Google Elevates Mapping and Visual Search

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Google’s annual Search On event was held this week, including several updates to core search and orbiting products like Maps. Given the prominence and centrality of mapping to local commerce, we’ll start there.

The New Face of Local Businesses: A Conversation with Yelp

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In the local media and commerce sectors, we continue to see rapid product evolution as well as maturation in the companies that deliver those products. But as that unfolds, we’re also tracking another evolution: that of local businesses themselves. How are they advancing in terms of marketing and operational software adoption?

Meta Walks Back Hyperlocal Efforts

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Meta has taken a crack at several local commerce initiatives over the years. That’s everything from Facebook Marketplace to Instagram’s new map interface. But one of those efforts recently took a step back: Neighborhoods.

TikTok Raises its Local Game

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TikTok continues to feel around and test features as it establishes itself as a social media powerhouse. It’s much earlier in that journey than incumbents like Instagram and Twitter, so we continue to see rapid-fire feature launches and trials. And like the above players, some of these are local in nature.

Amazon Dabbles in Social Commerce

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Rather than social channels increasingly morphing into shopping channels, is there opportunity for shopping channels to become more social? This is what Amazon has in mind with its latest move: a TikTok-like feed. This makes it the latest player to copy the red-hot TikTok.

Google Fuels the Real-World Metaverse

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Whether for entertainment (which can foster marketing use cases) or direct commerce, the real-world metaverse will have major implications for the next generation of online-to-offline marketing strategy.

TikTok Jumps into Local Events

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For multi-location marketers, TikTok’s foray into events, and its increasing role as a destination for local discovery, portend that the platform is joining Facebook and other forums as a key place to connect online with local shoppers. TikTok can’t be ignored as an online-to-offline marketing channel.

What’s Behind Lyft Media?

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As you may have heard, Lyft announced a new advertising initiative this week. Known as Lyft Media, it brings ads and sponsored content to all the places where Lyft has your attention. That includes everything from car rooftops to all those captivating pixels within its app during rides.

Can Apple’s Room Plan Bring Visual Commerce to Local Businesses?

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The AR world’s disappointment about smart glasses in the wake of WWDC has overshadowed the fact that there were notable AR developments at the event. Besides subtle signals throughout, Apple announced a new mobile room-scanning tool known as RoomPlan that could democratize AR creation.

Does ‘Multisearch Near Me’ Signal a Visual Search Future?

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Google’s latest local search play was on display at its recent I/O conference: Multisearch Near Me. If multisearch and local search had a baby, that’s essentially what was announced. It lets users search using images or screenshots along with the text “near me” to see local results.

3 Examples of B2B2C Commerce in AR

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The under-exposed B2B2C AR sub-segment includes enabling tools that equip businesses to build and offer AR experiences to their customers. Under that umbrella are AR platforms such as Snap’s Lens Studio. It lowers friction for consumer brands to create AR lenses to promote themselves and interact with customers in novel ways.

Snap Scales Up its Geo-Local AR Ambitions

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Snap’s AR lens playbook started with a handful of in-house lenses like rainbow vomit and dog ears, before opening up the Lens Studio platform to creators everywhere. And it seems to be working, given that Snap now gets 6 billion daily lens plays. Could geo-local AR be next?

3 Products Accelerating Shoppability

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The macro trends of shoppability and visual commerce are on a collision course. Here are three platforms making that combination a reality.

How Will the Metavearth Materialize?

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Back to the metaverse’s meaning, concrete definitions are elusive … mostly because they don’t exist yet. But broadly speaking, there are two metaverse tracks. One involves virtual and synchronous worlds. The other adds digital dimension and context to the physical world. Both will take years to materialize.

2022 Predictions: Immersive Tech Edition

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Here are three predictions for what could happen at the intersection of immersive tech and local commerce. And because I often disparage broad predictions that don’t have any teeth, we’ve included action-specific or figure-based statements in each prediction (highlighted in bold).

Snap Doubles Down on Immersive Ads

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Snap has been doubling down on AR — mostly seen through updates to its Lens Studio AR development platform and the evolving formats it offers to brand marketers. This recently culminated in two new programs to further stimulate AR marketing: Snap’s AR Lab and its Arcadia creative studio.

Shoppability is the New Black

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But like many Covid-driven trends, shoppable content has been accelerated by shifting circumstances. And now it’s on a collision course with the holiday season. This means that the companies that are positioned to capture that spend will reap the rewards this year. We’ve seen much jockeying in the ad tech world for this very reason.

Snap Scan Shines New Light on the Company’s Local Discovery Ambitions

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Snapchat’s ambition to become a socially fueled local discovery engine recently got a boost with Snap Scan, a visual search tool that makes the world searchable and shoppable. Connecting dots over several years, Snap’s geo-local efforts include Geofilters, Snap Map, Local Place Promote, and Local Lenses. 

Innovation Brief: Facebook, Zoom & Delivery Robots

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On a semi-weekly basis, Street Fight’s Innovation Brief series aggregates and analyzes happenings from across the technology and media spheres. This week, we look at Facebook’s latest ad reforms, Zoom’s ‘Focus Mode,’ and delivery robots going to college.

Is Snap Building a Local Discovery Engine?

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Snap wants to compete with Google Maps as a local search and discovery engine. That’s a tall order, but Snap could have an edge in socially-fueled map results. As often, it’s all about the data.