Street Fight Daily: Ford’s Ride-Hail Ambitions, Yik Yak Shifts Focus to Local Connections

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…

Ford Plans to Have a Full Fleet of Autonomous Cars Operating in a Ride-Hail Service by 2021 (Recode)
Ford CEO Mark Fields announced that the company is working toward launching a fleet of commercial, level 4 (one level below a completely autonomous system, in which drivers don’t have to be engaged) vehicles in a ride-hail service by 2021.

Foursquare’s Location Analysis Digs Into Brand Preferences of Festival Attendees (Street Fight)
Stephanie Miles: Location data is increasingly being used to market to consumers beyond traditional store walls. Whether the data comes from Foursquare or other competing location intelligence firms, it’s being used to demonstrate which mobile ads drive people to physical stores with real-time feedback.

Yik Yak Yearns to Be Local, Not Just Anonymous (TechCrunch)
Yik Yak co-founder and CEO Tyler Droll explains that “The main difference here is the different graph. It’s all about the local graph” opposed to the immediate social graph and celebrities on these other apps. “What bar is everyone headed to across my entire campus? I can get the pulse in my community beyond my really close friend circle,” Droll says.

Retailers Should Perfect In-Store Pickup or Not Offer It At All (eMarketer)
To make up for foot traffic lost to ecommerce, many retailers give their customers the option to complete a purchase online and pick it up at the nearest store. eMarketer’s Yory Wurmser spoke with Jaron Waldman, co-founder and CEO of store pickup app and technology provider Curbside, about the seamless experience retailers should strive to provide their customers.

Tech Takes the Battle for SMBs to Your Appointment Book (Street Fight)
Tige Savage: The unassuming calendar is emerging as a multi-billion-dollar gateway for companies trying to capitalize on the giant business of processing payments for small and medium-sized businesses.

Pokémon Go Players Are Spending Money (MediaPost)
So far, players have spent more than $250 million on coins, eggs, incubators, and other virtual items that help them advance in the game, according to findings from YouGov. Specifically, in-app payments surpassed $268 million just five weeks after the game’s launch.

AirBnB is Making It Harder for Hotels to Price Gouge Customers (Quartz)
Here is a very bad piece of news for hotels: Airbnb is hurting them on their most profitable nights. That’s per a recent report from UBS, which found that Airbnb is making it harder for hotels to charge through-the-roof rates on “compression nights”—i.e., nights where more than 95% of rooms are occupied.

Baskin Robbins Launches App Aiming to Close the Loop on Point-of-Sale Data and Modernize Loyalty Program (AdExchanger)
In the two weeks since its launch, more than 10,000 customers have downloaded the app, which was created by DigitasLBi. The app is part of a larger effort for more personalized, one-to-one marketing and enhanced CRM that moves Baskin-Robbins beyond a simple loyalty birthday program that offered a free scoop in exchange for customers’ birth dates and email addresses.

Pinterest Makes a Play for Big Brand Dollars with its First Video Ads (AdWeek)
Just like every other major tech company—namely Facebook, Snapchat, Google, Twitter and Tumblr—video is part of Pinterest’s recent efforts to beef up revenue with interactive ads that typically cost more than static formats. But Pinterest claims its pitch to advertisers is a bit different from that of its competitors, as 55 percent of the platform’s users find or shop for products, and 75 percent of content consumed derives from businesses.

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