Marketing Biz: New Facebook Metric, Mobile Payment Dark Horse & Rio SEO Advances

This week saw more movement in the white hot mobile payment space and continuing changes by Twitter as it pivots into a viable advertising platform. Two SEO data leaders made significant moves and the co-founders of Twitter launched a new publishing tool. Not to mention Facebook’s new advertising metric, some significant acquisitions and Trulia’s $75M […]

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This week saw more movement in the white hot mobile payment space and continuing changes by Twitter as it pivots into a viable advertising platform. Two SEO data leaders made significant moves and the co-founders of Twitter launched a new publishing tool. Not to mention Facebook’s new advertising metric, some significant acquisitions and Trulia’s $75M IPO announcement.

This is … Marketing Biz.

Location Analytics Startup Locately Acquired By Research Firm SMGLocately

Locately, for those unfamiliar with the company, had built a proprietary data-mining engine which collected data from customers’ (opted-in) mobile phones in order to understand more about what sort of behaviors they were engaging in out in the real world. It could tell how a customer moved from one location to the next, what stores they passed along the way, how long they visited stores, what sort of lifestyle or shopper segment the user fell into, which competing stores a consumer would frequent, how a business compared to its rivals, and much more.

I’m sure the above description terrifies some but to a savvy marketer it’s an absolute treasure. I’m wondering if Locately was a little bit before its time because I think there’s a massive opportunity here. I see a future need for this type of information for nearly any business.

Facebook now reports average News Feed position for Sponsored Stories

This additional data will help advertisers understand how their ads are performing on the social network and how they might better optimize campaigns. Several early tests have found that News Feed-based ads have significantly higher clickthrough rates than sidebar ads. As Facebook provides data to show how well ads work within the feed, advertisers will increasingly want to run ads in that placement. However, with News Feed inventory much more limited, competition for the space will drive up prices.

Facebook seems to be taking a page from Google’s playbook. Delivering this type of information to advertisers is a great way to create a larger and more compelling auction marketplace.

Carlyle Buys Getty Images From Hellman & Friedman

Carlyle Group LP (CG), the world’s second-largest private-equity firm, agreed to buy photo archive Getty Images Inc. from Hellman & Friedman LLC in a deal valued at $3.3 billion.

If you didn’t think images were a big deal, this massive acquisition should change your mind. I do have to wonder whether there’s a risk here with the ubiquity of digital images and the ongoing alterations and mashups we’ve seen recently. Joins the Flock at Twitter!

We are incredibly excited to announce that we’ve joined the flock at Twitter! Twitter has acquired the IP of and today is our first day with the company. Our mission over the last few months has been to help mobile developers iterate fast and grow their user base.  Now, as part of Twitter’s growth & international team, we’re excited for the opportunity to focus our efforts on Twitter’s product at a large scale.

Twitter mashes the accelerator and picks up another startup. This time it’s who has a framework and A/B testing platform for mobile apps. Yes, Twitter understands the value of mobile and is doing something about it.

Changes coming in Version 1.1 of the Twitter API

In the coming weeks we will release version 1.1 of the Twitter API. To help you plan ahead, we’re announcing these changes now, before the new version of the API is available. Changes will include:

  • required authentication on every API endpoint
  • a new per-end point rate-limiting methodology
  • changes to our Developer Rules of the Road, especially around applications that are traditional Twitter clients.

You don’t have to be a techie to understand that these changes are about establishing more control, safety and consistency throughout the Twitter ecosystem. Why? Because advertisers will demand it.

Top retailers band to form a potential dark horse in mobile payments

A group of more than 14 brand name retailers and merchants have formed a new company called Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a mobile payment network that will let customers pay by mobile phone application at participating retail stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations.

Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, 7-Eleven, CVS, and Shell are some of the biggest names backing MCX, which is currently readying a mobile payment application for release. The application will also provide consumers with offers and promotions and will offer integration with retailer loyalty programs.

Well, I suppose we should have seen this coming. Why wouldn’t retailers want to get a piece of the giant sized mobile payments pie? Retailers have access to a large pool of customers, but I think real ubiquity is necessary in this space. Perhaps this turns into a mobile payments loyalty solution?

Braintree Buys Venmo for $26M — If PayPal Wasn’t Scared Before, It Should Be NowBraintree Logo

But so far Braintree has mostly been a force among merchants, with its magic all but invisible to consumers. This deal dramatically changes that. By buying the consumer-facing digital wallet company, Braintree will now be able to extend that easy one-click purchasing power across any vendor it works with.

Add Braintree to the list of companies who are racing to the mobile payments space. Braintree has already inked deals with merchants like and Uber but this acquisition connects them with consumers who will ultimately be the ones to decide who wins in this space.

Welcome to Medium

Lots of services have successfully lowered the bar for sharing information, but there’s been less progress toward raising the quality of what’s produced. While it’s great that you can be a one-person media company, it’d be even better if there were more ways you could work with others. And in many ways, the web is still mimicking print concepts, while not even catching up to it in terms of layout, design, and clarity of experience.

Twitter Co-Founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone are launching a new digital publishing venture. It’s both intriguing and frustrating. I like the focus on quality but find the ‘grandiose’ wording of the launch to be groan inducing. Even more so since there are a number of other platforms which do the same types of things.

RichRelevance Closes Over-subscribed Round with $8 Million in Additional Financing

Developed by the architects of’s recommendation technology, RichRelevance allows retailers to deliver dynamic, tailored experiences that put the customers at the center of retail strategy. Six of the top 10 internet retail chains choose RichRelevance as their personalization provider and the company serves more than 850 million product recommendations daily.

Ecommerce is in a bit of a renaissance lately and companies like RichRelevance are poised to help the smart ones not just survive but flourish.

SEOmoz PRO Member? You Now Get Followerwonk Free! (because we’ve joined forces)SEOmoz Roger Robot

If you’ve been in the SEO community for more than a few months, you’ve almost certainly heard of the remarkable tool for Twitter search, analysis and discovery called Followerwonk. We’ve loved and recommended their product for years and today, thanks to the merging of our companies, I’m excited to announce that Followerwonk is now included in SEOmoz PRO membership.

SEOmoz, flush with new funding, has acquired Followerwonk, a Twitter analytics and social optimization service. Beyond the benefits of this specific merger is a macro-trend of the synergy between search and social.

Rio SEO and Majestic SEO Team-up to Create Innovative Link Technologies for SEO Automation

Global search engine optimization technology leaders Rio SEO and Majestic SEO announced a strategic relationship here at the SES (Search Engine Strategies) conference, which encompasses data licensing and technology integration aimed to deliver innovative, international link analytics and link building technologies to global advertisers, as well as digital agencies that execute effective SEO and content marketing campaigns on behalf of their clients.

Majestic SEO didn’t acquire anyone, but they did partner with Covario’s Rio SEO to deliver data to advertisers and agencies. In some ways, both SEOmoz and Majestic SEO are big data providers in an accelerating digital ecosystem.

Trulia Goes After Zillow’s Real Estate, Files $75M IPO

Trulia, the online real estate listings giant, has now publicly filed an IPO of up to $75 million — effectively confirming reports from the end of July that the company had already filed for an IPO privately. The company’s S-1 also provides an update on the state of the business, showing some encouraging signs of user growth.

Whether the housing market is good or bad people are still looking, researching and interested in their homes (and those of others). I spent nearly five years looking for a house (long story for another time) and got familiar with Trulia, Zillow and Redfin. Truth be told, Redfin remains my favorite. Yet the real market here is among realtors.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

AJ Kohn
AJ Kohn is Owner of Blind Five Year Old, a San Francisco Internet Marketing firm specializing in search. An experienced marketing executive with a successful track record spanning 20 years, AJ combines a deep understanding of search marketing with a passion for product strategy and iterative product development, fusing design and user experience with quantitative analysis.

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