A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Pinterest Narrows Ad Focus to Match Users’ Interest (Wall Street Journal)
Pinterest’s prioritization of search advertising has some comparing the data it has on its users’ product interests to Google’s ability to discern what users want to buy based on their searches. But Pinterest doesn’t offer the same scale as Google, and it doesn’t offer the same types of ad targeting, according to Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of digital ad firm 360i. Pinterest has potential, she says, but when it comes to being a viable contender for search advertising budgets, “they can’t really play that game.”
Storefront Fills a Growing Market for Short-Term Retail Spaces (Street Fight)
Tobi Elkin: Pop-up shops are becoming of a fixture of the omnichannel retail landscape. Storefront is a startup that connects anyone who wants to sell and promote their wares with landlords who have retail spaces they want to rent. The model is proving successful in syncing both large retailers and local artisans with physical spaces that would otherwise lie dormant.
Is ‘Facebook Professional Services’ Facebook’s Stealth Project to Beat Yelp? (Search Engine Land)
Facebook has quietly introduced a new desktop-only feature that appears to take direct aim at local search companies like Yelp and Google by offering listings of local businesses and services, complete with user reviews.
Google Maps iOS Update Brings Offline Navigation and Up-to-Date Gas Prices (The Next Web)
The most recent Google Maps update provides information on nearby gas stations and allows users to avoid restaurants and retail establishments during their busiest hours with a “popular times” feature. Google also is starting to unroll offline navigation to iOS users.
Membo Is the Yik Yak for Trendy Local Discovery (TechCrunch)
Membo is a fusion between neighborhood social networking apps like Nextdoor and local discussion apps like Yik Yak. The service has been letting users chat about their latest favorite bars and restaurants (and other happenings in their community) since its web app launched last year, and now the company is ready to grow more rapidly after making its long overdue shift to mobile.
Nieman Lab Predictions for Journalism in 2016: Social Platforms Scale Down Locally (Nieman Lab)
John Clark: Much of the talk around the rise of platforms (Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News, etc.) revolves around what many assume to be their lack of interest in local media. I don’t think that’s true — 2016 will be the year the platforms will scale down to local news partners.
Yahoo Spends Like a Tech company, But Struggles Like a Media Company (Mashable)
Is Yahoo a media company or a tech company? That question has dogged the once-dominant internet company for the better part of a decade. It was the question Steve Jobs posed in 2007 when he visited the company headquarters. It’s also the question CEO Marissa Mayer told people to stop asking.
Missing from ‘Spotlight’ Movie: How News Sites Pay for Top-Quality Investigative Journalism (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative team uncovered the pedophile priest scandal in the Catholic Church, but for all the acclaim the reporting won, it didn’t save the paper from a catastrophic financial decline that nearly put the Globe out of business.
Hudson’s Bay Is Said to Consider Buying Gilt Groupe for $250 Million (New York Times)
Gilt Groupe, a onetime darling of online fashion sales, is nearing a deal to sell itself — albeit at a steep discount to its once-lofty valuation. Like similarly troubled flash sale companies (Groupon, Zulily), Gilt has lost its luster as consumers become increasingly desensitized to deals. But Canadian department store operator Hudson’s Bay believes the online retailer still has cachet. Chief among Gilt’s attractions is its solid presence in mobile sales.