A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Facebook Runs Into Roadblock Abroad Taking User Data from WhatsApp for Targeted Ads (Reuters)
Britain’s privacy watchdog said on Monday that Facebook has agreed to suspend using data from UK users of its WhatsApp messaging app for advertisements or product-improvement purposes after the watchdog said consumers weren’t properly protected.
Snapchat, Uber, and the Implications of Machine Learning (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: Machine learning and predictive analytics need to meld seamlessly with core app functionality. The technology needs to “just work,” without steep learning curves or frustrating dead ends. So I’d expect any company who experiments with machine learning for local search to start with a simple set of problems and hone the user experience.
As OpenTable Struggles to Take Hold Abroad, Priceline Scales It Back (Wall Street Journal)
Priceline Group Inc. will scale back expansion plans for its OpenTable dining service, prompting a $941 million write-down that overshadowed strong bookings in the online travel company’s core business. OpenTable has struggled to gain a foothold outside North America and required heavy investments in marketing and website development tailored for local languages.
Uber Rival Karhoo Shuts Down After Blowing Reported $250M in Funding (TechCrunch)
Today Karhoo — a company that wanted to take on Uber by pulling together prices and offerings from competing car services into a single app — announced that it is shutting down its service and looking for “the next steps for its business” after running out of money and failing to raise more. The full statement is below.
The Accelerating Consolidation of the Digital Ad Market (Street Fight)
“The flow of dollars from businesses of all sizes has clearly been away from lower-performance niche platforms into boosted Facebook posts,” writes David Mihm. “We can debate the value of that activity, but relative to the questionable/delayed/opaque performance of so many digital ad products, Facebook seems to have found a sweet spot.”
Retailers Weigh Pros, Cons of Internet of Things (MediaPost)
Many retailers see the value in the Internet of Things but also see a lot of shortcomings in their own ability to take advantage of it. Retailers say that IoT solutions could help them with shoppers by better engagement and customer service in stores, according to a new study.
Voice Search Profoundly Changes the Way Consumers Interact on Mobile (Street Fight)
Sponsored Content: Business listings are an important part of voice searches, particularly when “near me” searches are involved. Localized searches may see an even more rapid shift to voice than other searches, based on consumers’ increasing comfort with using hands-free devices in the car or when their eyes are otherwise occupied while outside the home.
Apple Brings in NBC Universal to Sell Ads in Apple News (Recode)
Apple is going to hand over ad sales for the app to Comcast’s NBCUniversal* in an exclusive deal that starts in January. Publishers who put content on the app can still sell their own ads and will keep 100 percent of the revenue from any ads they sell. The new deal means that NBCUniversal, instead of Apple, will sell any remaining ad inventory.
FastPay Expands Lending Limits for Audience-Rich and Cash-Hungry Publishers (AdExchanger)
Companies like FastPay front cash so publishers get paid immediately — and take a cut of the overall spend once it comes through. To do this lending, FastPay integrates or comes to agreements with demand sources – some of its largest being Mediavest, Google and OpenX. Now, FastPay is scaling up.