A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Publishers Express Doubts About Google AMP (New York Times)
AMP has since delivered on its promise of faster mobile web pages. Even so, publishers — of smaller sites, especially, or individual bloggers — are beginning to worry about giving too much control to Google in exchange for zippier web pages.
New AIs Offer Surprisingly Traditional Results for Local (Street Fight)
Damian Rollision: At least for now, Alexa and Google are thinking of AI-powered local search in the traditional sense of providing the user with a range of relevant options — even when organic search is trending toward the single best answer.
Snapchat Is Beginning to Use Machine Learning to Improve Advertising (AdWeek)
With goal-based bidding, advertisers can inform Snapchat of when their main goal is increasing swipe-ups instead of focusing solely on impressions. They can then provide a value for how much they think a swipe is worth, allowing Snap to auto-optimize bidding and delivery to a target audience that’s likely to engage with the ad.
Can Chat Apps Help Local Papers ‘Talk’ Their Way Out of Distress? (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: Messaging apps would be the ideal medium for U.S. dailies to capture committed readers in the emerging era of the “New Localism.” The big advantage of chat apps is that publishers can send questions and other “push” notifications to subscribers that promote high levels of engagement.
Voice Search is Different, Not Better (VentureBeat)
Jamie Hill: In fact, in the rush to name voice search as the next great hope in digital advertising, we may have collectively overlooked a host of challenges that will likely temper its rise.
Why Google Shutting Down Map Maker Should Terrify SMBs (Search Engine Land)
Joy Hawkins: Google’s announcement that the company is shutting down Map Maker entirely in March of 2017 made a lot of people really happy. It’s the end of spam, right? We should all be celebrating, right? Nothing could be further from the truth.
New Startup Delivers Marijuana from Dispensaries in 60 Minutes or Less (Business Insider)
GreenRush is one of several California startups providing a legal weed-delivery service. Partnering with hundreds of dispensaries in the state, the San Francisco-based company provides door-to-door service of your cannabis, edibles, oils and more.
Toymakers Are the Early Adopters Pushing AR Into the Mainstream (TechCrunch)
One indicator of how the market is apparently more comfortable with AR than it is with its immersive sibling, VR, is that one of its earliest adopters are toymakers. In fact, the Toy Industry Association named augmented reality and related technologies the top toy trend for 2016.