Twitter Sheds Social Network Label; Foursquare Continues Pivoting

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Alternate Flight Path

Twitter is moving away from the “social media” designation in favor of being a straightforward media network. CMO Leslie Berland suggests in a blog post that Twitter is a live news service, not “a place to find and connect with friends and family members.” Twitter’s association with Facebook – which it used to fight for – now makes it seem slow and small by comparison. (Unlike, say, Snapchat, which can be smaller and less sophisticated but still looks like it’s riding a wave instead of crashing on one.)

Foursquare Hopscotch

Foursquare’s pivot from a social gaming app (it's core app no longer has the check-in or location-sharing features) to an enterprise analytics provider happened fast. Yesterday, the company took another step, expanding its new retail attribution product [AdExchanger coverage] into a self-service dashboard for businesses to measure foot traffic. It is also seizing on the success of Pokémon Go as a testament to its augmented reality approach. Foursquare’s differentiating sell as an enterprise analytics firm is its companion, check-in app Swarm (the source of opted-in users that it builds models around). The company’s true test will be whether it can successfully connect a data and analytics business with a replenishing group of consumer app users.

Down With The Readership

“Facebook has become a primary distributor for many publications’ sponsored posts, even though outside sponsored content was not officially permitted until April,” John Herrman writes for The New York Times. He notes that “Some publishers were troubled by the manner in which Facebook said it would display sponsored posts and by how much power it put in the hands of advertisers.” That’s an allusion to Facebook giving brands and agencies information that only pubs used to have, like reader-level data and visibility into how much it costs to move traffic (traffic publishers are accustomed to marking up). Facebook continues to prove itself an unsteady ally to media companies. Read it.  

Stealing Search

Apple has an opportunity to drink Google’s milkshake, Cyrus Radfar writes in a TechCrunch post. He points out that at its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple hinted at plans to allow third-party developers to access its native apps. By opening Siri’s API, Apple could also channel voice-activated search to a wider set of apps, stealing from Google’s general appeal as a knowledge source. It’s an interesting hypothetical, but it’s pretty much just that. Remember, Google paid Apple a billion dollars last year to be the iPhone’s default search vendor. More.

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