Mar 1, 2018

Snap-owned measurement company launches free store visit metrics

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

HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Venture capital is beginning a belated conversation about its dearth of black investors and support of black founders, but hasn't yet turned its attention to the trivial participation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as limited partners in funds.

Why it matters: This increases educational and economic inequality, as the vast majority of VC profits go to limited partners.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.