A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
The Future of Mobile Chatting: Commerce (Wall Street Journal)
David Marcus, a former PayPal exec who runs Facebook’s Messenger, says his team is studying how companies can keep in touch with customers over chat without being intrusive. While many Americans remain unfamiliar with messaging as anything other than a way to chat with friends or family in real time, ecommerce companies can use it for customer service. (Subscription required)
General Motors, Gazing at Future, Invests $500 Million in Lyft (New York Times)
Lyft has announced an investment of $500 million from General Motors. The funding values Lyft at $4.5 billion, not including the new capital. G.M.’s support includes more than financial backing — as part of the investment, the two companies will work on developing an on-demand network of self-driving cars, an area of research that companies like Google, Tesla, and Uber have all devoted enormous resources to in recent years. Adweek: What Marketers Need to Know About Cars as the Next Must-Have Mobile Devices
How Top Marketers Are Curating the In-Store Mobile Experience (Street Fight)
Kevin Hunter: With consumer behavior in place, and solutions making technology like beacons as simple as a media buy, mobile proximity is poised to become the fasting growing piece of mobile advertising in 2016. The brands that have tested and learned early on are in great position to scale up and reach their audiences this year.
For Sensors Focused on Local Commerce and Loyalty, Privacy, Battery Life, and Location Accuracy Are Top Concerns (GeoMarketing)
Sense360 seeks to align data sources (GPS, wi-fi, cell phone towers, Bluetooth, et al.) with context and place on behalf of app developers and local businesses. Activities like automatic check-ins and tracing customers’ wider geo-patterns to build better ad profiles and targeting opportunities is how Eli Portnoy, who previously ran mobile location ad platform Thinknear, sees his new creation serving businesses this year.
5 Tools App Marketers Can Use to Drive Mobile ROI (Street Fight)
Whether they’re looking to monetize local news, social channels, or virtual marketplaces, app marketers are finding that the key to generating revenue from mobile freemium apps has to do with personalized messaging and automation with real-time data.
How John And Patrick Collison Built Stripe Into the PayPal of the Mobile Era (Forbes)
Five years after its birth, Stripe is making quick strides toward its goal of revolutionizing digital payments. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have chosen the company to power their ecommerce efforts, and traditional retailers are using it for their forays into mobile.
Meet Sidewalk Labs, the Google Company That’s Trying to Fix Cities and the Internet All at Once (Recode)
In June, Google created Sidewalk Labs, an “urban innovation company” built to apply tech solutions to cities. Its first move, a free wireless network across New York City, offers some hint of its business to come. The company, part incubator and part investor, plans to find commercially viable tech ideas relevant to urban issues and back them or run them itself.
Snapchat Is Building an Ad Tech Platform (Digiday)
Snapchat is working on a crucial part of its growing digital ad business: an API that would let partners start buying ads with more precision and frequency.
The Six Things That Will Define Payments In 2016 (PYMNTS.com)
Karen Webster: There are lots of things that will influence the actions of the players within the vast and dynamic payments ecosystem this year. More explicitly, there are six trends that you won’t want to be on the wrong side of, including mobile apps killing countertop checkout, industry consolidation, and contextualized commerce.