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Net Briefs - May 2016

Posted on 5.04.2016


Sell on eBay with Bigcommerce

E-commerce platform Bigcommerce and online marketplace eBay have entered into a rather interesting partnership that enables Bigcommerce merchants to list products and manage their inventory on the eBay marketplace. In fact, merchants can sync stock levels and eBay orders with their online store, create hundreds of eBay listings automatically thanks to customizable templates and sell their inventory in front of eBay's 162 million active buyers.

Match Made on Google

Last year Google introduced Match Content, a solution to help websites increase engagement by promoting relevant content to website visitors. Recently, however, the tech juggernaut made it possible for AdSense Publishers to use the content units to generate revenue by allowing ads to appear alongside recommended content. When publishers opt to allow ads through Matched content, ads appear within their units and are styled to look and feel just like content recommendations. Publishers get paid with every click.

Etsy Starts a New Pattern

Etsy unveiled a new seller platform called Pattern, which enables users to create their own custom website. With the platform, sellers can use their own domain for a website that is powered by their Etsy shops. Not only does the platform import all shop listings and content, but it also syncs orders and inventory between sites, provides analytics integrated with Etsy shop stats and uses the same tools for checkout and shopping that Etsy sellers already use. Pattern also offers five themes, and sellers can further customize their sites with logos and brand colors.

Rich Pins Get Richer

Pinterest has welcomed a new Rich Pin format called "How-to Pins," which cater to the social network's large do-it-yourself (DIY) audience by displaying a snapshot of the steps required to create the objective of a Pin. What's more, users can click or tap on any of the steps to get the full instructions and a list of supplies without leaving Pinterest. At launch, How-To Pins are only available on Android and the Web, with iOS being rolled out later.

FedEx Adds Surcharge to Big Packages

Starting June 1, FedEx is adding an extra charge on packages 48 inches or longer (instead of 60 inches). The company cites a significant increase in non-traditional items being purchased online, from mattresses to swing sets, as the reason for the charge. The company says it's important that it prices these big packages accordingly to account for the operational complexities they cause.

Visa Users Swipe through Checkout

Visa Checkout users can now slide a virtual image of their card across the screen of a smartphone, tablet or laptop to complete their purchase. The payment solution, which was introduced in 2014, formerly used a lightbox that may have turned off some customers and limited interaction. Now, however, consumers will see a picture of their card on the Visa Checkout button. Swiping that card to the right and entering the password inside the button will provide the necessary authentication to complete the purchase. According to Visa, shoppers who used the interactive button in pilot tests were twice as likely to click through and complete their purchase.


$12 Million

Video distribution platform Virool raised $12 million in a Series A funding round, which will help to accelerate its presence in the global advertising market.

$30 Million

Cognitive content generation platform Persado closed a $30 million Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs.

$3.8 Billion

Team collaboration startup Slack raised $200 million, giving the company a post-money valuation of $3.8 billion. Thrive Capital led the funding round.

$4 Million

Flywheel, a managed WordPress hosting platform for designers and creative agencies, raised $4 million in a Series A funding round, which was led by Five Elms Capital.


Local SEO Guidance from Google


Google recently provided some updated advice on how it determines a company's local ranking in its search results. If you are optimizing a business for a specific geographic area, it is information that should not be missed.

Brand Predictions for Snapchat


The percentage of those on social media who use Snapchat is low, but the ephemeral network's audience is one of the most active and savvy marketing executives are already finding ways to reach them.

3 Warning Signs Your Website Annoys Users


What truly matters in the realm of Web success is whether or not a site is usable, and to what degree. Thankfully there are a few warning signs that indicate whether information on a site is easily digestible and navigable.


:: Medium for Publishers : A networked publishing platform for publishers, bloggers and organizations.

: SurveyMonkey Intelligence : Usage and download metrics for mobile applications.

: GoCo Team Feedback : Manage one-on-one meetings with startup employees to improve communication, reduce turnover and maximize productivity.

: WrapAPI : Build an application programming interface on top of any website.

: PureChat : See who is on a website in real-time and start a live-chat directly.

: Koncept : Usability testing and interactive mobile prototypes.

: Sherlock : Engagement analytics system that delivers a ranked list of users ordered by their level of engagement.

: Imgix Page Weight Tool : Measure site resources and learn how to improve load time.

: Instaparser : An API that enables developers to access Instapaper's parser to pull content from any website.

: CleverTap : Behavioral analytics, segmentation and message personalization for mobile app engagement initiatives.


DIY Marketing on The Go

Microsoft is making it easier for people to run their businesses from their phones with the launch of the Sprightly app. Sprightly is yet another application from Microsoft Garage, a project lab that lets Microsoft employees work on developments that typically have no relation to their primary function within the company. The app helps users quickly create digital content for both business and personal needs.

For more apps, visit

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