Street Fight Daily: Uber Launches Self-Driving Cars in SF, Yelp Starts Cash-Back Program

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

Uber Takes Self-Driving Cars to San Francisco (Wall Street Journal)
Starting Wednesday, the company will enable San Francisco residents to hail autonomous autos for trips within the city confines, effectively inviting thousands of engineers to kick the virtual tires on its software. Uber has been testing the vehicles with passengers for about three months in Pittsburgh. New York Times: Google parent company spins off self-driving car business.

How Facebook Finally Reconciled Commerce and Connections (Street Fight)
Manpreet Singh: The social media giant recently rolled out a suite of new experiences for Facebook Pages — most powered by third party technologies. These collaborations mean more engagement, visibility, and revenue for the companies that provide them; but what does it mean for Facebook?

Yelp Launches Cash-Back Program (Digital Trends)
Yelp’s latest ploy to attract users is a cash-back program that rewards customers as well as local businesses — but you’ll have to give up your financial information to the review-hosting site.

How Will Email Marketing Change in 2017? (Street Fight)
In a survey of more than 500 email marketers, Campaigner found that the top email marketing challenge in 2016 was increasing open rates, followed by creating compelling content and earning new subscribers.

Can Google’s User Reviews of Local Businesses Beat TripAdvisor At Its Own Game? (Skift)
While Google has made significant moves to grow and improve its offerings in the travel sphere, it’s still finding its way in the realm of user reviews and ratings of local businesses. 

Consumers Have Some Reservations About Amazon Go (Business Insider)
As groundbreaking as Amazon Go sounds, a not-insignificant amount of the public isn’t totally onboard. As this chart from Statista shows, more of the 1,039 respondents to a recent YouGov survey disagree with the notion that Amazon Go will solve more problems than it creates.

The Washington Post is ‘Profitable and Growing,’ Publisher Says (Poynter)
The Washington Post is a profitable and growing enterprise, the newspaper’s publisher announced in a memo to staffers Tuesday evening. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013 and has invested $50 million into the newspaper.

Retail Chatbots Show the Power of AI In Time for the Holidays (AdWeek)
The Mall of America has partnered with IBM to integrate the company’s Watson technology to create a “mobile concierge” that helps shoppers make their way around. Using Watson’s conversational API, a holiday-themed chatbot helps guests plan a personalized shopping experience based on whatever they’re looking for.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]