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Facebook Expands P2P Payments Within Messenger
Peer-to-peer payments within Facebook’s Messenger have been available since 2015, but now the social networking giant has expanded it to groups. To help users keep track of everything, a message will appear in the group conversation showing who has paid.
South Korea’s Food Delivery Scene Expands
Food delivery apps in South Korea are raking it in, thanks to an increase in single-person households, according to the Korea Herald. Services like mobile delivery app Baedal Minjok have seen their user base and revenues climb, and competitors are rushing into the sector to fulfill demand. However, margins remain tight, and more services mean they’re likely to get even thinner.
UK’s TVPlayer Adds Xbox Integration
UK-based streaming video service TVPlayer’s app is now available for Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox One S game consoles. Xbox users have access to more than 100 TV channels via TVPlayer’s app, both on demand and live, with no contract. A paid TVPlayer Plus service offers more than 25 additional premium channels and a 7-day catch-up service for a monthly fee. According to the company, the TVPlayer app has been downloaded more than 3 million times since 2014 and has more than 1 million active users in the UK.
China’s LeEco Ends Bid for Vizio
China-based internet services and technology firm LeEco has scrapped its plan to acquire US-based television manufacturer Vizio, citing regulatory hurdles. LeEco had announced its plan to buy Vizio for $2 billion in July 2016, but the company has pulled back on planned expansion efforts in the face of some financial troubles.
The AI Doctor Will See You Now
A new survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) indicates that over half of consumers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are ready for artificial intelligence (AI) and robots to be integrated with their healthcare. Even for surgery, almost three-quarters of respondents are willing to let a robot perform a minor procedure. Top motivators among survey respondents for an AI-enabled or robotic health procedure or service were easier access and better accuracy of results. According to Nielsen, US pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer ad spending reached $5.8 billion last year.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick, Rimma Kats
Shifts in how retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands think about ecommerce, combined with an accelerating acceptance among consumers for buying food digitally, have boosted online sales of groceries. Retailers and brands are taking note of these changing consumer behaviors and offering more digital options for grocery shopping and delivery, which will continue to drive the trend upward in 2017 and beyond.
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