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Facebook Messenger Hits 1.2 Billion Users
Facebook’s Messenger revealed that it has reached 1.2 billion users—and is now twice the size of Instagram, Recode reports. Earlier this week, the social networking giant expanded peer-to-peer payments within Messenger, letting groups send cash to each other within the app.
Amazon, eBay Pulling Anti-Gypsy Products from UK Sites
Both Amazon and eBay are responding to demands from Gypsy and Traveller groups to remove products from their sites featuring a term those groups consider an ethnic slur, according to the BBC. Reportedly, “hundreds of listings” are involved, from fridge magnets to baby clothes, featuring a corruption of Nike’s logo and “Just Do It” tag line based on a negative stereotype about Gypsies and Travellers.
Roku and TiVo Team Up to Share Patents
Roku and TiVo have partnered to share patents through an intellectual property license agreement. According to Variety, the patents encompass such technologies as DVR capabilities and media processes on mobile. The combined companies have roughly 6,000 issued and pending patents, with around 4,000 internationally. eMarketer estimates over 58% of the US population will be a connected TV user in 2017.
Ant Financial Continues Global Expansion
Alibaba’s Ant Financial is taking its first official step into Indonesia. The company has teamed up with Emtek, Indonesia’s second largest media firm, as well as ecommerce player Bukalapak. According to TechCrunch, “The initial fruits of this tie-in will be payment platform that debuts on BBM, the BlackBerry-owned service. ... It remains the dominant chat app in Indonesia with an impressive 63 million monthly users.”
UK’s ‘Kidult’ Toy Market on the Rise
Adults, primarily millennials, are helping boost growth in the UK children’s toy and game business by buying toys for themselves, according to The NPD Group. In 2016, one in every 11 toys sold in the UK was bought by a grown-up for personal use, propelling the so-called kidult market to a 21% sales increase. Buyers ages 18 to 34 were responsible for 50% of kidult spending last year, followed by Gen Xers providing a third and baby boomers contributing 18%. More than half of overall kidult purchases were made online during the year.
Germany’s Wi-Fi Providers Freed from User Liability
Germany’s national government has approved a draft law protecting public Wi-Fi providers from liability for piracy carried out by users, according to Telecompaper. The law is expected to lead to greater free Wi-Fi provision in Germany.
Remitly Comes to the UK
US digital payments platform Remitly has launched in the UK, according to Reuters. The service currently allows users in the UK to send money to recipients in India and the Philippines. Users in the US can send money to 11 countries: China, India and the Philippines, plus eight in Latin America.
Amazon Lets Parents Track Kids’ Digital Activities
Amazon’s new Parent Dashboard allows parents to track what their children are up to on its FreeTime kids’ apps, according to CNET. The dashboard is available at parents.amazon.com and will give parents a new level of control and insight into what their kids are watching. A December 2016 survey from Intel Security found that almost half of parents worldwide limit their children’s device usage to 1 to 2 hours a day.
—Cliff Annicelli, 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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