Weekly Digital News Roundup: Oct 17 – Oct 20
Apple Pay Launches: Here’s How to Use It
- According to USA Today, companies have been talking about replacing credit cards with smartphones to pay for goods for years. But consumers have been slow to play along. That could change when Apple unveils its Apple Pay program to an audience of over 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners.
- Apple Pay will work with the company’s new iPads — the Air 2 and Mini 3, which will be released Friday — but only for in-app purchases. To pay at retail, you’ll need the new phones. Left out is the network of over 500 million iPhones sold since 2007, but Apple doesn’t mind — it wants to sell new phones and tablets and hopes its new mobile payments system will get consumers excited to upgrade.
- The iconic firm has more than 220,000 retail locations that will accept payment on the new iPhones. Major payment networks Visa, MasterCard and American Express and more than 500 banks are on board. Retailers include McDonald’s, Macy’s, Chevron gas stations, Walgreens and Panera Bread. Apps like Airbnb, Groupon, Lyft and Uber are also working with Apple on their apps to accept payment.
Yelp Adds Hotel Reservations To Its List Of Booking Services
- According to Marketing Land, this week Yelp announced it will offer hotel and winery booking through new third party relationships. Hotel bookings come courtesy of Hipmunk and winery reservations come through CellarPass.
- Yelp says approximately 28,000 businesses in all major US markets are available for booking on Yelp Platform today and will continue to roll out more in the coming months. With approximately 250,000 transactions happening through Yelp Platform in Q3 2014 (and more than 50% of those on mobile), it’s clear Yelpers love the convenience of booking and purchase options within Yelp.
- So far Yelp doesn’t charge businesses anything directly for access to the transactional capabilities, although the third party services do and Yelp gets a revenue share. However it’s only a matter of time before Yelp integrates payments (Apple Pay) capabilities to become a full-fledged e-commerce platform for travel and local services.
Facebook Is a Bigger Source for Political News Than CNN, Fox
- According to Mashable, Facebook is the second-biggest source where Americans with Internet access get their political news, trailing only local TV, according to a Pew Research study. Thereport, based on a recent poll of 2,901 people, found 49% of respondents got political news from local TV and 48% from Facebook in a typical week. That compares to 44% for CNN and 39% for Fox News.
- Pew cautioned, however, that those percentages were based on the 89% of Americans who have Internet access. If you include unconnected households, then 39% of Americans got political news from Facebook. Pew reports that Facebook is far ahead of YouTube and Twitter as a platform for political news.
- Since Facebook feeds are driven by friends and acquaintances, the prominence of Facebook as a platform for political news may contribute to the growing political polarization in the U.S.