A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Google Gets Surprise Ally in Mobile-App Search Push: Facebook (Wall Street Journal)
Google’s effort to keep its search engine relevant in a world of mobile apps just got a boost from a big rival. Facebook now allows Google to crawl and index its mobile app, meaning that results from Google searches on smartphones will display content from the social network. The listings will appear as deep links, taking users to the relevant part of the Facebook app.
Foursquare Joins Apple Maps Data Sources as Company Builds Out Ecosystem (Search Engine Land)
Foursquare has been added as a business listings provider to Apple Maps. Although it should be noted that not all providers are equally used or weighted, Apple clearly sees value in Foursquare’s data, even if some of it will likely be duplicative of existing sources.
The Challenge for ‘Indie’ News Sites: Monetizing Highly Engaged Audiences (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: When they met at their recent Chicago convention, independent community publishers and editors talked a lot about what might be called “reve-news.” On everybody’s mind at the Local Independent Online Newspaper (LION) Publishers’ annual meeting was how to monetize news. Even weddings and obituaries can contribute to local publishers’ bottom line.
Uber Is Creating a Ride-Sharing Mesh Network with Its New ‘Destinations’ Feature (The Next Web)
Uber is weaving a mesh network of ride-sharing that could take passengers longer distances. A new feature, “Destinations,” lets anyone take a passenger along for a trip. All drivers need to do is note where they’re headed, and Uber will attempt to match them up with passengers.
5 Tools for Display Ad Creation and Distribution (Street Fight)
Programmatic-driven ad spend is expected to reach $14.2 billion worldwide this year, but research indicates 97 percent of programmatic campaigns still lack targeted creative for individual audience segments. To satisfy this need, more hyperlocal vendors are creating tools that businesses can use to generate targeted content without hiring their own in-house teams. Here are five tools for display ad creation and distribution.
Groupon’s Global Closures Continue (TechCrunch)
Groupon has ceased operations immediately in four more countries, all in Europe, where its business has been in decline: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. It’s a difficult period for Groupon, which has laid off 1,100 employees, exited several other markets, missed on earnings, and changed CEOs — all in the last couple of months.
Urban Outfitters Wants to Be Your Next Favorite Restaurant (Mashable)
Urban Outfitters has announced its acquisition of Philadelphia-based Vetri Family restaurant group. It’s a defining move in the retailer’s shift from clothing store to immersive lifestyle experience, a strategy it’s no doubt employing to boost flagging sales.
Navigating Retail’s Last Mile (Forbes)
Tim Laseter, Matt Egol, and Scott Bauer: We conducted a bottom-up analysis of the cost-to-serve for an array of retail models, including traditional store-based sales, curbside pickup, crowdsourced shoppers, “white glove” delivery, and pure-play ecommerce. We also surveyed 2,000 online U.S. shoppers to determine their willingness to pay for each of these last-mile options for a variety of goods purchased online.
How Shoppers Want to Communicate with Brands Away from PCs (eMarketer)
Mobile phones have made doing just about anything on the go easy, so it stands to reason that they would be the main way consumers communicate with brands when they’re not sitting in front of a computer. But according to a recent survey, print ads are U.S. consumers’ preferred way to stay in touch with brands and retailers when away from a computer — nearly half of those polled said so.