Street Fight Daily: Google Expands AMP, Instagram Debuts ‘Stories’

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…

Google Expands AMP in Search Results as Retailers Join Push for Faster Mobile Web (AdAge)
Google made a move Tuesday that should have every publisher and ecommerce player on notice, expanding links to Accelerated Mobile Pages beyond a carousel at the top of its search results to the full list of hits below.

Why SMBs Should Treat Their Store Locator Like a Shopping Cart (Street Fight)
Gib Olander: For businesses that operate multiple store fronts, store locators are critical revenue-generating assets. But too often, the locators are treated like a forgotten tool sitting on the shelf, collecting dust and rust. Instead, they need to make the discovery process and conversion to offline visits as easy and personal as Amazon does.

Instagram Takes a Page From Snapchat, and Takes Aim At It, Too (New York Times)
On Tuesday, Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, which lets people share photos and videos that have a life span of no more than 24 hours with friends who follow them. The service bears a striking resemblance — some might say it is a carbon copy — to Snapchat Stories. Both social platforms are now trying to improve their businesses by increasing digital advertising in formats like Stories.

Lyft Hit a Record of 14 Million Rides Last Month (Recode)
July was a record month for Lyft, which performed 13.9 million rides, according to a letter the company sends its investors on a monthly basis that Recode obtained. That’s 1.5 million more rides, or 12 percent more, than the company performed in June 2016 and amounts to 167 million rides on an annual run-rate basis, according to the document.

6 DIY Tools Merchants Can Use to Make Video Ads (Street Fight)
The opportunities for businesses that take advantage of video advertising are immense. Pre-roll video ads can familiarize audiences with lesser-known brands, and spots that coincide with PPC campaigns have been shown to increase ad recall and lift brand awareness.

How a Retailer Uses Data to Drive Foot Traffic in 31 States (AdExchanger)
Minneapolis-based The Tile Shop has 117 locations in 31 states, and first-party data is at the core of its cross-channel marketing approach. Insights from both homeowners and professional customers (read: contractors and interior designers) inform everything from store location to product selection to digital ad spend.

Targeting, Control, Measurement: What Retailers Want From Facebook’s New Tv-Like Ads (Digiday)
U.K. agencies are excited about the prospect of commercials during Facebook live streams, though questions around targeting and brand safety still linger. Facebook announced that the new ads will appear five minutes into a broadcast and will last up to 15 seconds.

Mobile Order-Ahead Apps Are Finding Success in the U.S. (Business Insider)
Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) apps, such as Starbucks and Chick-fil-A, dominated the food service app category for downloads in the US during the first half of 2016. On average, app downloads in this category grew at an average annualized rate of 35% between the first half of 2014 and the first half of 2016. This growth indicates that brands are recognizing the importance of engaging with consumers beyond the in-store experience.

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