Hyperlocal News Apps and Sites

January 15, 2013 Company News, General, Research

Hyperlocal News Apps and Sites

January 15, 2013

The online hyperlocal news industry has been a tough business for many startups. Only few have been able to thrive on a large scale. These sites focus on small town news coverage in neighborhoods across the nation and sometimes worldwide. During major weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy, these sites usually see a drastic increase in web traffic. Most other days, many of these sites can struggle to cover costs with ad revenue. In addition, these sites tend to compete with social media sites, like Twitter and Instagram, which can often scoop local and national news stories before the media writes about them. The following hyperlocal news apps and sites have found a way to stick around as the local media landscape has changed.

Airbnb Neighborhoods

Airbnb recently launched its new hyperlocal travel guide that gives travelers in-depth guides to local neighborhoods in cities. This new site is now live in New York, Paris, London, San Francisco, Washington DC, Berlin and Rio de Janeiro and gives travelers and locals little-known information about the neighborhood.


This hyperlocal community site organizes a town’s internet resources under a single umbrella. AmericanTowns also allows individuals, groups and businesses to publish their own content through the site.


Baristanet was launched in 2004 and soon after because a leader in hyperlocal blogging and online citizen journalism. It has local sites in Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, New Haven, Watertown, MA and Red Bank, NJ. Besides local news, Baristanet has classifieds and events listing sections for the community to post on.

Daily Voice

The Daily Voice, originally Main Street Connect, has town-based reporters covering news, sports and information for communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. Daily Voice’s revenues come from local business advertising.


This website is a hyperlocal online newspaper that covers NYC neighborhoods. DNAinfo reports on entertainment, education, politics, crime, sports and dining. Revenues come from selling advertising that can be targeted by NYC neighborhood.


EveryBlock allows you to follow neighborhood news and connect with your neighbors in 19 U.S. cities. Users can follow places, such as their home and workplace, and see updates throughout the day. News provided comes from public records, neighbor discussions, media mentions and mentions across the web. EveryBlock is available on the web and on its new iPhone app.


Examiner is a news source for everything local. This site has local contributors across the globe, covering a wide range of news and feature topics. The contributors are both professional and amateur in about 200 markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. Display advertising is the main source of revenue.


This is a local news and social networking site where people can see what is happening now in America. Freelance writers start conversations based on news stories and then members can share their own views and join in on the conversation. Gather is supported by ad revenue.


Currently developing a site that will rate America’s communities with their Livability Index, LocalAmerica is attempting to “transform the power of raw data into real world applications to better serve the world in which we live.” The data collected by LocalAmerica can be used for numerous purposes, including news articles, market research, education and government use.


LocalWiki is nonprofit community involvement organization that makes it easy for people to learn and share news about their local community. Members can create articles about anything, upload photos, draw maps and anyone can edit articles to make them better.


This is a tool designed to enable the rapid prototyping and quick development of location-based media platforms. It is an open-source project that can be used for Web applications and Android applications. Locast can be used to create media-based guides that allow people to discover new information about places through layers of curated and user-generated media.


Find local merchants, deals and expert advice through this local shopping website. MerchantCircle is the largest online network for local business owners in the US. Local business owners pay to use MerchantCircle’s marketing tools that help to boost their online visibility and gain customers.


Nextdoor is a “free private social network for your neighborhood.” It keeps neighborhoods safer by collecting information on the families in the neighborhood and then allowing the families to post about local news and local crime. Currently serving over 6,000 communities, Nextdoor allows city officials to connect to the community by broadcasting updates to residents.


Outside.in organizes the web around neighborhoods by showing neighborhood news and information from local bloggers, journalists and mainstream media. The information comes from other sites in the Outside.in network. The site currently has information from over 84,000 towns and neighborhoods. Revenue comes from advertisers that want to reach local audiences in every US neighborhood. Also, this website allows publishers and developers to integrate hyperlocal news into their sites through Outside.in’s Hyperlocal API.


This is the most well-known community-specific news and information source owned by AOL. Patch operates hundreds of local and hyperlocal websites across the United States. The sites are operated by local journalists who write local news and human interest stories. Patch’s revenue comes from both local and national advertising.


Founded in 2008, TheAlternativePress.com started by covering two local towns. The site kept growing from there and now covers sixteen towns in New Jersey. TheAlternativePress.com plans to continue expansion by licensing the site to entrepreneurial journalists who would like to start a newspaper in their own town. News is contributed by paid freelance reporters and columnists and revenue comes from local ad sales.


Topix offers both national and local community and news coverage. This site uses an algorithm to find news from other sources and newspapers. Topix also has a community forum where users can discuss, edit and share news that matters to them.


Zirana focuses on small and medium sized towns across the world, with online communities for about five thousand towns across the U.S. The site helps local residents post news, events, classifieds and other information of interest. Local editors manage their town’s Zirana site to keep it organized, while most content is contributed by local residents from other sources on the web. This is a great way to source news if the community is willing to contribute, otherwise the local page can be deserted and out of date. The revenue model is to gain local partnerships and sell local advertising.


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