Saturday Social: Facebook Mobile Payments, Smartphones Sales Rise
Facebook planning mobile payments, Smartphones outsell feature phones, Google to use Gmail for search prediction, Ellen’s staff Facebook pics
Facebook is reported to be planning a new mobile payment platform, which could rival PayPal. The move is designed to show advertisers “the effectiveness of its platform in driving revenue.”
“We continue to have a great relationship with PayPal, and this product is simply to test how we can help our app partners provide a simpler commerce experience,” said Facebook’s Tera Randell in a statement. “This test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current provider.”
The payment product would allow users to make purchases through smartphone apps just using Facebook login information. Users will of course have to have provided the social network with their credit card details and this would allow purchases to be made to advertisers, without the need for entering payment details.
While at the moment Facebook only plan to make shopping on mobile easier, should it take off and prove successful, the social media site will be able to gather valuable data on its user’s shopping habits.
This could lead to more targeted ads being shown to individual users.
“Consumers want safe, seamless and convenient mobile payments and there are a growing number of competitors that consumers trust more, such as PayPal, Visa (V.me) and others,’ Denee Carrington, an analyst with Forrester Research told the BBC.
PayPal said in a statement that 10% of all the payments made through them last year were made using a mobile device.
Smartphones outsell feature phones
According to new research from analysts at technology research firm Gartner, smartphone sales have exceeded feature phone sales for the first time. In the second quarter of the year, global sales for mobile reached 435m units, of these, smartphones accounted for 225m, a growth rate of 46.5% on the previous year.
Feature phones, which are similar to smartphones but are sold at a lower price bracket and with less features, fell 21% when compared to 2012.
“Smartphones accounted for 51.8% of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.
Samsung continue to dominate the smartphone market worldwide, followed by Apple, which saw its market share fall from 18.8% to 14.2% last year. Lenova continue to push forward and have managed to make quite a dent in the market this year thanks to “with an aggressive push into the smartphone market.”
Android remains the world’s favourite mobile operating system with a 79% slice of the pie, followed by iOS with 14.2% and Windows slipping into third place for the first time, overtaking BlackBerry.
It’s thought amongst analysts that this is the beginning of the end for feature phones. “It will reach a point where the sales of a new model of feature phone will not be able to justify the amount of time and money that is spent into developing it,” said Forrester Research’s Andrew Milroy.
In other smartphone news, Canonical, the makers of the Linux OS Ubuntu, have raised a record amount through crowdsourcing for their proposed Ubuntu Edge smartphone. However, they remain some way off their target of $32m with a total of $10,431,095 raised by Friday afternoon.
While this was enough to break the record of Pebble smart watches, the makers of which managed to raise $10,266,845 last year.
Should Canonical fail to reach their funding target, they will be forced to return the cash to potential investors.
There are still six days to go for the firm to reach their target; who knows, anything could happen.
Google to use Gmail & G+ for search predictions
Google will soon be using its other products which have linked accounts, such as Gmail, Calendar and G+, in order to predict what questions its users might put into search. The idea is that it uses results that are culled from information contained in its suite of applications, in order to respond to queries such as “show photos of mum”.
Those using Google Drive are said to be the ones who will benefit the most from the move. The idea is based on the Android-based personal “concierge” app, Google Now, that’s currently offered on the mobile platform.
Similar to Siri, the app uses voice recognition to answer questions ranging from “when is my flight” to “when is my next meeting with Sally?” However, users don’t seem overly impressed with the app thus far and it’s “pretty hit and miss” according to The Register.
By integrating this with Search, it gives us some idea of Google’s vision for the future. It’s possible to opt out if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of Google sifting through your personal mail etc. and a “private results” options will disable the search giants’ attempt at mass personalisation.
Ellen shows staff Facebook pics
US comedienne Ellen DeGeneres changed her stand-up routine recently, in which she usually shows photos taken from Facebook of people in her audience. However, this time she changed tack and decided to show off the social pics of her staff instead.
Hilariousness and embarrassment ensued!