Twitter Tests Buy Button, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Home depot suffers major hack, SheTaxis hates men, Spotify adds video ads, Facebook adds view count to videos, and see what happens when teenagers try playing the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Twitter Goes Buy Buy
You will soon be able to buy products directly from within Twitter. This is due to the social network testing a Buy button that will sit inside tweets which mention specific items. The testing of this new commercial element will initially be limited to “a small percentage of U.S. users” with tweets from “test partners,” but the effort will grow over time. Partners already on board include Burberry, Home Depot, and Nature Conservancy. Platforms being used include Fancy and Stripe.
Once this goes live, it will make the process of buying a product on Twitter as simple as possible. Clicking Buy will reveal additional product details and prompt the user to add shipping and payment information. That information is “encrypted and safely stored after your first transaction,” but the more security conscious among you may want to delete the information after each transaction to regain your peace of mind.
Either way, prepare yourself for Twitter becoming more like an online retailer. Something akin to Amazon…
Fire Sale For Fire Phone
Amazon has dropped the price of the Fire Phone to just 99 cents for customers in the U.S. who commit to the two-year contract. The Amazon Fire Phone was launched with a price tag of $199, so this represents a saving of almost $200. Despite the price cut, buying the Fire Phone still gets you one free year of Amazon Prime worth $99.
It’s just a shame the Amazon Fire Phone reviews weren’t exactly packed with compliments. But then they were written with the $199 price tag intact, so Amazon’s debut smartphone may be worth a second look. Unfortunately, Apple is set to unveil the iPhone 6 later today (Sept. 9), and we have already discovered that a healthy percentage of consumers will be buying the iPhone 6 sight unseen. Because fanboys.
Home Depot Hacked
I’m confused. If you take naked pictures inside of Home Depot, they’re going to be posted?
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) September 4, 2014
North American retailer Home Depot has confirmed its computer network was hacked, with up to 60 million customers potentially affected. The security breach may have exposed cardholder details of anyone who shopped at a bricks-and-mortar store in the U.S. or Canada between April 2014 and just last week. Stores in Mexico are unaffected, as are customers shopping online.
The breach was first reported by security researcher Brian Krebs, and it took Home Depot a full week to confirm the incident. According to The New York Times, customers in Georgia have already filed a class-action lawsuit against the big-box retailer, and others could follow.
As a gesture of goodwill, Home Depot is offering “free identity protection and credit-monitoring services” to anyone affected by the hack. Which is clearly better than nothing, but not better than keeping customer data safe in the first place.
SheTaxis Is A Sexist Uber
SheTaxis, a new taxi service in New York, refuses rides for men. http://t.co/EnWRvPG6de I’m not quite sure how this is legal.
— Eric Fidler (@EricFidler) September 8, 2014
Ride-sharing apps are becoming big business, as can be seen by the level of ire traditional taxi drivers are throwing the way of Uber , Lyft, and other similar companies. Competition is fierce, but SheTaxis may have hit on the magic formula: cater only to women.
SheTaxis, known as SheRides in New York, only employs females drivers, and only takes female passengers or groups of passengers where at least one is female. According to The New York Times, less than 5 percent of drivers-for-hire in New York are female, so SheTaxis is trying to balance the gender divide. So, is this one occasion when discrimination is good?
Spotify Gets Video Ads
Spotify is adding video advertising to its free service. The video ads will come in two forms: a Sponsored Session which will exchange the viewing of a 30-second video spot for 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening, and a Video Takeover which sees a video ad play in place of an audio ad. The Sponsored Session will target mobile users, while the Video takeover will target desktop users. Both will be annoying, but are a necessary evil for Spotify to maintain its free service .
Facebook Tracks Video Views
500 years worth of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook.
— Facts In Your Face (@FactsInYourFace) September 6, 2014
Videos are amazingly popular on Facebook, with the social network boasting 1 billion video views every month, 65 percent of which occur on mobile devices. To increase engagement, Facebook is adding a view count to each clip uploaded to the site, with popularity used to show people content they are likely to enjoy. Just don’t expect that clip of you eating a burger to go viral and you won’t be disappointed.
Teens Try Playing NES
And finally, proof that teenagers are extremely hard to please. Give them a new PlayStation 4 or Xbox One and they may crack a smile, but plonk a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) down in front of them and they will look at you like you have two heads. Watch, wince, and shake your head in severe disappointment at the level of disdain seen in the video.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Can you see yourself ever buying anything through Twitter? Does the 99 cents price tag mean you’ll consider buying an Amazon Fire Phone? Does SheTaxis constitute sexism?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: edkohler via Flickr