A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Amazon Challenges Etsy with Strictly Handmade Marketplace (New York Times)
Amazon has stepped into the handcrafted-goods ring, opening an arts-and-crafts bazaar online that squarely takes aim at a niche but growing market dominated by Brooklyn-based Etsy. The new marketplace, called Handmade at Amazon, went live early Thursday morning with a lineup of items from about 5,000 sellers in 60 countries.
Verizon to Combine Its ‘Supercookie’ Data with AOL for Online and Mobile Targeting (Marketing Land)
Verizon came under fire last year for its “supercookie” intended to collect and transfer data to third parties for enhanced mobile ad targeting. After considerable public criticism, Verizon offered a way for subscribers to opt of tracking. Not much has been heard about the supercookie in the past six months, but reports have Verizon combining its supercookie data with AOL’s expansive ad network.
Ad Blocking and iOS 9: How Bad It Could Get and What Publishers Can Do (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The impact of Apple’s decision to allow ad blocking apps continues to reverberate across the advertising and publishing landscape. A recent report by web design and development agency 10up predicts potentially steep revenue losses for publishers. Both advertisers and publishers are closely monitoring user adoption of ad blocking apps and considering possible responses.
Why a Twitter/Square Hookup Would Make Sense for SMBs (AdExchanger)
“It could be one of the few partnerships where [Twitter] could attribute product-level purchases to an ad or social post in real time,” said Mike Schneider, VP of marketing at location data company Skyhook Wireless. “You could create a control group and see what product purchases are like at merchants by location, and then do geotargeted ads or content and determine if they move the needle.”
Rocket Fuel’s Medici: Within Two Election Cycles, Everything is Going to Be Done Programmatically (Street Fight)
“In politics, advertising is definitely still a TV-centric world. But we’re moving in a direction where the voter is going to be a 360-degree touchpoint, and the media accessibility is going to be very easy. Everything is going to be done programmatically, and I think you’ll see that shift within two election cycles,” said Rocket Fuel political director JC Medici.
Google Is Making the Mobile Web Faster for Publishers and Their Readers (Adweek)
Google has launched a program called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) that speeds up load times for readers who discover content via Google’s mobile properties. Load times will be slower for users who go directly to publishers’ websites. Google claims it’s not giving higher search rankings to publishers that use AMP, but speed will be a factor in determining where an article appears in search results.
Meituan, Dianping Merger Creates Chinese Group-Buying Leader (Bloomberg)
Two Chinese startups separately backed by Alibaba and Tencent will merge to create a dominant player in the nation’s booming market for local services. Meituan and Dianping will pool resources to cease a margin-eroding price war. The alliance poses a threat to Baidu, the nation’s biggest search company, which is investing billions in its own provider of local services.
An Amazon Rival, Jet.com, Eliminates Its Membership Fee (New York Times)
Just three months after its introduction, Jet.com, the much-hyped rival to Amazon and Costco, has done a 180-degree turn in its business model by making its members-only shopping club freely accessible.
Pro.com Launches Text-a-Pro for Flat-Rate Pricing on Handy Tasks (TechCrunch)
Pro.com, the handiwork/installation site that instantly offers price estimates and connects customers with contractors, has launched a new feature called Text-a-Pro that allows users to text message their tasks into the system. They will then be sent a flat-rate price and a connection to a contractor who is available during the preferred time.
Orlando’s Anti-Yelp App Reaches New Milestone (Orlando Business Journal)
BlurtBox, a mobile app that helps customers voice their complaints about a business and allows owners and managers to address customers in real time, has gotten more than 10,000 downloads since its launch in August and is looking to make new hires and seek more fundraising.