A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Facebook Cements Status as a Mobile Juggernaut with $4.2 Billion in Ad Revenue (Mashable)
Facebook reported on Wednesday that it made 82 percent of its advertising revenue in the last three months from ads shown on mobile devices — up from 73 percent in the same quarter last year. The social network has come to dominate the mobile ads space as other media companies and advertising platforms still grapple with how to serve effective ads on small screens.
Where Do Beacons Fit in the Retail Sensor Landscape? (Marketing Land)
Florent Peyre: Big brands like Macy’s and Target are testing beacons in their stores, and retailers like Barney’s are deploying full beacon networks. I think we’ll see a hockey stick in beacon adoption in the coming year, but it’s critical that retailers get it right and understand the need to determine which sensor is best for each unique job.
Can Facebook Messenger Become an Effective Local Marketing Platform? (Street Fight)
Greg Sterling: The pieces are in place for Messenger to become a major new marketing platform. Indeed, the various (mostly mobile) use cases range from customer service to ecommerce. So far, my experiences haven’t been great. But there’s huge potential over time.
Pinterest’s Plans for World Domination (Business Insider)
Pinterest seems to have figured out how to monetize its user base, and it’s now turning its attention toward growing internationally. But it needs to overcome some misconceptions first — like that it doesn’t accommodate advertisers, and that it’s a social network comparable to Facebook (a better comparison is with Google Search).
How Time Out Plans to Strengthen Its Vertical Offerings with Ecommerce (Street Fight)
At last week’s LOCALCON conference in London, Time Out’s Russ Cohn, Zenchef’s Xavier Zeitoun, and FreshLime’s Bob Barnes discussed the impact of vertical approaches on local marketing. We followed up with Cohn again after the conference to learn more about how the publisher is working to become a comprehensive booking platform.
Messaging Bots Won’t Replace Apps (Quartz)
Tomaz Stolfa: Facebook Messenger is a walled garden that controls users’ online experiences while also owning their data, a friction point for companies wanting more control over both. Beyond that, most popular app categories (services, retail, social sharing) have internal features that chatbots within walled gardens can’t address. For those reasons, I’m concerned chatbots miss an opportunity to evolve messaging beyond the current paradigm.
The Haves and Have-Nots: Small Publishers Are Left Adrift by Shift to Platforms (Digiday)
Despite efforts to diversify revenue into areas like events, ecommerce, and subscriptions or memberships, advertising is still the dominant model for publishers, and unfortunately for small publishers, being bigger means having a better ability to absorb the demands of selling on multiple platforms.
Monopolies, Like Google, Are Innovators, Which Is Good for Consumers (New York Times)
Ryan Radia: Creating new markets, or reinventing existing ones, is Google’s path to riches. Some fear that this winner-take-all trend portends less innovation and greater economic inequality. But this pessimism ignores our limitless capacity to create unforeseen opportunities, supplying ourselves with products and services we never knew we wanted and enriching consumers in ways that conventional metrics struggle to measure.