Street Fight Daily: Google Boosts Ads with Machine Learning, Gannett Acquires SweetIQ

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

Google Leans on Machine Learning and Scale for Smarter Display Ads (AdExchanger)
Google rolled out a machine learning-powered display product called Smart display campaigns on Thursday. The product is now generally available to all advertisers buying native, image or text ads across the Google Display Network. WSJ: Publishers Weigh Potential Pros and Cons of Google Ad-Blocking Feature

Gannett Acquires SweetIQ, Building Out ReachLocal’s Suite of Digital Products (Street Fight)
Gannett announced on Thursday afternoon that it has acquired Montreal-based listings management company SweetIQ, which will be rolled into its ReachLocal suite of software for small businesses and brands. SweetIQ’s products provide local businesses with tools to manage their listings and reputation, and measure consumer engagement.

Amazon’s Alexa Voice Tech is Now Available to Build Chatbots (The Verge)
Amazon is making its voice-control technology available to all, giving developers access to the same tools that power its digital assistant Alexa. The platform is called Amazon Lex, and bundles in both speech recognition, text recognition, and conversational interactions.

Openings and New Hires at Balihoo, Fika Ventures, Placed, Acquisio (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, Geoff Michener covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry.  This week’s edition includes moves and new openings at EQ Works, Yext, Uber, and AdTaxi.

Twitter Is Testing a New Way to Show You News Articles (VentureBeat)
Twitter is trialling a way to surface relevant tweets around real-life events and conversations. The company confirmed that it’s experimenting with a “suggested reading” module within your timeline that showcases news articles it thinks you might be interested in.

Raise Report: Getaround, Marble, Qualtrics Secure New Funding (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, we round up some of the biggest fundraises taking place in hyperlocal marketing, commerce, and tech. This week’s edition includes funding for otonomo, Virtualitics, Factom, and Reltio.

How to Acquire Valuable Customers with Pinterest Advanced Targeting (AdWeek)
Data from Mary Meeker, general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, reveals that 55 percent of Pinterest users say it’s for shopping, compared with 12 percent of those on other social networks.

Shopify Pay Aims to Complete the Picture for Online Retail (TechCrunch)
Shopify introduced a new product at its developer conference today, which will reduce friction during online orders and simplify checkout across any stores that run on Shopify’s ecommerce platform.

Snap Reportedly Buys Geofilter Patent That Could Protect it Against Facebook (The Verge)
Snap has reportedly signed a deal worth $7.7 million to get its hands on a patent for geofilters — the localized filters whose sale to advertisers provides the company with a chunk of its revenue.

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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]