Street Fight Daily: Amazon Tackles Brick-and-Mortar, WhatsApp Tests Chat Tools for Businesses

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

Amazon Confirms Plans for a 10th Book Store, Demonstrating Commitment to Brick-and-Mortar (Recode)
If it wasn’t clear before, it is now: Amazon really likes the traction it has seen in the four stores that have opened so far and is committed to becoming a physical retailer at scale. New locations are opening in places like Chicago, New York City and the suburbs of New Jersey later this year.

LOAC Notebook: As Platforms Ascend, Some Blunt Words for Legacy Media (Street Fight)
“You’re going to have to change the way you do business,” CBS’s Ezra Kucharz told media executives earlier this week in a keynote at Borrell Associates’ Local Online Advertising Conference in New York. “The world is changing and we have to change with it.”

Joe Ricketts, Local News Publisher and Trump Backer, Acquires Gothamist Websites (Politico)
DNAinfo, a local news company owned by the Republican mega-donor and Trump backer Joe Ricketts, will announce Wednesday morning that it has reached an agreement to buy Gothamist, which publishes a network of websites in cities from New York to Washington to L.A. Jezebel: Gothamist deleted negative coverage of its new owner.

WhatsApp Tests Business Chat Tools in Search for Revenue (Reuters)
WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service used by more than 1 billion people worldwide, is testing a system that would let businesses talk directly to WhatsApp users for the first time, according to communications about the project seen by Reuters.

How San Angelo LIVE! Makes Programmatic Work in West Texas (Street Fight)
When the West Texas oil bust hit San Angelo hard in 2015 and LIVE!’s CEO Joe Hyde turned to programmatic advertising to make up the difference in lost sales from struggling local merchants. To maximize that impact, artificial-intelligence platform Ezoic showed Hyde how to create longer revenue-generating sessions with users.

How to Drive Marketing Success with AR and VR (Digiday)
Jay Samit: AR and VR break boundaries among different media, allowing consumers to engage with brands as part of their chosen environment — an enormous opportunity if you play it right. Here are three ways brands getting started in this space can build their programs.

Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Return to California Roads (WSJ)
Uber Technologies Inc. has ended its spat with California regulators over self-driving cars, yielding to the state’s demand to get a $150 permit before testing two of them.

Google Confirms Its Acquisition of Data Science Community Kaggle (TechCrunch)
Matthew Lynley: With hundreds of thousands of data scientists on the platform, buying Kaggle would give Google the immediate ability to broaden its reach within the AI community. As it increasingly goes head-to-head with Amazon on the cloud computing front, it’s going to need as much of an edge as it can get.

Oh Snap! A Book on How Businesses Can Use Snapchat (VentureBeat)
If you’re imagining yet another lengthy tomb from someone bloviating about Snapchat, you’ll be surprised to learn that Oh Snap! is only 76 pages and is packed with case studies from NPR, Airbnb, Vox Media, Virgin America, Stanford University, and ShopStyle.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]