Facebook quietly announced a new feature coming later this month that will allow users to control whether or not an advertiser can show ads to them using a Custom Audience list.

“People have always been able to hide all ads from a specific advertiser in their Ad Preferences or directly in an ad. But now they will be able to stop seeing ads based on an advertiser’s Custom Audience from a list,” Facebook wrote the corporate blog.

Why we care

Custom Audiences are often comprised of a company’s active and best customers. Not being able to show ads to a critical mass of those users could potentially hurt campaign performance. However, this kind of control could be a net positive for advertisers as well as users. When users have the ability to opt-out, marketers have greater incentive to think carefully about the relationships they have with the customers on their lists and the messaging they’re serving them.

Facebook has made a number of changes to how Custom Audience lists are managed in the past year. This latest update is a more proactive feature — moving beyond simply giving users information on why they’re being targeted and letting them control if they see the ad or not.

The announcement was included in news related to allowing users to hide political ads, but the soon-to-be released feature applies to all campaigns using Custom Audiences.

More on the news

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.





Merkato is an app in Poland (for Android & iOS) that connects local people who want to sell or buy used stuff on the fly.

Merkato is an app in Poland (for Android & iOS) that connects local people who want to sell or buy used stuff on the fly.






UI Design, 



UX & product strategy,

UI Design, 


From idea to MVP and 10 000 registered users.

The total valuation of products on Merkato’s marketplace exceeded 1 000 000 PLN.

From idea to MVP and 10 000 registered users.

The total valuation of products on Merkato’s

marketplace exceeded 1 000 000 PLN.

From creating MVP to more than 12 500 registered users.

From 0 to total valuation of products on Mercato’s marketplace exceeding 1 000 000 PLN.


The Idea was born.

You’ve probably experienced it before…

It’s quite uncommon for 3 people to come up with the same idea in the same week but that actually happened, and I’m going to tell you the story of how it started.

Few phone calls, few chats, we were pumped! You know how it goes, you probably experienced it before.

You think about an idea and you are really excited about it….you get the dopamine & endorfines flowing in your blood stream when you talk about it with your friends and they share the same vision….coincidence? I don’t think so! 😉

You are waking up the next day and the idea is still there and it still sounds reasonable. Ok, let’s do it!

“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility…”

– Ben Parker, the Spiderman


Each of us have expertise in our field. The combination of our skills made us self-sufficient and the project sustainable in the long run.

Strategic decisions were made always together and each of us had freedom & their own responsibilities in their own area.

On the high level approach we had the same vision & drive for the project.

Research, do your homework first!

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”

― Abraham Lincoln

We conducted research to better understand and learn more about the filed. We collected a lot of data – extracted insights and benchmarks. We were taking deep dives into this subject from the angle of each field (business, technology, design)

From the high level perspective, during that stage we found answers for following questions:

  • For whom we are solving the problem? (Target audience)
  • How big is the problem we are trying to solve? (Market)
  • Are there other products that are already solving it? (Competition)
  •  if so…..how are they solving the problem? (Products)

Many findings from this stage were added to the presentation that was created months later.


Few slides from the presentation

The bird’s-eye view of the solution – the backstory

Personally I’m a sci-fi fan. In the “Eva” (2011) movie, Daniel Brüh is playing a genius which was employed by his former university to design AI for robots. There is a scene when he is at home in his workshop.

He has this really cool tool to design AI. 

Think about it as a Lego bricks visual programming language fully interactive holograms gesture UI.

In an instant he is able to zoom out and see the bird’s eye perspective of his project.

And zoom in to see the smallest tiniest details…

He can see how different systems are working together. Everything is interactive & interconnected. He can change each module, he can play with it the way he likes.

I wrote this long introduction because user story mapping for me is what this design tool is for the main character from the “Eva” movie.

Sure it’s a little different, two-dimensional and not so interactive and high-tech. Instead of holograms there are sticky notes and instead of gesture UI there are pens and pencils 😉 but it’s just a great tool to envision new ideas and explore their dynamics.

PS. If you are working on an interactive hologram version, please contact me right away! I am your perfect early adopter 😉

Clarifying the idea – User story mapping

I always see value in doing user story mapping.

It’s build from the user perspective. Every feature, every interaction is built on top of the user journey.

It helps everybody get on the same page. It fosters discussions and helps to get the same understanding about high level features & every little detail.

It’s great for MVP & Lean development. Based on it you can craft your first release, first version of your idea. It’s a reference during every and each of your next iteration.

It’s great for most projects. Personally I believe it’s useful 90% of the time. It’s a design tool that you can use whether you are creating a new app or planning your 1 month of traveling through Indonesia.

Below you can see the user story map of our app.


All user stories – User story map of our app.

MVP – The way we crafted first release

“If You’re Not Embarrassed By The First Version Of Your Product, You’ve Launched Too Late”

― Reid Hoffman

We distilled the experience down to the core functionality – core value proposition.

If you think about Dave McClure‘s customer lifecycle we were able to get a grasp of the funnel from Acquisition to Retention.

Below you can see the first release.


Our first release – User story mapping 

Releasing something into the world (in the early stage) is always exciting and a little scary at the same time.

However it is the best way to test assumptions and get early feedback.

We got four 1-star reviews on Google Play. Below you can see one of them.


Screenshot of the review from Google Play console

Those four reviews were a little painful but it was something we knew could have happened and it was fair. In MVP version you could add only one photo of your item (no ability to add title, description, category or more photos) so people had to send messages to each other and ask about everything – it’s understandable why they were upset.

There is no such thing as “bad feedback” and to be honest we were kind of happy that somebody cared enough to let us know what’s the most important for them.

Also, we had already prioritize the features that were mentioned in the review to be built in the next releases – those reviews were another thing that confirmed our roadmap.

During the first release we were able to get answers for many questions, here are just a few of them:

  • Cost of acquisition from Facebook & Google Adwords (CPC, CPI, CP added products)
  • Conversion rate on app install from Google Play & App Store
  • Conversion rate on registration in the app (Continue with Facebook)
  • Engagement inside the app (% of active users who visit item, add item, send message)
  • User retention

After the first release, we learned that this idea about the app can actually work.

Each new release – Lean development

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”

― Peter Drucker

We were crafting each release having in mind the value that we are bringing to our users.

Hypothesis – Assumptions – The way we are going to measure it. Learn – Build – Measure loop.

We weren’t able to conduct an A/B test at that stage but because we were doing it step by step we were able to double check each feature and make data informed decisions.

We were tracking our core KPI’s and with each new release we were adding events to track new features. After a while we started learning from the data we had been collecting.

First few releases were focused on the core functionality, mostly on the basic features with high value for users (add titles, prices, categories, visit other user profile etc) after that we were using RICE method to prioritize each release.

Below you can see what was shipped in the first six sprints.


First six sprints of development

3 pillars of user experience

Based on a research, competitive analysis and our gut, we wanted to focus on those 3 core elements right from the get go:

  1. Flow of adding items for sale
  2. Fostering trust
  3. Product presentation

1st – Flow of adding items for sale

For users – adding products, something that takes a long time on other platforms we wanted to be as fast as taking a photo.

For the platform – it’s the answer to the question “what came first the chicken or the egg” in the case of building a marketplace from scratch.

Also on the Polish market there are many products solving that problem but none of them are mobile only. It’s not only about the platform – it’s about how we believe this problem will be solved 5 years from now.

Win – win.

For users & for the platform.

There was one major insight about adding/posting products for sale online. It was something that came up at interviews and was also seen in the reviews of our competitors online – Posting items for sale is time consuming.

Based on some interviews it takes about 10-40 minutes to post your item/items.

This is how it looks like:

  1. You have to find the item you would like to sell (often it’s at the bottom of your closet)
  2. Sometimes (depending on the item) you have to clean it first to make it look good on photos.
  3. You are ready to go online & create your listing. On most of the services in Poland it’s obligatory to fill in all fields, like: add Title, Description, Category (sometimes there are more things depending on the category) and at least one photo.

So as you can see it’s time consuming.

Also, based on our data 63% of people are adding 2 or more items to sell.


If you have more than 1 item for sale – you have to block even more time from your day to post all those products.

That’s why most of the time selling your unused stuff is tagged in your mind as “I will do it this weekend”. We wanted to change that perception. Eliminate unnecessary steps & brake the flow into small chunks – You don’t have to do it all at once.

Don’t wait for a weekend – it’s so fast you can do it now!

There is a good piece of advice from James Clear “Atomic Habits” book that can be applied here. The author is writing about taking small and incremental steps towards building a habit. He advises “make it easy for yourself” – even though that sounds obvious it’s not used so often. If you want to build the habit of drinking water always after waking up, just put the bottle next to your bed. Boom!….you just hugely increased your conversion to drink water after you open your eyes.

The same goes with adding your products for sale.

The most important step (the one that is moving the needle) should be the easiest one. Just open the app and take a photo. You take the photo & and your listing is live for sale – your chances of selling the product hugely increases.

Want to increase your chances even more?

  • Share it with your friends (you just increased your chances by 20%)
  • Add more photos (15% increase)
  • Add the title & description (10% increase).

All those things can be done later.

The most important step is already made. Your listing is live for sale.

Add listing_02

Easy way to enter the flow

Add an item button. This is the most important action in the app. CTA is highly visible and easily accessible from every main screen in the app.

Number of steps in the flow

The balance between number of added listings & the number of high quality listings (many great photos, well described item) is the most important.

Add listing_wf

Add listing selected screens

Below you can see some of the selected screens from Add listing flow.

(awesome illustrations by icons 8)

Add listing_03

Add listing_06

2nd – Fostering trust between users

2nd – Fostering trust between users

If you think about it, trust has always been and still is the biggest currency in trade.

The most effective way to foster trust from the beginning was to use Facebook as a way to verify users. Facebook is the most popular social media platform in Poland and we were already using it to drive traffic to our app.

Main advantages:

  • Fast and easy registration (Continue with Facebook CTA)
  • Legit users & their profiles (real photos, real names)
  • Possible lower % of spam and abuses from the beginning



Main elements to establish and foster trust:

  • Verified by Facebook sign in Profiles
  • Real names of the sellers and buyers
  • Large photos of sellers and buyers
  • Ability for instant contact

3rd – Product presentation

Right from the beginning we wanted to focus on an advantage that we had because we were creating a mobile platform.  I’m talking about product presentation and the difference between vertical and horizontal listing photos.

All platforms of our competitors in Poland are designed in a way that product is presented horizontally (on the feed & on the listing detail.)

When you think about it, back then in 2006 when they were designing the platforms it made perfect sense – there was only desktop traffic.

On January 9, 2007 the first Iphone was officially announced.

Since then mobile phones became more popular. Therefore mobile apps were created to take advantage of more and more traffic coming from mobile devices – but the framework stayed the same. They were designed having a horizontal photo presentation as a default. Once again it made perfect sense because their main traffic still was coming from desktop.

But the dynamic was changing, one mobile user at the time…Now in 2019 the mobile is huge and there is no going back.

Because we were creating a mobile platform we wanted to use that dynamic to our advantage.

Home screen – difference between horizontal and vertical.



Product detail – difference between horizontal and vertical.

? Contact me anytime

? Contact me anytime

? Contact me anytime

? Contact me anytime

? Contact me anytime

Made with ? in the beautiful city of Krakow © 2019 Mateusz Tatara

Made with ? in the beautiful city of Krakow © 2019 Mateusz Tatara

Made with ? in the beautiful city of Krakow © 2019 Mateusz Tatara

Made with ? in the beautiful city of Krakow © 2019 Mateusz Tatara


Pinterest launched a new “Home Feed Tuner” on Tuesday that gives users more insight into what factors impact the content being surfaced in their home feeds and more control over what they see. The tool shows the boards, topics, followed accounts and recent history activity that determine recommendations in a user’s feed, and allows the user to remove these signals using an on/off toggle switch: “Flip on if you want to see more ideas, flip off if you’d rather not, whether because the content is sensitive or irrelevant.”

The tool can be accessed via a user’s settings or at pinterest.com/edit. There is also an option that lets users adjust their recommendations at the Pin-level.

Why we should care

Giving users more control over content recommendations could lead to higher engagement for brands on the platform. If users are able to adjust the signals that impact their home feed recommendations, Pinterest’s algorithm will more accurately surface content users want to see.

A better user experience could also result in more time spent on the platform and more branded and promoted content saved to boards.

“We approached this in the same way our engineers build recommendations on the backend, by handing a control panel over to the Pinner so she can tune her home feed and have the most relevant and inspirational experience possible,” said Pinterest’s head of Pinner Products Omar Seyal.

More on the news

  • Pinterest’s “Home Feed Tuner” controls also give users the option to receive recommendations for their secret boards as well, which previously were excluded from recommendations.
  • Users can turn on the feature by going directly to the pinterest.com/edit link or access it under the three-dots icon at the top of their home page on desktop. It is also available on Android and iOS.
  • The feature will show why Pins showed up in feeds and allow users to give feedback if they don’t want to see them.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.


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Users of HubSpot’s free CRM tools will now be able to send targeted emails and manage social ad spending, according to an announcement from the marketing software provider. The newly accessible capabilities are designed to help HubSpot’s’ small- to medium-size customers save time by integrating the solutions into a single platform for execution.

Users will be able to send up to 2,000 emails per month as part of the free offering. Additionally, they will be able to manage up to $1,000 in monthly ad spend on Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.

Why we should care

Many small and growing businesses are still adjusting to the digital-first reality when it comes to their marketing. Marketers often find themselves fighting for budgets, and it can be challenging to justify investments in multiple platforms. HubSpot’s strategy of bringing this martech together into one platform could help marketers grow their reach without breaking their budgets.

“We believe that email and CRM belong together, and that every marketer, no matter the size of their budget, should be able to see how their efforts are impacting their customers and, ultimately, their bottom line,” said HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar. “We’re offering email as part of our free CRM to enable growing businesses to finally see how their efforts impact their customers’ experience beyond just a single email or interaction.”

By including these free solutions in part of its free offering, HubSpot is positioning itself to serve as the primary CRM, email and social provider for small businesses when they outgrow the free services and need to expand their digital capabilities.

More on the news

  • The company also announced the expansion of its free tier of ads tools, which previously only support Facebook lead ads.
  • The new capability allows users to connect to two social accounts to manage, but limits users to Facebook, Google and LinkedIn ads
  • The tool also includes conversion-level reports which are also integrated with HubSpot’s free CRM

About The Author