Here it is, your roundup of the week’s digital news.

All you need in five minutes to impress your colleagues or potentially bore your non-digital friends.

Facebook beefs up local ad product

Facebook’s Local Awareness adverts will now include a store locator, offering information to users including directions to the nearest store.

Reporting is also being expanded to show store visits, enabling advertisers to optimise creative and targeting accordingly.

Much like Google’s ad products, Facebook has also created an offline conversions API, letting businesses match in-store transaction data with online activity.

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

Microsoft paid $26.2bn for the professional network with 433m users.

Satya Nadella told the FT the purchase could be used to “reinvent business processes and productivity”.

It’s not hard to imagine how all the extra data could be used to augment existing CRM products.

Apple WWDC 16 was interesting

Monday’s developer conference from the fruit company unveiled several changes to services.

My colleague Bola Awoniyi has written a handy summary for marketers, but here’s a bulleted version. 

  • Rich notifications (see below).
  • Apple Pay is coming to Mac as a website payment option (using your phone for authentication).
  • Siri opened up to developers.
  • iMessage opened up to developers allowing richer messaging including ordering, P2P payment and… more stickers.
  • Greater integration of devices via iCloud, such as universal desktop and clipboard, and unlocking Macs with phones/watches.

Oracle measures offline impact of Snapchat

Oracle Data Cloud and Snapchat announced a partnership to measure incremental store sales to quantify the effect of the ever-evolving Snapchat ad offering.

Some new research from Oracle looking at 12 CPG campaigns run on Snapchat found 92% of the Snapchat ad campaigns drove a lift in in-store sales.

Amazon finesses its Spotify killer

Or competitor, more likely. Amazon Prime, of course, already entitles users to access a music library, but the logistics supremo is about to launch a standalone service (in late summer).

The platform will cost users $9.99 per month and Amazon is currently in licensing negotiations with rights-holders, according to Reuters.

Streaming music is seen as an integral functionality of Amazon Echo, its Alexa-enabled connected speaker (below).

amazon echo  

FT gets serious about sponsored content

The Financial Times has taken a controlling stake in Alpha Grid, a content agency specialising in events, video and publishing.

In September 2015, the publisher launched its FT² content marketing suite, centred around its expertise and ad products, notably Smart Match. This acquisition will further bolster the division.

ft alpha grid

Reuters Digital News report released

Nic Newman of the Reuters Institute recently spoke at our Future of Digital Marketing Conference.

We covered his insights on the future of video online and are eager to explore the latest data from the institute’s research.

If you’re interested in changing media and news consumption, check out the Digital News Report 2016

Government report identifies skills gap

Sticking with report releases, it feels significant that the UK Government is about to release a report on its digital strategy, highlighting our nation’s shortage of ‘digital skills’.

The BBC revealed some of the report’s claims ahead of release:

  • 12.6m adults lack basic digital skills, while 5.8m have never used the internet at all.
  • The UK needs another 745,000 workers with digital skills by 2017.
  • 90% of jobs require digital skills to some degree.
  • The skills gap costs the UK economy around £63bn a year in lost income. 

Pret a Manger’s veggie pop-up a success

The Pret-a-Manger chief has written a revealing blog post detailing the success of its long-planned veggie pop-up in London’s Soho.

We predicted our Veggie Pret shop would see sales drop by up to 30% and the project was expected to be an investment (i.e. a loss maker).

..Sales at Broadwick St, far from falling, are up over 70% on last year.

The experiment shows how successful branded pop-ups can be when they catch fire on social media, a large part of the veggie cafe’s success.

Manchester Utd’s Fox tie-up continues to amaze

Wayne Rooney appeared in a bizarre X-Men trailer last month, as part of his club’s 20th Century Fox tie-up.

Independence Day is up next in Wayne’s burgeoning IMDB profile. Lovely stuff.