Facebook Delivers Ads Based on Offline Shopping

Facebook formally announced a deal with Datalogix, Acxiom and Epsilon that will allow marketers to target ads on Facebook based on offline shopping behavior. The previously rumored partnership means the data mining firms will apply their information to Facebook’s Custom Audiences Product.

The data comes from loyalty programs, which track user purchases paired with a user’s email address and/or phone number. That data can then be paired with someone’s Facebook profile. Facebook has claimed that it will not share personal data about users with marketers, and users can opt out as they would with any other Facebook ad. The deal will allow advertisers, for example, to deliver an ad for diapers to someone who recently purchased baby food.

Facebook was already known for being able to deliver highly-targeted ads by allowing marketers to upload their CRM databases, creating custom audiences for their ads.  But this new partnership takes Facebook advertising to another level, increasing targeting further with the new ability to take an external data point (loyalty card information) and implement it into Facebook’s internal advertising products.

Facebook’s also now working with BlueKai, which will allow brands to target users by cookie clusters from websites they’ve visited.

Read more about Facebook’s deal here on AdAge.

Facebook Buys Atlas Ad Suite

After months of rumors and speculation, Facebook has acquired Atlas, Microsoft’s online advertising platform. The move positions Facebook as a platform for advertisers to buy, sell, optimize and track ads not only on Facebook but across the entire Web as well—challenging Google’s hold on the display advertising market.

Facebook’s platform certainly will bear similarities to Google’s AdSense platform but will also allow advertisers to merge traditional marketing tools with Facebook social data. Though, Facebook will have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the technology, usability and market dominance of AdSense. The acquisition will also allow for more integration with Facebook ad buying and digital ad buying for marketers, as they’ll be able to see just how effective their spend is across online channels. Everything will now be able to be run through the same platform with a more integrated approach.

The acquisition also gives Facebook another way to generate ad revenue, but outside of the social network, allowing Mark Zuckerberg to stay mostly true to the idea that Facebook is not going to go after revenue in a way that alienates its users.

Read more about the acquisition on AllFacebook.

Foursquare Takes Steps Toward Revenue Model

Foursquare took some big steps this week moving toward a revenue generating model by following up on a move made earlier this month allowing mobile app users to send URLs for venue pages to non-Foursquare users. The same update has now been made to its Web service, meaning anyone can share and view venue pages to see tips, ratings, photos and business information whether they’re a Foursquare user or not. The move follows Foursquare’s unwritten but generally understood strategy of becoming a ratings and local search service.

The check-in service also followed up on that move by expanding an offer program it launched in 2011 with American Express to include Visa and MasterCard. Now, when any card holder syncs their card with their Foursquare profiles, they’ll be able to pay using their cards and have savings automatically applied to their accounts if they checked-in at the business. For every offer redeemed, Foursquare collects a fee, which could be a viable revenue model for the platform. Brand’s like Burger King are responding to the launch with a $1 discount on any $10 order.

Foursquare is doing two things here:

First, it’s opening up the platform to be more of a tool for non-users to find local businesses they might like to visit, similar to Yelp, infusing necessary growth into Foursquare’s user base.

Second, the move starts to position it as a loyalty network, giving users have more reason than ever to continue to check-in to businesses to get deals and offers, increasing the valuable data Foursquare’s receiving.

The move also means businesses can essentially use this as a loyalty program, offering different deals and discounts based on what they want users to do. For example, a fast food restaurant like Burger King could potentially offer a special for every fifth check-in using the credit card sync system. This feature was available before but not through a credit card beyond AmEx. Deals previously required businesses to train employees to implement them at the store level but now they can happen automatically.

Read more about Foursquare’s new model at AdAge.

News Quick Hits

  • Facebook updated its iOS app to have the ability to make free phone calls to users in the U.S. and Canada. The feature, which was previously available in Facebook’s Messenger app, is now available to a much larger user base and follows the shift in mobile users communicating over data instead of minutes. (Read more at Inside Facebook)
  • Rumors have been circulating that paid YouTube channels are on the way, and a new report on the code for YouTube’s latest app update shows options for subscribing to and unsubscribing from paid YouTube channels. Paid channels may be close. (Read more at Mashable)
  • App.net, the Twitter competitor that opted to charge users for membership, instead of sell user data and advertising, is launching a free membership program for people invited by paying members. The free subscription allows users to follow up to 40 people, store up to 500 MB of data and upload files of 10 MB. (Read more at PCMag.com)
  • The two-and-a-half-year-old Instagram hit the 100 million active user mark this week. Six weeks ago the platform was at 90 million users. The growth shows that Instagram’s growth has not stagnated since being bought by Facebook or changing its advertising policy. (Read more at Huffington Post)
  • Facebook is using a technology from the gifting app Karma, which Facebook acquired, within its Gifts app. The technology prompts users to give gifts based on keywords in a friends’ status update, such recommending a gift after a friend announces getting a new job. (Read more at CNET)
  • Yelp has updated its iOS app to allow users to see friends check in at businesses within the local search results page. While Foursquare is shifting to becoming more of a utility akin to Yelp, Yelp is taking steps to make its platform more social, like Foursquare. (Read more at SocialTimes)
  • Groupon fired Founder and CEO Andrew Mason this week after a dismal quarterly report in which the social couponing service missed Wall Street forecasts. (Read more at AdAge).
  • Yelp will start integrating display ads in its mobile app with Taco Bell and InterContinental Hotel Group as the inaugural sponsors. (Read more at AdAge)
  • To compete with Vine, the video sharing app Viddy has updated its iOS app with the ability to create videos up to 30 seconds long along with the options to start and stop recording over the 30 seconds and make edits to audio and video. (Read more at AppNewser)

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