Friday 5 — 3.28.2014
- This week, Facebook acquired virtual reality purveyor Oculus Rift for $2B in cash and stock. This purchase gives the social networking company, which was only two years ago struggling to get its arms around mobile, a leg up in virtual reality hardware. What will they use it for? Gaming’s an obvious first use case, but there’s a big vision opportunity. Semil Shah penned a terrific, if pun-laden piece on Facebook’s strategy and direction.
- In an effort to boost Google Wallet, Google enables friction-free money transfer for Gmail users. The simple user interface — as easy as adding an attachment — is sure to attract entice more people into signing up for Google Wallet.
- What’s content marketing, again? This piece breaks down this generic term, and explains why companies like NewsCred and Percolate are closing significant financing rounds.
- From the Something Useful Now department, the Starbucks app has added a couple of handy features. The app now enables shake-to-pay, which uses your mobile’s native accelerometer to pull up the scannable barcode, and a feature than enables tipping for up to two hours after your visit.
- Nieman Lab runs an extensive review of NY Times Now, a mobile product launching in the app stores on April 2. The launch is a step forward into current digital news best practices (mobile-first approach, briefs, curation of third party content). But will it lure more subscribers with this new app, or introduce product confusion with too many similar offerings?
Weekend fun: Are you still immersed in March Madness this weekend? Then check out @NailbiterBot, which will tweet to you when games are close in the second half. Follow the account now, so you can quietly excuse yourself from your in-laws and tune in.
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