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Spotify Sets Vietnam, Thailand Expansion
Popular music streaming service Spotify is planning to launch in Thailand and Vietnam, according to a report in TechCrunch. Spotify declined to comment on the plans, but the Sweden-based company is seeking two music editor positions, one for each country. Spotify claims 100 million registered users worldwide, more than half of whom pay subscriptions.
Google’s Waze Expands Carpool Service Throughout California
Google’s popular navigation app Waze will expand its carpool service throughout California next week, Reuters reports. Beginning June 6, users of the Waze Carpool app will be able to find rides from Waze drivers already going their way, and vice versa, across the state.
Kill Email? It’s Already Dead in China
Email has never really caught on in China, thanks primarily to messaging platforms from Tencent. That’s created some friction for Westerners attempting to communicate via email in the Middle Kingdom. Quartz investigates how instant messaging platform QQ served the communications needs of netizens during the early days of internet adoption in China and how WeChat fulfills the role among smartphone users today.
Gatwick Airport Adds AR Wayfinding
In what it claims is a global first, London’s Gatwick Airport has installed a beacon-powered indoor navigation system that enables passengers to negotiate the facility’s two terminals via augmented reality. The system is said to provide more reliable “blue dot” position information than typically provided by GPS while indoors and works by displaying directions to check-in areas, departure gates, baggage belts and other locations using passengers’ smartphone camera view.
Instagram’s User Base in Spain Surges 66%
Instagram’s user total in Spain has topped 12 million, according to a report by newspaper El País citing a recent presentation in Madrid by the social network’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Mike Krieger. The user figure is up 66% from approximately 8 million users a year earlier.
Hyundai UK Offers Ecommerce Option
Automaker Hyundai’s UK unit is partnering with US payment technology company Global Payments to offer UK car shoppers the ability to buy cars online directly from participating local Hyundai dealerships. Hyundai’s Click to Buy program is said to be the first such automaker-driven ecommerce option in the UK.
TRVL Gets More Money
Peer-to-peer online travel booking platform TRVL has raised €2.5 million ($2.7 million) in funding, according to TechCrunch. The Amsterdam-based startup launched its service to the public last month after several months of beta testing; it looks to monetize crowd-sourced travel expertise by paying users a commission on travel bookings resulting from their recommendations.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha and Rimma Kats
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