A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
AOL’s Tim Armstrong Aims to Build Digital-Ad Empire at Verizon (Wall Street Journal)
Under CEO Tim Armstrong, AOL plans to become a credible threat to Facebook and Google, the juggernauts of digital advertising. Armstrong aims to build the top mobile-media company in the world by 2020, one that reaches two billion users and generates $10 billion to $20 billion in revenue. (Subscription required)
Square Has a New Growth Hack to Increase Its Payment Processing Volume (Recode)
Square is launching a set of tools that allow stores to process payments even if they don’t use Square’s point-of-sale software. The move is a sign that Square is increasingly comfortable focusing on less sexy, revenue-generating back-end businesses, rather than looking for the next consumer payments hit.
‘Indie’ Pureplays Capitalize on Newspaper Turmoil in Big SoCal Markets (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: As founder of the independent Times of San Diego and My News LA, Chris Jennewein is going up against Tribune Publishing, owner of the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, once-reigning print dailies that are trying to make a comeback in the crowded digital space.
Car-Pooling Helps Uber Go the Extra Mile (New York Times)
Farhad Manjoo: UberPool may push us to re-evaluate how we think about Uber and its impact on the world. If it succeeds, the company could have a much bigger impact on urban mobility, labor, the environment, local economies, and the national transportation infrastructure than we’ve all supposed.
Case Study: Using Digital Coupons to Generate Calls (Street Fight)
In today’s competitive landscape, digital marketing firms are honing their sales pitches and investing in innovative new technologies to stand out from the pack. But when Don Fuller’s Appliance Repair co-owner Lisa Fuller evaluates a vendor, she looks at something that’s harder to quantify — sincerity.
Google’s Swipeable Car Ads Are Turning Search Into a Mobile Showroom (Adweek)
Google is continuing to drive home the idea of micromoments by turning ads into beautiful, swipeable, searchable image showrooms. The company has unveiled Model Automotive Ads, the first search ad format that lets users swipe through images of cars they’re curious about. According to Google, one in two auto searches happen on smartphones.
Amazon Says Home Services Orders Grew 20% Per Month Since Launch (Reuters)
Amazon said customer orders for home services have increased 20 percent per month on average since the online retailer launched the platform last year. The demand within this marketplace allows Amazon to enter the lucrative — and already crowded — field of local services.
3 Lessons Mobile Advertising Can Learn From Display’s Mistakes (Mobile Commerce Daily)
Phil Guest: In regards to mobile advertising, telecommunication and technology vendors need to come together to share user preferences across platforms and consumer tracking. While uniting an industry that is used to competition may be ambitious, this needs to happen for the benefit of consumers and marketers.
Kik Me Some Lipstick: Sephora Bets On Messaging Apps for Ecommerce (Digiday)
Sephora has made its debut on the messaging app Kik, aiming to drive sales by offering a one-to-one chat experience on mobile. Users will now be able to not only get their product reviews, recommendations, and tips instantly, but also make purchases directly on the app.
Why the ‘On-Demand Dream’ Is Far From Dead (GeoMarketing)
Lauryn Chamberlain: It’s been argued that the Uber model doesn’t translate. But to say so fundamentally misunderstands what the appeal of on-demand is all about — and why the way it has bridged digital and physical is wholly transformative.