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Photo: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Placed, the Seattle-based measurement company acquired by Snap last year, rolled out a free service Thursday that will provide metrics around store visits for 2,000 businesses.

Why it matters: Foot traffic is a crucial metric for marketers looking to measure how advertising directly impacts sales, but access to this type of technology can be expensive. Providing it for free mirrors Snap's commitment to working with advertisers that are actively looking to sell things, not just enhance their brands.

David Shim, the CEO and founder of Placed, says he’s open-sourcing the tool with the goal of bringing some much-needed transparency and accountability to the space:

“We see this as similar to Zillow launching Zestimate, where data changed the way we look at our homes. Placed Insights is set to do something similar by giving everyone access to location analytics, enabling them to make store visits an actionable metric.”

Here's an example of how that data can be helpful: According to Shim, 25% of Whole Foods customers travel over 13 miles to the nearest store, suggesting Amazon’s two-hour delivery offering could be a good bet.

The backstory: Snapchat acquired Placed last June, but has allowed the company to operate independently. Their financial backing from Snap's deep pockets likely helps make the open-sourcing possible.

Go deeper

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.

Amazon's small business shield

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is touting the success of small sellers on its platform through the pandemic — and warning that antitrust legislation could jeopardize that success and blow up its open-marketplace model.

Why it matters: As online shopping became a lifeline for both businesses and consumers during the pandemic, Amazon reaped big benefits, but also saw its regulatory risk grow.

The new cold war panic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The world has seen a power struggle between nuclear powers before, and has seen those countries inch closer to military conflict. But it's never before seen a cold war between two countries as interconnected — with each other and with the rest of the globe — as the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Escalating antagonism between the world's two superpowers is likely to hinder global cooperation to fight climate change, divert resources to costly arms and tech races, complicate diplomacy for U.S. allies, and victimize Chinese and American citizens living in each other's countries.