Here’s a highlight of some of the top local-business-related news of the week:
[Website News] Google Acquires Restaurant Website Builder Appetas
News Source: Tech Crunch
This week, Google announced its acquisition of Appetas, a website building service designed for local businesses in the food industry. Restaurants can easily create sites and integrate booking services through OpenTable and ordering services from GrubHub.
Appetas was founded in 2012 in Seattle. The service has distinguished itself from other website companies by creating up-front partnerships with service providers who can help their customers close the loop with consumers online (e.g., help them make a purchase).
As part of the acquisition, Google will be shutting down Appetas’s service and transitioning customers over to a new website solution.
Key Takeaway: It’s uncertain whether Google plans to integrate Appetas’ technology with Google Sites or use it in conjunction with Search and other offerings, but its acquisition makes sense from a competitive standpoint. Yelp, Google’s biggest challenger in the local search space, has recently integrated third party services such as reservations, ordering, and deals into their business listings pages, putting pressure on Google to find a way for viewers to take additional steps when searching for local businesses online.
[Mobile App News] Foursquare to Launch New Social App Swarm
News Source: Street Fight
Foursquare recently announced that they will be migrating their check-ins and social networking functionality to a new app called Swarm. The main Foursquare app will remain as a separate local business discovery and recommendation engine.
Foursquare’s decision is based on internal research showing that users who like to check in and users who want to search for local places are not one in the same. With Swarm, social users can share their activity with their friends without annoying users who just want to discover businesses nearby.
Key Takeaway: This move from Foursquare seems risky at first glance, since splintering their customer base into two segments will likely cause some initial churn. However, creating a new app may be a smart move in the long run. With social recommendations separated out from location-based discovery, Foursquare will be able to improve the quality of activity within Swarm and become more competitive in the local search space with their revamped app. This may also open the door for expansion into sectors outside of dining and entertainment, the traditional focus of Foursquare’s users.
[Advertising News] Facebook Announces Advertising 'Boot Camp' For Smaller Advertisers
News Source: Mashable
This summer, Facebook will be running a new boot camp tour called Facebook Fit. This event series is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses succeed at Facebook advertising.
Leaders from Facebook, Intuit, LegalZoom, and Square will speak about small business marketing, legal issues, and finance management during the event. Undoubtedly, Facebook will also have sessions dedicated to its advertising platform and how to make the most of its tools and reporting to boost success.
Boot camps will be held in New York, Miami, Chicago, Austin, and Silicon Valley, and are expected to have between 500 and 700 attendees each.
Key Takeaway: Facebook knows that the best way to increase usage of its services is to educate its audience on how it works and why it’s valuable. If you’re new to Facebook advertising or curious to learn more, you may want to check out one of the boot camps in your area. If not, you can still take a page out of Facebook’s book and consider what you can do to educate your customers on the value of your business.
Other news catch your eye this week? Leave a comment and let us know!