deploy new technology that makes reviews more useful and prevents unscrupulous businesses from gaming the system with fake ones.
How the Buy Button Defined Mobile Payments in 2015 (VentureBeat)
At the end of 2014, everyone from Twitter to Tumblr teased a “buy button,” a single-tap feature that lets you buy merchandise from a non-retailer site. The button replaces the practice of linking to a brand’s site with a shopping experience that occurs inside the app you’re browsing (think shopping directly from Pinterest). This year, we saw the buy button come alive and drive sales in new places.
The Party’s Over in Startup Land (Business Insider)
Wolf Richter: Billion-dollar valuations for companies with no business model and no revenues have become routine, and investors are suddenly looking at them with a more critical eye.
Hyde Park Visitors Covertly Tracked via Mobile Phone Data (The Guardian)
Visitors to Hyde Park, one of London’s most famous tourist spots, were covertly tracked via their mobile phone signals in a trial undertaken by the Royal Parks to analyze footfall amid drastic funding cuts. Officials were able to retrospectively locate park-goers for 12 months using anonymized mobile phone data.
LBMA Podcast: WayRay’s Holographic Navigation System, Samsung Makes Holiday Piano Out of Tablets (Street Fight)
On the show: WayRay launches the world’s first holographic navigation system; Samsung fashions a holiday piano out of 112 tablets; Membo is the Yik Yak for local discovery; Moz partners with NavAds BV; Netflix socks turn your TV off if you fall asleep. Plus, news from Factual, Mondelez, Facebook and Uber, JCPenney, and Best Buy.