The billion-dollar question: What is journalism for?

As newspapers try and re-engineer their businesses to adapt to the disruption caused by the web and social media, they will have to confront a crucial question: How can they measure the effectiveness of the journalism they are producing — or is pleasing advertisers enough?

J.P. Morgan buys share of Conduit for $100 million

An investment fund of J.P. Morgan is paying $100 million for a 7 percent stake of online and mobile engagement tool maker Conduit, which is now valued at $1.3 billion. Conduit says it’s the first $1 billion Israeli Internet company.

Appsfire offers developers an in-app notification inbox

Appsfire, an app discovery platform, is launching a free service called App Booster that allows developers to create a simple two-way inbox inside their apps to help establish a communication channel between developers and users. It’s designed to be an easy way to foster in-app engagement.

Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives

A study suggests that apps downloaded through incentives are largely abandoned or uninstalled, providing little long-term benefit to the app developers who use these app distribution campaigns. According to a Harris online survey, only 3 percent of apps downloaded through incentivized install campaigns are used frequently.

Square targets punch cards with new loyalty rewards

Square, the mobile payment acceptance tool, is getting a lot more useful for merchants with version 2.2 for iOS and Android. It brings loyalty rewards for Square Card Case users, hardware integration with cash drawers and receipt printers and more back-end tools.

For mobile in-app sharing, Twitter tops Facebook 3-1

Mobile app analytics firm Localytics found that 20 percent of all mobile apps have social integration through Facebook or Twitter. While Facebook is the most popular tool for social sharing, the average Twitter user drives three times more traffic.

Memo to newspapers: Let your readers inside the wall

The Guardian says it’s now going to experiment with allowing readers to help decide what news to cover. The paper announced Monday that it’s going to make its “newslist” public, following the idea that if readers are part of the process, they’ll be more engaged.

Crowdtwist raises $6M to take gamified loyalty big time

Crowdtwist, a New York startup that recently graduated from TechStars’ New York class has been on a roll lining up customers like JCPenney, Live Nation and Sony Music. Now it’s announcing it has raised $6 million to expand its gamified social loyalty program.

Badgeville turns any website into a social network

Badgeville is introducing Social Fabric, a technology allows a website to quickly add a host of real-time social features on their site that charts user behavior, updates users on their on-site activities and allows people to follow any piece of content or fellow users.

BigDoor buys OneTrueFan as gamification consolidation begins

Gamification is growing up. First it got its own conference, a new certification program and now consolidation. BigDoor, a gamified loyalty platform used in hundreds of websites, is announcing it’s buying up web check-in rewards provider OneTrueFan.

Latino social network Quepasa swallows MyYearbook

We just wrote about the growth of social network MyYearbook, who has been on a tear as it emphasizes mobile, engagement and games. Well, the company got the attention of Latino social network Quepasa, which is buying MyYearbook for $100 million.