A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
FCC Drops the Hammer on Verizon Over ‘Supercookie’ Usage (The Next Web)
Verizon has been using a so-called “supercookie” to track users and sell information to outside advertising partners. Now the FCC is levying a $1.35 million fine and requiring Verizon to offer consumers the ability to opt out of its various tracking programs. The supercookie — called the Unique Identifier Header — had tracked users in secret for two years.
Founder of 4chan Joins Google, Presumably to Work on Google+ (Ars Technica)
Chris Poole, the founder of controversial anonymous message board 4chan, has joined Google. Poole didn’t explicitly say which part of Google he’ll be working with, but he did mention “building online communities,” which suggests he’s joining the Google+ team. Bradley Horowitz, the head of Google+, also announced Poole’s hiring.
Booker Acquires Frederick, Expands Marketing Automation for Service Businesses (Street Fight)
Scheduling platform Booker and local marketing automation platform Frederick had an existing partnership in place, and Booker has already rolled out Frederick’s marketing services to 200 of its existing customers. Following the deal, Frederick will retain its brand and continue integrations with other business management systems.
Facebook’s Trojan Horse Commerce Strategy (Recode)
Jan Dawson: Facebook is a social network, a communication platform, a content aggregator. One thing Facebook isn’t — yet — is an ecommerce player, but it’s arguable that much of what it’s been building over the years amounts to a Trojan horse strategy to become one. Facebook has been building the scaffolding around its ecommerce business, doing everything but introducing ways to buy things.
Bot Local: Making Appointments Is Getting a Lot More Fun (Street Fight)
Rick Robinson: Booking platform Pingup is bringing its API-powered capabilities to “a broader range of leading-edge consumer interfaces and platforms.” This means “Pingup-powered bots” will let consumers book and confirm appointments in real time with “tens of thousands of local businesses across the U.S.”
What Different Consumer Groups Really Want from Local Business Websites (Search Engine Land)
Myles Anderson: In February, BrightLocal published an annual survey that explored consumer attitudes toward local business websites. The survey looked at what consumers expect, want, and don’t want from those websites, as well as how they prefer to contact a local business after viewing the sites.
Prompt Debuts ‘Command Line for the Real World’ (TechCrunch)
In a world suffering from app overload, a startup called Prompt introduces a different way to interact with services, make purchases, or even control Internet of Things devices — all by way of text-based interface. (Related: Why Every Marketer Should Be Keeping Up with the Evolution of Messaging Apps)
Facebook Is Eating the World (Columbia Journalism Review)
Emily Bell: Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything: political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government and security. The phone in our pocket is our portal to the world. I think in many ways this heralds enormously exciting opportunities for education, information, and connection, but it brings with it a host of contingent existential risks.