Snapchat Introduces its New Location-Based Discovery Tool

Snapchat debuted “context cards” this week, a new feature that helps its users easily make a restaurant reservation or book an Uber ride without having to exit the app. The new feature is designed to keep users engaged with the app and its contextual location-based search. By swiping up from geotagged images while viewing certain stories, users will get related data such as contact info, directions and reviews. Early partners include Bookatable, Foursquare, Michelin, OpenTable and TripAdvisor. Ultimately, more time on Snapchat could mean more advertising revenue for the popular messaging app. Continue reading Snapchat Introduces its New Location-Based Discovery Tool

Airbnb Debuts Tours and Activities in Turn Towards Services

Hoping to leverage the traveler’s yen for experiences that make her feel more connected to the places she visits, Airbnb is now offering local tours, activities from surfing lessons to pub crawls, and its travel services in major cities worldwide. Airbnb, valued at $30 billion, is currently one of the world’s fastest growing privately held companies, although it hasn’t been welcomed in all cities. Bringing in local hosts as guides, the tours have been tested by Airbnb in a few cities, soon expanding to 12 and, by 2017, 50. Continue reading Airbnb Debuts Tours and Activities in Turn Towards Services

Reserve, Pay and Eat: Tock’s Pre-Order Solution to Dining Out

The current model by which restaurants take reservations is susceptible to problems that can arise from late arrivals, long waits and even no-shows. That is the reason that entrepreneur Nick Kokonas and chef Grant Achatz have joined forces to create Tock, a reservations system built to resolve the issues that often lead to inefficiencies in restaurants. Intrigued by the benefits of pre-paying for meals and being issued tickets for seating, ex-Googler Brian Fitzpatrick now serves as the chief technology officer. Continue reading Reserve, Pay and Eat: Tock’s Pre-Order Solution to Dining Out

Google Maps App Includes OpenTable’s Reservation Service

Google is integrating OpenTable’s booking service into its Maps mobile platform feature. Not only can users view turn-by-turn directions, reviews for businesses, and related photographs, but the addition will allow them to reserve a table at a restaurant from inside the application. Google has used other services in similar ways, such as displaying Uber fares, times of arrival and times to destination inside its app. The latest addition is a result of Google’s growing partnership with OpenTable parent Priceline.

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Apple Announces its App Store Sales Top $10 Billion in 2013

Yesterday we reported that Gartner projects the Android operating system will reach 1.1 billion users in 2014. Meanwhile, Actix reports that in terms of data usage, the three most used phones in Europe and North America in 2013 were the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4. In additional milestone news, Apple reports that its App Store customers spent more than $10 billion in 2013. During December alone, the App Store earned more than $1 billion in sales and experienced nearly 3 billion total app downloads. Continue reading Apple Announces its App Store Sales Top $10 Billion in 2013

Twitter’s Ad Simplicity May Be a Weakness, Despite Revenue

Twitter’s longtime hallmark has been its simplicity, and almost all of the company’s revenue, which is projected to be nearly $600 million this year and $950 million next year, has come from three basic advertising formats. While this simplicity has generated profit, it might put Twitter at a disadvantage, especially in relationship to other social sites such as Facebook that collect more information about individual users in order to sell advertising. Continue reading Twitter’s Ad Simplicity May Be a Weakness, Despite Revenue

Facebook Launches New Features to Influence Offline Spending

Facebook recently announced two new features for its mobile Web and iOS and Android mobile apps that will allow users to book restaurants and access TV and movie listings without ever leaving the world of Facebook. These features could help the social network compete with services offered by the likes of Fandango, Yelp and GroupOn. Ultimately, by influencing offline spending, Facebook hopes to generate more revenue and draw more advertisers. Continue reading Facebook Launches New Features to Influence Offline Spending