A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Google Fiber’s Latest Innovation Is a Landline (TechCrunch)
Google Fiber, the holy grail of Internet service for many, seems to have recognized that some people still rely on landlines for everyday communication purposes or emergency use. In order to allow users to completely sever connections with the old local ISPs and telecoms, Google will soon offer a home phone service for Fiber subscribers.
Why Retailers Like McDonald’s Should Take Note of Starbucks’ Loyalty Program Misstep (Street Fight)
Jenny Beightol: There’s been a lot of backlash from Starbucks customers after the company changed the mechanism of its My Starbucks Rewards program last month from frequency-based rewards to dollars spent. The switch is informative for other retail brands, and indicates that personalization is key.
Lyft Wants to Make ‘Casual Carpooling’ a Thing Again (The Verge)
Lyft is launching a new carpooling service that will “tap into a completely different population of drivers”. Those who want to participate share details about their daily commute with Lyft, then receive push notifications asking if they’d like to pick up a passenger along the way.
Grocery Delivery Options Reach Further Into Local Communities (Street Fight)
Matt Hatoun, founder of online buying club Wholeshare, believes that the delivery space is burning itself out by offering its services to mostly high-end customers. By approaching the food distribution industry in a new way, he and other entrepreneurs are finding new customers and converting old ones.
Digital Neck-and-Neck with TV Ad Spend in the U.S. (eMarketer)
Only digital can challenge TV’s dominance of the U.S. advertising market. In fact, spending on every other media channel combined — print, radio, directories, and out-of-home — doesn’t come as close to the TV total as the amount spent on all forms of digital advertising.
eBay Acquires Cargigi to Expand eBay Motors Team, Improve Tech for Auto Dealers (TechCrunch)
eBay has announced that it’s acquiring auto industry technology company Cargigi, a large provider of advertising and marketing services on a number of popular free classified websites like Craigslist. Most immediately, eBay dealers will have access to analytics they didn’t before.
What Gives Storefronts an Edge? (PYMNTS)
As the stock market swoons and the investment environment chills, local storefront businesses are still going strong. What gives them an edge against their larger counterparts? Where are these small business gems flourishing? Which sectors are growing the fastest? And what’s most surprising about how the market is evolving?
Inside Silicon Valley’s Big Pitch Day (The Atlantic)
Anna Wiener: If Y Combinator is making bets on the trajectory of innovation, then here’s what the future will hold: tools and services tailored to markets in developing countries. Robots that will augment or replace the tedium and dangers of manual labor in every industry. Chatbots and AI integrated into any and all software that will have them.