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Happy Halloween! Here’s a roundup of industry news for the week.
Microsoft released their first fitness wearable just as the trend is evolving. The Microsoft Band comes with a coinciding health web service that uses data to assist owners in their fitness goals. The new smart watch is affordable and comes with features included in only the most expensive bands - the Microsoft Band is selling for $199, compared to Apple's Apple Watch, which will sell for $349. Hopefully, Microsoft's foray into wearables will position the company as a relevant and innovative leader in technology.
Facebook released a new app that will make sharing photos from a mobile device simple, and serve as an easy tool for brand managers looking to engage their audience. The new app, Moments, allows users to arrange their photos and add unique captions, descriptions and locations to each image. Additionally, photos will be updated to a user's photo section instead of the typical album location, which will add a real-time feel to picture sharing. This is a simple and effective tool for businesses looking to gain visibility on the social network.
Instagram's newly released video ad feature has been implemented by Disney and Banana Republic among many other brands. The ads are similar to Instagram's current videos, but can target untapped audiences based off of demographics like age, gender and country. Before publishing ads, Instagram makes sure content is relevant, timely and unique to the platform. As video becomes inherent to mobile advertising, it should be no surprise that mobile-centric apps adopt the capability.
Apple's launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus greatly impacted Samsung's smartphone sales. In fact, Samsung saw a 49 percent profit drop over the last quarter, which can be attributed to the September release of Apple's latest, large-screen smartphone. In an effort to increase profits, Samsung is creating low-cost Galaxy phones that will compete with inexpensive Android manufacturers. It seems as though consumers were just waiting for Apple to join the big-screen market.
Wal-Mart is leading a group of retailers in an effort to minimize credit card costs, control consumer data and combat Apple Pay. The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) is creating CurrentC, a competitor to Apple Pay that will allow retailers to rid interchange fees and access data for more targeted campaigns and loyalty programs. While allied companies aren't accepting Apple Pay, experts predict that CurrentC won't thwart Apple's mobile wallet.
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