Twitter has acquired a payment startup called CardSpring. CardSpring helps developers write applications that accept credit card payments.
Startups like Foursquare already use CardSpring.
CardSpring raised $10 million from investors like SV Angel, Greylock Partners, Accel Partners, Felicis Ventures, and Data Collective. It was founded by Amit Kumar, Jeff Winner, Eckart Walther and Geraud Boyer.
Here’s the blog post from Twitter announcing the news. It sounds like Twitter wants to use the technology to bring real-time commerce.
We’re excited to announce we’ve agreed to acquire CardSpring, a payments infrastructure company that helps merchants work with leading publishers to create online-to-offline promotions.
Twitter has always been a vibrant environment for users to discover product recommendations and promotions from artists, experts, brands and friends. In fact, we’ve already given users the ability to get deals and discounts, surprise someone with a coffee, or even add items to their online shopping cart — all directly from a Tweet. As we work on the future of commerce on Twitter, we’re confident the CardSpring team and the technology they’ve built are a great fit with our philosophy regarding the best ways to bring in-the-moment commerce experiences to our users.
These days, shoppers often learn about a product, retailer, restaurant, or offer from a mobile ad and then visit one of its locations in a mall or shopping center. But tracking that store visit back to the ad has been a challenge for advertisers. Seattle-based Placed provides a platform that help…
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Anyone still doubt search volume is a good (leading) indicator?
Crumbs Bake Shop announced Monday that it would be closing all of its stores.
The company, founded in 2003, was once the world’s largest cupcake vendor, according to The Wall Street Journal.
But in mid-2011, its same-store sales started declining just as the company was orchestrating a massive expansion. Crumbs was forced to begin closing stores, putting its expansion plans on hold.
That was the beginning of a downward spiral from which the company never recovered.
Here’s what led to the decline.
1. An increasingly crowded market. Crumbs’ same-stores sales started declining in mid-2011 as the cupcake market was rapidly growing more crowded. When Crumbs opened in 2003, there were only three bakeries devoted to cupcakes nationwide, according to Newsweek. By 2011, there were hundreds.
2. High real estate costs. Crumbs’ stores were too large for its needs, according to Darren Tristano, executive vice president at the food industry research firm Technomic. The company’s shops averaged about 1,000 square feet, with one outlet near Chicago measuring 3,300 square feet, Tristano told Crain’s New York Business reporter Aaron Elstein.
“That meant high rents and lots of extra space in places where shoppers seldom lingered,” Elstein wrote. All Crumbs really needed was enough room for a cupcake display case and a register.
3. Consumers may be losing interest in cupcakes. As Crumbs was expanding, analysts began warning that the nation’s cupcake craze was subsiding. The Wall Street Journal concluded last year that Crumbs’ downfall was the result of mass “gourmet-cupcake burnout.”
4. Despite falling same-store sales, Crumbs kept opening new locations. The number of locations climbed to 70 in 2013, up from 35 in mid-2011, when the same-store declines had begun.
Before closing all its stores Monday, the chain was down to 58 locations, according to Crumbs’ most recent filing with the SEC.
drag2share: Is time spent a better metric than pageviews? Upworthy says it is, and open-sources its code for attention minutesTrying to measure actual reader attention
Trying to measure actual reader attention
So Upworthy and Chartbeat both have their own metrics: Upworthy calls its version “attention minutes” and Chartbeat calls its measurement “engaged time.” Although they use somewhat different methods, both track how far readers get through a page of content or a video before they click away, and use other signals to determine whether a page is simply open in a tab or whether the reader is actually involved in reading or watching the content. Interestingly enough, Upworthy says that Twitter does very well as a source when measured by total visitors, but somewhat less so when measured by actual engaged time or attention minutes.
Other sites such as YouTube, Medium and the Financial Times also focus on total time spent rather than just measuring page loads or unique visitors — and Medium said recently that it has even started compensating some of its writers based on the amount of time readers spend with their story. But not everyone believes that “time spent” is an effective metric: Gawker editorial director Joel Johnson, for example, told BuzzFeed recently that he would rather measure user satisfaction rather than just the amount of time they spent on a page:
“Perhaps someday, but that’s cart before horse, really; what we want to measure is user engagement through satisfaction. Maybe time-on-page will be part of that, maybe not.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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