September 27, 2013

Weekly Roundup: ‘Friends Without Benefits,’ the ‘replay Web’ and permissible indulgences

Posted by: in North America

Find our roundups collected in magazine form on Flipboard, the iOS and Android app; download the app to view this week’s edition here: http://flip.it/J6Fj

-Mexico is becoming an “immigrant destination” for both executives and laborers as its economy powers ahead, reports The New York Times.

-A special report on Brazil in The Economist includes a look at how domestic brands, from Natura to Havaianas, are prospering.

-Designer labels are on the rise in Latin America, reports The FT.

-Nielsen has a look at how the Great Recession has changed shopping behavior for global consumers.

-The UN’s Broadband Commission outlines mobile broadband growth in a new report and says broadband use in developing countries will soon outstrip that in wealthier countries, via The New York Times.

-Ad Age reports that e-commerce is starting to negatively impact big packaged-goods brands.

-E-commerce is picking up significantly in Egypt, reports The Wall Street Journal.

-Big brands are tapping into crowdfunding to align themselves with their customers’ causes, according to Adweek.

-Adweek takes a look at how responsive design affects advertisers.

-In The Telegraph, Tesco’s chief executive outlines why companies must keep pace with the radically new habits of the next generation.

-Retailers are doing more to crack down on returns and refund fraud, according to Businessweek.

-A study by WSL Strategic Retail contradicts the old notion that men don’t bother with sales and coupons, and that they don’t like to shop, via CNBC.

-Bloomberg takes a look at the boom in men’s grooming products.

-The Washington Post takes a look at how retailers like Brooks Brothers are leveraging Big Data.

-The Guardian spotlights the rise of Nigerian videogame creators, who are winning fans with “experiences that are uniquely African.”

-Robots may supplant workers in Chinese electronics plants within five years, transforming the manufacturing industry, per The Wall Street Journal.

-In “Friends Without Benefits,” Vanity Fair examines how social networks, dating apps and Internet porn are affecting teen girls.

-A new Pew study examines “Who’s Not Online and Why” in the U.S.

-The New York Times takes a look at how people are carving out smartphone-free spaces in their lives.

-The New York Times’ Jenna Wortham observes that “the replay Web” exists as a counterpoint to the real-time Web.

-YouTube is trending up and Facebook trending down when it comes to British teens’ favorite websites, reports the FT.

-American teens are optimistic about their future, but their parents are pessimistic, according to a new report covered in Time.

-Flavorwire argues that popular notions about Millennials are far too simplistic.

-A report from Complex Media says Millennial males rebel against mass culture but are also highly brand-conscious, via Ad Age.

-The Economist takes a look at how generations are coexisting (or not) in the workplace.

-A new study of religious views among American college students finds that a “remarkable degree of indifference to religion” is on the rise.

-The New York Times takes a look at why divorce is growing more common for Americans 50 and up.

-As Chinese diets change, packaged foods are on the rise, and so are health issues, as The Atlantic reports.

-A growing category of snacks made with seaweed, vegetables and other healthy foods cater to desire for “permissible indulgences,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

-Chocolate prices are on the rise as dark chocolate (which requires more cocoa beans) becomes more popular, per The Wall Street Journal.

-India, one of the fastest-growing markets for beer, is embracing brews with higher alcohol content, per Reuters.

-As we’ve noted, kids are getting into gourmet cooking, and The Wall Street Journal spotlights the rise of these junior chefs.

-NPR covers the growing popularity of rooftop farms in New York City and Chicago.

-USA Today takes a look at America’s spreading “pretzel mania.”

-The FT spotlights “25 Chinese to Watch” and takes a look at China’s booming “success studies” industry.

-The New York Times reports that high-speed trains are transforming China, sometimes in unexpected ways.

-“100 Pop-Culture Things That Make You a Millennial,” via Vulture.

-Snazzy, attention-getting sneakers are striking a chord with today’s fashion-conscious men, reports The New York Times.

-From YouTube to Popular Science, websites are re-examining their approach to user comments, via The Guardian.

-USA Today looks at how digital technology is changing travel for vacationers, for better and for worse.

-According to Census data reported on by Pew, nearly one out of every two dollars earned in the U.S. goes to a college graduate.

-With nursing home care much cheaper in Eastern Europe than Germany, Bloomberg Businessweek spotlights the “grandma export trend.”

-Whatever became of Second Life? The Verge examines the alternative world’s “second life.”

-Our latest trend report spotlights findings from a wide-ranging study of Millennials in the BRIC markets.

No Responses to "Weekly Roundup: ‘Friends Without Benefits,’ the ‘replay Web’ and permissible indulgences"

Comment Form

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER:

New Trend Report: The Future of Payments & Currency

JWT AnxietyIndex

Things to Watch

  • Snapcash
    November 19, 2014 | 4:54 pm


    Disruption in the payments sphere is opening the way for social media brands to act as intermediaries between consumers and their money, as we note in our report on payments and currency. Facebook is said to be planning a P2P payments feature for Messenger, South Korea’s KakaoTalk announced a PayPal-like service in September, and Line is creating a mobile service that will let users make on- and offline purchases. Now, Snapchat is partnering with Square to enable payments between users, as explained in this video’s energetic retro musical number.

    After users (U.S. only and 18-plus only) enter debit card info, they simply send a cash amount within a text. While Snapchat’s recent data breaches may give some users pause, the P2P payments space is a smart place to be as young consumers get accustomed to services like Venmo that make it easy and even fun to pay friends. —Marian Berelowitz

  • Payment in a heartbeat
    November 11, 2014 | 5:26 pm

    Nymi-paywith

    Our recent report on the future of payments and currency spotlights the rise of biometric payments—using a unique physical characteristic to authenticate transactions—which promise to greatly improve security and help remove friction. So far we’ve seen systems that rely on fingerprints (e.g., Apple Pay) and the palm’s unique vein payment (see Quixter). Now, the startup Bionym is exploring ways to harness its Nymi wristband, which uses the wearer’s unique cardiac rhythm as authentication, for payments.

    Bionym is linking with MasterCard and the Royal Bank of Canada for a test in which an NFC chip in the wristband enables contactless payments. The company, which is looking to license its technology into other wearables, recently raised $14 million in a Series A funding round and has racked up 10,000 preorders for the Nymi. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Nymi

  • Vegetable co-stars
    November 4, 2014 | 6:31 pm

    veggies_4

    “Vegetable co-stars” is one of our 100 Things to Watch in 2014—the idea that veggies are gaining a higher profile on restaurant menus—and more star chefs are indeed embracing this trend. José Andrés and his ThinkFood restaurant group plan to open Beefsteak (as in tomatoes), a vegetable-focused fast casual eatery in Washington, D.C., next year. The Washington Post also points to chef Roy Choi’s new greenhouse-like Commissary in L.A., which says it serves “good food and drink based around plants as the foundation.”

    “Chefs around the country, and the globe, are pushing meat from the center of the plate—and sometimes off it altogether,” notes The Wall Street Journal, citing examples like Alain Ducasse revamping his menu at the posh Plaza Athénée in Paris. Catering to a growing group of diners looking to eat less meat, vegetable-heavy dishes also offer new opportunities for creativity. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Plaza Athénée

  • Xiaomi zooms ahead
    October 30, 2014 | 4:44 pm

    Xiaomi, which we included on our 100 Things to Watch in 2014 list, is now the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The young company has seen triple-digit year-over-year growth in smartphone shipments, per IDC, surging ahead of both LG and Lenovo. Often described as the “Apple of China,” Xiaomi released its first phone just three years ago; its latest, Mi4, is an iPhone clone that runs on a modified version of Android.

    The company is expanding beyond China into India and Singapore, and planning to enter a slew of other growth markets, including Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico. For more on whether Chinese brands can succeed on the world stage, see our report Remaking “Made in China.”Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Xiaomi

     

  • Money & messaging apps
    October 23, 2014 | 11:13 am

    LINE_icon02

    Given the primary function of mobile messaging apps and their technical capabilities, money transfer and payments are an alluring proposition, as outlined in our new report on payments and currency. Snapchat filed two trademarks in July that indicate a potential move into peer-to-peer payments. The recently announced Line Pay will let Line users make purchases through their Line accounts, send funds to each other, and split costs using a “Dutch Pay” feature. Line Pay will launch in Japan and, as Tech in Asia reports, serve as “an entrance to new industries” thanks to integration with the new Line Taxi service and Line Wow, for food delivery. In South Korea, KakaoTalk launched the PayPal-like Kakao Pay in September, and a remittance service, Bank Wallet Kakao, is in the works. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Line

  • The #TimsDark Experiment
    October 14, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    To entice customers into tasting its new dark roast, Canadian fast food chain Tim Hortons, with the help of JWT Canada, created a surprise immersive experience. A store in Quebec was wrapped in material that blocked all light from the outdoors. Patrons entered warily and, once inside, heard a staff member (who was wearing night vision goggles) guiding them through the dark. At the counter, customers were handed a cup of the dark roast—the brand’s first new blend in 50 years—with the darkness heightening their sense of taste. When the lights came on, the patrons saw they were on camera.

    The #TimsDark Experiment has garnered YouTube views and some press attention, and shows how creatively imagined immersive experiences—one of our 10 Trends for 2014—can encourage consumers to engage with a brand.

  • Bitcoin bank Circle
    October 7, 2014 | 4:40 pm

    Circle

    In late September, the startup Circle launched a web app that effectively functions as a bitcoin bank. Using a debit card or bank account, users transfer funds to Circle, which converts the money to bitcoin at no fee. Circle also insures this money at no cost. The company aims to make bitcoin more accessible via consumer-friendly design and is aiming to take on traditional banks and companies like PayPal, as The Guardian reports. Next up: Android and iOS Circle apps.

    Circle co-founder Jeremy Allaire gave a keynote at the Inside Bitcoins conference in April, citing the need for a “killer app” to bring bitcoin into the mainstream. Now Circle seems to be taking the lead, and others are sure to follow. —Nick Ayala

    Image credit: Circle

  • High-tech tasting
    October 2, 2014 | 6:00 pm

    Nanosensor

    Thailand got a lot of buzz this week with an innovative idea: a taste-tester robot, or electronic tongue, that’s programmed to distinguish authentic Thai dishes from wanna-be’s. Artificial tongues aren’t new but have been evolving. Most recently, Danish researchers developed a nanosensor that mimics “what happens in your mouth when you drink wine,” enabling winemakers to control astringency very early on. In Spain, researchers created a beer-tasting robot that can distinguish between varieties of brew.

    Meanwhile, advanced technology can also create recipes: IBM has touted how Watson, its “cognitive computing system,” can analyze the components of ingredients to come up with novel ideas for dishes; find a few of them here. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Aarhus Universitet

  • Marriage gets marginalized
    September 25, 2014 | 5:00 pm

    One of our 10 Trends for 2012 was Marriage Optional: More people around the world are living together or remaining solo instead of marrying. Pew reports this week that 1 in 5 Americans age 25 and up have never married, a fundamental shift since 1960, when only about 1 in 10 could say the same. Millennials are especially ambivalent: Two-thirds of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed by Pew agree that “society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children” vs. 53 percent of the next generation up (age 30 to 49).

    Europe is seeing a similar move away from marriage, driven by “austerity, generational crisis and apathy towards the institution,” notes The Guardian. It says weddings are at historical lows in some nations; last year Italy recorded the fewest since World War I. For a look at how changing marriage patterns are affecting families, see our report Meet the New Family. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: JD Hancock

     

  • Room-sharing service Breather
    September 16, 2014 | 3:30 pm

    Breather

    Described as the “Zipcar for rooms,” Breather is an app that enables access to “beautiful, practical spaces” that can be rented anywhere from 30 minutes to a whole day. While sharing-economy players like LiquidSpace and PivotDesk offer work and meeting spaces, Breather positions its rooms as homey spots that can serve a range of purposes (though not, the founder assures, seedy ones). Rooms include the basics—a desk, a couch, Wi-Fi—as well as some fun touches like a candy jar. Lockitron technology lets users unlock doors with their mobile phones. Breather is available in New York, Montreal and San Francisco, and recently raised $6.5 million in venture capital, citing plans to “own every major market in America.” —Hallie Steiner

    Image credit: Breather

  • RSSArchive for Things to Watch »