A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Facebook Marketplace Launches New Services Feature in Partnership with On-Demand Startups (Inc)
Almost overnight, six-year-old Handy will gain access to more than 800 million monthly users, who may now gravitate to the portal for booking home improvements and cleaning services.
What Happens When Knowledge Panels Aren’t Actually Knowledgeable? (Street Fight)
In the latest of their biweekly columns, David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal explore what they find to be a troubling practice on Google’s part: granting select platforms the power to insert themselves into a local business’ knowledge panel without any recourse for the business or verification that the information is accurate. Skift: Yelp targets Google employees in new antitrust drive.
A Fifth of Amazon Merchants Sell More Than $1 Million a Year, Double Last Year’s Share (Recode)
Third-party merchants that sell goods on Amazon are riding high on Amazon’s success—at least for now. More merchants are becoming high-volume sellers on Amazon.
Local News Pioneer Mike Orren on Industry’s Future: A Steep but Climbable Hill (Street Fight)
“There are no silver bullets,” Mike Orren tells Tom Grubisich. Local news “has always been a complex industry, and advertising, marketing services, managing the print demand—all are going to continue to be a part of the equation.”
How the Washington Post Is Building Its Tech Platform, Arc (Digiday)
Arc has signed five major publishers as clients this year—Bonnier Corp., Advance Local, Boston Globe Media Partners, Philadelphia Media Network and Le Parisien. With those additions, Arc supports 90 sites and apps representing 500 million monthly unique visitors, the Post said.
More Than Half of Local Businesses Still Lack Mobile Strategy (MediaPost)
When it comes to their favorite local shops, people will forgive a lot: higher prices for products and services, odd hours of operation, and maybe even less cleanliness than they’d allow a chain store. Still, no mobile presence is apparently where a lot of folks draw the line.
Behind Ford’s New Approach to Advertising (WSJ)
Jim Farley joined Ford when print ads and 30-second television spots were the way to sell an automobile. A decade later, the world’s digital transformation has the No. 2 U.S. car maker rethinking how it allocates its $4 billion-plus advertising budget, and how much can be cut.
Kroger Pays $200 Million to Acquire Chicago Meal Kit Company Home Chef (Chicago Tribune)
“We know our customers would love to see more Home Chef meal kits on grocery store shelves,” said Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef’s founder and CEO. “What this allows us to do is to be everywhere our customers are.”
Uber Finds Profit in Leaving Tough Overseas Markets (NYT)
Uber, which has had a reputation for aggressive pursuit of market share even at the expense of profitability, reported a rare quarterly profit on Wednesday that was driven by taking the opposite approach: Waving the white flag in challenging overseas markets.