New Google Plus Sign-In Initiative
Also known as single-login, these services allow users to sign-in to websites and mobile applications using the sign in credentials of their social network of choice.
Single login services have become quite popular, because it saves time for the developer, who no longer needs to create a unique authentication mechanism for their app and users benefit because they no longer need to keep track of multiple account names for all the various websites and apps they use.
Google Plus Sign-In is already live, and developers wishing to capitalize on these new abilities can begin integrating them immediately.
PayPal Founders Have Been Busy
Pay-Pal’s co-founder, Max Levchin, is launching a new payments startup called Affirm. By using a variety of social and data signals, as well as information obtained through Facebook, Affirm will assess the risk of customers. If the customer is deemed credit worthy, Affirm will guarantee the payment to merchants. By shortening and simplifying the online purchase process, they can theoretically reduce the abandonment rate of mobile transactions.
Essentially, the company is saying to consumers, “Would you like to put that purchase on your digital tab?” after they’ve determined that the customer is very likely to make good on their promise to pay it back. Technically, it’s a charge account, and similar to American Express charge accounts, customers will typically have 30 days to settle the bill. Levchin believes that it’s still too hard to make payments online, and he thinks that Affirm will be successful by making the process easier.
Thinkful, a personalized online education platform, just launched, and it already has $1 million dollars in the bank, thanks to Pay-Pal’s other co-founder, Peter Thiel. With phenomenal growth in the online learning startup sector, Thinkful believes that its mentor based approach to learning will help it succeed in what is quickly becoming a crowded market.
Daniel Friedman, the co-founder of Thinkful elaborated on the feature, saying “These people are not only experts in this area and can communicate clearly about it, but they’re keeping students excited about it.” Thinkful charges $250 per month for the front-end web development course that it offers, and on average, it takes three months to complete. There’s no question we will keep track as the story continues.
Online Shopping Innovation
Wanelo, the online shopping platform known to many as the Pinterest of Products has secured $5 to $10 million in investments at more than a $100 million valuation. It’s an extremely high valuation for an e-commerce company, and some speculate that the company was able to pull off such a feat because of the consistently high rankings of its mobile app in the App store. As always, we’ll continue to follow this company to see if its revenues match the enthusiasm shown by these Silicon Valley VCs.
EA Taking Games Multi-Platform?
In an interesting turn of news, video game publisher Electronic Arts is getting involved in the social media industry. Their ambitious goal is to build an identity for each individual gamer across several platforms. In doing so, EA not only hopes to increase their digital revenues, but they also intend to set themselves apart from the competition. Furthermore, collecting so much information about their users will allow EA to market to each customer according to their specific preferences and needs.
There is no launch date for this product just yet, but expect to begin seeing Electronic Arts making more moves to become a unified platform across devices.
Instagram: Big For Its Age
After just two and a half years on the market, Instagram has surpassed the 100 million active user mark. The milestone comes just over a month after Instagram began releasing its active user numbers for the first time. There have been concerns that Instagram was bleeding users over its Terms of Service changes, yet this shows an impressive growth rate compared to Instagram’s closest competitor, Twitter. In response to the competition, Twitter has revamped its discover tab and main stream to more heavily emphasize photography and videos.
It seems the next move in Instagram’s evolution will be to monetize.
And You Thought The Oscars Were Glamorous
Last but most certainly not least, Glam Media, the digital lifestyle-content publisher, has filed confidential documents as part of a new secret IPO process. Along with offering fashion and gossip content, Glam.com has broadened into food, men’s lifestyle, health, and other topics. ComScore reports Glam as one of the top 10 networks of websites in the U.S. Many are attributing Glam’s expansion to the success of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. If they continue on this trend and can have a successful IPO, it’s quite likely that Glam will have plenty of new jobs to offer in the coming years.
For those of you who want to keep up with what’s coming out next, don’t forget to watch us live and online on the Morning NewsDesk Show with Kristin Feledy.