A roundup of today's big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
PayPal Trumps Square’s Deal With Starbucks by Partnering With Discover (All Things D)
Under a new partnership being announced with Discover, PayPal is super-sizing the number of merchant locations it will accepted at in the U.S. to more than seven million. Discover may not hold the same cache among consumers as Visa and MasterCard, but it reaches nearly as many merchants, or roughly 95 percent of the two other payment networks combined.
As Social Media Hype Wanes, Appeal of Hyperlocal Remains (Street Fight)
Alex Salkever: While social media is here to stay, the market shares a lot more with the online advertising segment than, say, the SaaS subscription business. Social media is only as sticky as its user base and only as attractive as it is fresh. I am sure that there are real benefits to tapping a social graph for sales. But I am becoming more sure that those benefits are incremental and evolutionary, rather than a step change.
Gannett Has Bought Social Media Ad Company BLiNQ (TechCrunch)
The social media advertising company BLiNQ is getting bought by Gannett, owner of USA Today, a number of local newspapers, and broadcasters. Gannett hopes to use BLiNQ’s social marketing platforms to complement its existing local marketing services, creating a “one-stop shop” for brands.
The Outsourcing of Hyperlocal Journalism Is Inevitable (Street Fight)
James MacPherson: My conviction in the power of collaborative “glocal” journalism has not been swayed by the Journatic debacle. Properly managed, outsourcing some newsroom functions can be incredibly cost-effective and can contribute to the quality of a publication's editorial content. Badly executed, outsourcing can become a plague that infects a publication's journalistic integrity.
Groupon's Risk of Traveling Salesmen (Wall Street Journal)
More bad news for Groupon: The daily-deals giant is losing its top saleswoman. Jayna Cooke, who persuaded Oprah Winfrey's producers to feature a Groupon deal in her 2010 list of "Favorite Things," is leaving Groupon for Eventup, another start-up backed by Groupon founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.
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TomTom Gets Social, Adds Foursquare to iPhone Nav App (GigaOm)
Standalone GPS navigation makers continue to face the battle against smartphones and location based service apps. At least one of them is embracing the change: TomTom first added support for Facebook Places and now it includes Foursquare, making it easier to get directions and check-in.
Transaction Overview: CityGrid Acquires Felix (Street Fight)
Architect Partners: Yext launched Felix in 2009 as a pay-per-call local advertising service. What makes Felix unique is its patent-pending engine that uses speech recognition technology to listen to all the calls received by a local business. It then transcribes and analyzes the calls, separating those received from consumers from those received from wrong numbers, telemarketers and job seekers.
H&M Bridges Social Media and Mobile With Location-based Campaign (Mobile Marketer)
H&M is putting mobile advertising at the forefront of a social media-fueled campaign that ultimately aims to drive in-store traffic. Statues of David Beckham have been placed around New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and consumers who snap a picture of the statue using the Instagram mobile application with the hashtag #HMBeckham are entered to win a $1,000 H&M gift card and other prizes.
PaperG: Premium-Local Sites See Highest Ad Response Rates (Screenwerk)
Local display ad provider PaperG performed an analysis in July of the performance of its display advertising on different categories of websites. PaperG discovered that ads on “Premium-Local websites performed better than all other types of websites, delivering a click-through rate 98% higher on average."