Strongview and Foursquare win, Facebook and Yelp lose this week in marketing tech

Every week, The Hub rounds up who’s winning and who’s losing in the marketing tech world. Here’s who made this week’s selection:

WINNERS:

StrongView

StrongView registered a bit of an upset in the email marketing world by beating out such big name vendors as Salesforce’s ExactTarget and Oracle’s Responsys in Forrester’s Email Marketing Wave report for Q3 2014. While the scores were close, StrongView won out due to its multi-channel approach to marketing which Forrester says goes beyond email. It also got points for its Interaction Store, a dynamic database of customer interactions which marketers can use to create targeted emails.

Foursquare

Foursquare relaunched itself as the ultimate recommendation app. Based on users’ locations and preferences, the new Foursquare app will now recommend restaurants, stores and services. This makes it a more dynamic and active version of Yelp and it sounds like an exciting pivot for a company that had been all but written off in the social media landscape. Plus, in terms of revenue it’s way more attractive for businesses to advertise on, or at least pay to get listed in the recommendations list. It’s a good idea, but can Foursquare pull it off?

LOSERS:

Facebook:

Despite performing exceedingly well financially, Facebook continues to suffer from bad press, especially when it comes to privacy. The social media platform is now taking heat for its Facebook Messenger app, a spinoff of its core social network offering built specifically for instant messaging. The only problem is it’s forcing its users to use Messenger by removing the messaging feature entirely from the main app. And then there are of course, the many privacy concerns. 

The Huffington Post detailed all the violations in a panicky blog post, including the app’s ability to make phone calls, take pictures and read your messages without the user’s confirmation. Although that article was written nearly six months ago, it only recently started to go viral. While Facebook scrambled to debunk the accusations, the scare tactics worked, even landing it in the pages of Cosmopolitan.

Yelp:

Another social media company accused of evil misdoings this week was Yelp. The company is being sued by shareholders over fraudulent reviews, which helped to artificially inflate its stock prices. Investors are upset that Yelp suppressed the news about one of its notorious business practices, which is to get businesses to pay them money in order to remove bad reviews. The suit alleges that once the news about this practice got out, the stock price plummeted, but not before company insiders and executives had unloaded most of their shares.

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