Snapchat users warm to ads, Twitter’s relationship with Yahoo, Facebook explores voice activation, Xiaomi becomes the world’s no.1 startup, Apple Pay set to stir up mobile payments
Snapchat ads win over users
Sixty percent of Snapchat users said they liked ads they’ve seen in their ‘Our Story’ feed, and 44% liked the ads presented as ‘Brand Stories,’ according to a Millward Brown Digital survey commissioned by Snapchat. However, not all Snapchat ads met with equal approval. Within two months of unveiling its first ad product, Snapchat introduced a second that more respondents preferred. It will take careful monitoring to ensure the right ads are consistently served to users in the right format.
Will Twitter be courting Yahoo this year?
Former Yahoo executive Ross Levinsohn says Twitter should buy Yahoo, despite the fact that both companies are struggling to define their core businesses. Levinsohn recently shared his view on CNBC: ‘Honestly, I think Twitter should go buy Yahoo. If you separated Yahoo into the two businesses that it really is—a tracking company and an operating company. If you put Yahoo and Twitter together it would be the most powerful force in the media business.’ An interesting proposition which, according to the Wall Street Journal, would be likely to cost Twitter a cool $12 billion.
Facebook jumps on voice recognition bandwagon
Facebook has bought voice recognition start-up Wit.ai, in a move which could improve the social network’s Messenger application and help turn online chatter into actionable commands. The platform already has 6,000 developers on board who have built hundreds of apps, and it has stated that it will remain open and free, which implies that Facebook wants to use the technology to draw more developers into its Build-Grow-Monetize loop.
Xiaomi raises $1.1 billion to become the world’s most valuable start-up
China’s Apple rival Xiaomi recently confirmed that it has raised $1.1 billion at a pre-money valuation of $45 billion, following weeks of reports about a massive upcoming funding round. Last year Xiaomi passed Samsung to become the top smartphone maker in China thanks to its aggressive price points and targeted marketing, according to data from Canalys.
Apple Pay to boost the mobile payments industry in 2015
Most of this year’s conversations about mobile payments are likely to revolve around Apple Pay. Apple’s new payment service is expected to energise the mobile market, according to a recent report from Forrester Research. It suggests that Apple Pay will drive the adoption of new wearable devices developed by Apple and help bolster mobile payments overall, predicting that the market in the United States will grow to $142 billion by 2019.