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Business Critical: WhatsApp, Mobile Analytics, Etsy

Flying Hippo

By Flying Hippo

Business Critical is our weekly collection of what’s new, exciting, and insightful for business leaders from the world of the web, marketing, social media, and more.

Facebook Bobbles up WhatsApp (for $19 billion)

I know what you’re probably thinking: “What the $#@! is WhatsApp?!”

This is probably followed by: “Why would it possibly be worth $19 billion?!”

These questions are on a lot of minds this week, as Facebook announced their latest acquisition. (For the record, WhatsApp is a smart phone messaging app — a la AIM or ICQ — that works without eating up SMS allowance.) It seems for the time being that it’s still a play for Facebook to reach younger demographics, as the app’s 450 million users are mostly teens. Other theories for the massive valuation include that it’s all about the photo-sharing functionality.

Either way, we’ve entered uncharted territory for technology start ups. What was once unfathomable in the $1 billion acquisition of Instagram seems like a steal in the era of $19 billion. This could usher in changes for the way tech start ups are built, managed, and bought.

Read Entrepreneur.com’s analysis of the WhatsApp buyout.

Mobile Analytics Opt-out Service

One of the common themes in today’s marketing landscape is privacy vs. data collection. Analytics-driven marketing leads the way to mass customization and targeted messaging, improved user experience, and many other perks. But, of course, it requires consumers to agree to being monitored (usually in aggregate and anonymously).

A new service offers consumers the ability to opt out of data collection of mobile locations inside of thousands of retailers. This will impact many loyalty reward programs and other new technology that has used the location-tracking capabilities of mobile devices to drive real-time marketing offers and mechanisms.

It won’t kill the flow of data, though. Users who have signed up for programs and consented to such tracking will still be defaulted into data collection. Those who wish to opt out will have to do so manually.

Etsy Lands in top 10 Online Shopping Sites

experian-2014-january-shopping-classified-sitesAs an online marketplace for DIY crafters and artists, Etsy has helped to bolster an online economy of makers. A new report released this week by Experian Marketing Services shows that the site is one of the 10 most-visited online shopping sites on the web.

Of course, their traffic is still only a fraction of that generated by Amazon, but they’re on course to match traffic with some of the best-known brick and mortars like Target and Best Buy. This says a lot for the ability of independent sellers to find customers online in the digital age. (Hint: It’s getting much easier to make a name for yourself with the right brand and strategy.)

See the report on Marketing Charts.

Top image from Mashable.com.


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