Things You Need to Know Now

Here are some things that caught our eye over the past week:

The payments space continues to get crowded with “non-traditional” players driving innovation. Two weeks ago, Facebook announced payments via Messenger and last week OpenTable for Android now lets you pay for meals from your phone (HT @goanalog). Our take: Clever, clever Facebook storing your payment info a la Apple and iTunes. Now that your payment info is stored, seamless one-button purchasing just got a whole lot easier. As for OpenTable — not only have they Uber’ized the checkout process (no server, no problem) they’re driving loyalty by being part of your experience from booking through payment.

Speaking of Facebook’s Messenger — last week at F8 they announced Facebook for Business which allows businesses to “have personal, real-time conversations with your customers.”

Messenger has customized post templates including order confirmations and shipping dates and has partnered with Zendesk to incorporate live-chatting capabilities. Our take: Building on an existing behavior is a lot easier than trying to create a new one. Zuckerberg knows that with “people in the US [spending] nine hours per day engaging with digital media with TV, phones and computers” the opportunity is to continue to increase share of mind/screen/device. And when users spend an average of 40 minutes per day using Facebook services you might just have a shot at carving out a majority stake of that pie.

In the ICYMI bucket, we wanted to talk about Bitmoji. Launched on iOS last Fall from the makers of Bitstrips the app is now available for Android devices. Our take: We think Bitmoji is at the intersection of a few different things. 1) We are trending towards more frequent interactions with a smaller group of close contacts — coined Edges vs. Nodes in Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2014 report. 2) Words just don’t cut it sometimes — texting you paragraphs to provide context seems counterintuitive to why I’m texting in the first place. Not new news as apps like Whatsapp and Messenger (“Say it better with stickers”) have integrated stickers for this exact purpose. But, we think Bitmoji is brilliant because they’ve integrated personalization. And, by doing this they’re tapping into our inherent desire for self-expression. Fast, easy and represents my authentic self = win.

Brought to you by Pod 2218:
Phil @philpaquette
Chris @chrismillichap
Jenn @jennyuki
Jenn @cxgeek

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