fastcompany:

Square, the payments startup from Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, has prototyped a Square credit card. The plastic card is all black, and save for the card holder’s name emblazoned on the face, features no logos—not even Square’s. Over the past year, multiple sources indicate Square employees have been carrying the card—seen here below, partially blurred to protect the card holder’s identity—around in their wallets.

However, despite buzz about the potential of a Square credit card, other company sources indicate the project was recently killed.
Details of the rumored prototype came to light during reporting for Fast Company's profile of Square, published this week. As Square seeks to unearth new sources of revenue beyond its core business of payments processing, the company has launched a slew of new products, including Square Market, Cash, Feedback, Invoices, Capital, Dashboard, and on Monday, August 11, Appointments. Some insiders expected the Square credit card would be a promising addition to the mix, potentially opening the company up to a swath of lucrative consumer loyalty and rewards services. But after pressing the company multiple times about the project, Square finally confirmed that it’s not launching a credit card. Or, should we say, the company is no longer launching one. And the reason why highlights the difficulties Square faces in the immensely complex financial space.
Read More>

fastcompany:

Square, the payments startup from Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, has prototyped a Square credit card. The plastic card is all black, and save for the card holder’s name emblazoned on the face, features no logos—not even Square’s. Over the past year, multiple sources indicate Square employees have been carrying the card—seen here below, partially blurred to protect the card holder’s identity—around in their wallets.

image

However, despite buzz about the potential of a Square credit card, other company sources indicate the project was recently killed.

Details of the rumored prototype came to light during reporting for Fast Company's profile of Square, published this week. As Square seeks to unearth new sources of revenue beyond its core business of payments processing, the company has launched a slew of new products, including Square Market, Cash, Feedback, Invoices, Capital, Dashboard, and on Monday, August 11, Appointments. Some insiders expected the Square credit card would be a promising addition to the mix, potentially opening the company up to a swath of lucrative consumer loyalty and rewards services. But after pressing the company multiple times about the project, Square finally confirmed that it’s not launching a credit card. Or, should we say, the company is no longer launching one. And the reason why highlights the difficulties Square faces in the immensely complex financial space.

Read More>

(Reblogged from fastcompany)

The Friend Request is Dead

This is a great article (here) about how the “Follow” has quietly over taken the “Friend request” in social media. 

While less intimate than a friend request, the act of following ultimately proved more revealing. While Facebook’s friends list might show who we know, our Twitter follow list unveiled who we are.

It’s interesting in that as Facebook’s popularity grew so did the idea of the friend request, and the new currency on social became “friends”. The meaning of friend even changed in real life because of this and the trend, making it more superficial. You can read many articles on this.

So as the idea of “friending” goes away in social, will we see the idea of a “friend” go back to something more meaningful?image

Deep Web vs. DarkNet: The Internet Behind the Internet

Great article about the parts of the internet that most people don’t know about because they cannot be accessed by a normal web browser. 

You can read or listen to the story via NPR here

Photo courtesy of NPR

Tim Cook Explains The Beats Deal

From ReCode

This is all about music, and we’ve always viewed that music was key to society and culture. Music’s always been at the heart of Apple. It’s deep in our DNA. We’ve sold Macs to musicians since the beginning of Macs. And we accelerated the music industry with the digital music revolution with the iPod and the iTunes music store.

Read more here

Is Instagram the New BFF in a Crisis for Celebrities?

Interesting article this morning from The Cut. Celebrities are turning to instragram before or in place of issuing any statements.

As the news cycle speeds up and the public becomes increasingly jaded about traditional PR, Instagram has emerged as a go-to space for celebrities ranging from Beyoncé to Justin Bieber to Jill Abramson. There, they can winkingly acknowledge, toy with, apologize for, and dismiss rumors as quickly as the gossip starts.

It just might be the best thing for a celebrity to ‘take it directly to the fans’ but The Cut makes a good point here:

 Modern celebrity relies on the illusion of intimacy, and Instagram PR is the ultimate tool for pseudo-intimate fan management: It emphasizes the celebrity’s direct connection with her fans (illusion) without forcing her to reveal any facts (reality). It feels more genuine than a press release, but still allows for meticulous image control.

Instagram > Olivia Pope?

image

Image courtesy of The Cut

Read the whole article here: http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/05/how-instagram-became-the-best-crisis-pr.html

The New Facebook Mobile Update for iOS adds “Post Later” and more Features

Yesterday, May 15th 2014, Facebook updated their mobile app to version 10.0. Here are the things that you need to know:

• Review what your post will look like and choose whether to remove any suggested links before sharing what you’re reading, watching or listening to
• Create posts even when your connection is weak or you’re in airplane mode, and they’ll be shared once your connection gets strong enough
• Improvements to make News Feed load faster, especially on older phones and tablets

Source: Geeky Gadgets

Another Push to Allow Payments via Smartphones on Vending Machines

If anything should be able to get people to use their smartphones as mobile wallets, it’s vending machines.”

http://nyti.ms/RrtQxk

(Reblogged from fastcompany)

Twitter Introduces New Profile Pages for Desktop

Twitter is officially rolling out a brand new user profile redesign from today, as it looks to help users show who they really are.

The news follows on from the broader refresh that came into effect back in February, which included a whiter design and bigger buttons. With this latest overhaul, you will be able to pin one of your tweets to the top of your profile page.

This totally makes sense for Twitter. They are tired of the user experience just in the Twitter feed. By having more robust experience in the profile pages, more traffic can be driven there, especially for brands. They are taking a page from the Facebook and Google Plus model and trying to turn the pages into more of a hub.

This is a smart move by Twitter because of the increased pay-to-play pressure for brands on Facebook. Twitter is a lot cheaper, more efficient and has even better targeting than Facebook. Brands with tight social media budgets would be wise to check out this new format. If I was a small coffee brand, i could get in front of lovers of coffee, people who follow other coffee brands for much cheaper than on Facebook.

Arizona + Dunkin Donuts + Twitter = Amazing Results

This is a great example of how Twitter adds value and be an effecient traffic driver.

…during the last half of 2013, Apodaca & Co. tested HipLogiq’s SocialCompass in order to suss out relevant Twitter conversations. (They released the data results for the first time today.) The franchisee used the handle @DunkinDonutsPHX, which has grown modestly to 2,160 followers. Via a search algorithm, the system found nearby people who were prime targets for a complimentary medium coffee—and “iced” was part of the pitch, of course.

Essentially, local Twitter discussions of coffee and other Dunkin’ products were zeroed in on with tweets directed at such consumers. It’s a simple concept enabled by technology.

The offer entailed a loss-leader coupon, meant to drive foot traffic to place orders beyond the beverage freebie. Apodaca said he wished his 54-location business had discovered the automation sooner. Getting social media messaging approved by Dunkin’ Donuts headquarters can take weeks, he said.

The results from this activation were pretty impressive:

  • 120 percent conversion rate;
  • 1,827 relevant Twitter conversations;
  • One Twitter user shared the free coffee pitch with 1,745 followers, and two of his followers retweeted it to another 1,150 people;
  • More than 1,480 customers were gained due to the increased awareness.