Google Shopping Express Comes To NYC & LA

After offering same-day deliveries in San Francisco for over a year, Google has decided to expand its service to New York and Los Angeles. The service, which offers expedited, same-day shipping from stores like Target, Samples, and Walgreens, as well as other local businesses, can now be used by New Yorkers to deliver groceries, office supplies, and more in record time. As an incentive to get on board, Google is tossing in six free months of shipping for new users. It’s a very direct threat to the likes of Amazon, who only have fast shipping to members of higher-priced plans like Prime. As consumers find different ways of interacting with brands and products, the race to ultimately get those products in their hands as fast as possible will continue to be a sticking point for digital companies going forward. 

Motorola Sponsors Four Fashion Week Designers

When Motorola decided to market its new flagship smartphone, the Moto X, as more of a fashion accessory than a phone, it caught the industry off guard. The company is pushing that image hard through a new partnership with fashion brands in NY Fashion Week, as models will carry the customizable device down runways. Working with Hood by Air, Telfar, En Noir and Rochambeau, Motorola aims to literally turn heads as designers will paired custom phones with their new spring collections. In addition, Moto X Kiosks will be installed at Fashion Week parties that will feature interactive ads that recognize what colors a person is wearing and match a customized phone to their outfit.  t’s not the first time technology featured on the runway; in 2008, HP unveiled a digital clutch at the event. Motorola probably hopes their device has more longevity than HP’s effort, but will be hoping for a similar publicity bump and branding expansion.  

OpenCo Comes To NY May 23

On May 23rd, more than 130 exciting NY-based organizations will open their doors to the public for OpenCo NY, hosting 45-minute sessions about what innovation means to them, including the IPG Lab. It’s a conference flipped on its head: think open artist’s studio meets business conference with a music festival vibe. Most of all, it’s free to attend.

So make sure to register by noon on Tuesday, May 21 to hear these thought leaders address their mission, vision, and how they are getting there to an audience of technologists, marketers, job seekers, neighbors, investors, potential partners, and more.

With so many sessions available, the only challenge is deciding which ones to attend. For some inspiration, take a look at the schedules of founders John Batelle and Brian Monahan, along with Jack Pollock of IPG Lab.

Brian Monahan’s Lineup:

John Battelle’s Lineup:

Lab’s Lineup:

National CineMedia Partners With Twitter, Foursquare for Theater Ads

During its Upfront presentation this week, National CineMedia announced partnerships with Twitter and Foursquare that will contribute to the company’s new weekly series, highlighting the latest trending movie topics based on Twitter data.  Distribution will be via NCM’s network of thousands of movie screens, as well as a social media site.  Sponsorship opportunities will be made available for the videos soon.  The Foursquare partnership will provide offers relevant to the movie-going experience based on check-ins and local results.  This program marks a new link between the small screen and the big screen for advertisers.

Peek Expands To NYC, Miami, & Orlando

Peek today expanded its service to the East Coast, with service now provided for New York, Miami, and Orlando. Peek started as a service to take the pain out of travel plans by helping travelers efficiently find things to do in their destination with services like the “Perfect Day Builder,” that shared tips and ideas from other users and the web. Though the service was initially limited to the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, and Hawaii, the company has reported over 100% average monthly growth in bookings since October, and is so popular that it’s offering users micro-level integration with its cities: for instance, it offers tours of Brooklyn’s breweries, the High Line’s food trucks, a red-carpet experience at TriBeCa Film Festival, a “Sleep No More” package, and more. The real advantage is its curatorial edge, and in response the company has raised over $1.4 million from investors including Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey, Google’s Eric Schmidt, SV Angel, and Khosla Ventures.

Betaworks Starts ‘Openbeta’ For Early Product Testing

Betaworks, a New York-based startup are focused on accelerating app development, launched a new initiative called Openbeta that lets users test works-in-progress. In exchange for the early access, Openbeta users provide the company with feedback about app experiences, with the goal being to ensure a user-friendly app experience from the first launch while simultaneously avoiding user-requested bloat. Through actual use-cases and consumer feedback, app developers will be able to streamline their products without an immediate “.1” update. The most visible example is Digg, which was acquired by Betaworks in July, and over the course of six weeks, re-launched a polished version. Afterwords, user feedback has meant that important, crowd-sourced features have been added and the site’s user base has doubled commensurately. It remains to be seen how effective this type of policy can be enacted on a smaller scale, but with Digg it does already have proven success in developing and revamping apps through user feedback.