Bits & Bytes | Instagram Launches Commerce Payments, US Online Spending Passes $100 Billion | Bits & Bytes

Instagram Quietly Launches Payments for Commerce (Tech Crunch)
“A spokesperson confirmed that native payments for booking appointments like at restaurants or salons is now live for a limited set of partners. With its polished pictures and plethora of brands, shopping through Instagram could prove popular and give businesses a big new reason to advertise on the app.”

US Online Spending Passes $100 Billion for the First Time (Retail Dive)
“Online spending by US consumers surpassed $100 billion for the first time during the first quarter of this year, representing a 14.1 percent increase over the same period last year. The amount of money consumers spend while shopping via mobile devices is now about one-third the amount spent via desktop online shopping.”

The $1 Billion Company That Is Building AI Wearables for Blind People (Fast Company Design)
“Using the pointing gesture as its foundation, the MyEye can read text in most situations, letting users know if a page is upside down or if there’s not enough natural light. It can also remember and identify 100 faces, recognise millions of products, store 150 additional objects like credit cards or go-to grocery items, and identify colours.”

Alibaba’s Brick-And-Mortar Mall Heralds New Growth Strategy (Nikkei Asian Review)
“The mall opened on April 28 in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, next to company headquarters. The shopping center has unmanned registers that accept the group’s Alipay mobile payment service and delivery services that use company’s shipment network.”

The Tripadvisor of Cosmetic Procedures Landed $40 Million in Funding (Racked)
“RealSelf just landed $40 million in funding. Following an investment of $2 million in the first two years, this round is one sign that noninvasive cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery are having a moment. While there are reviews of specific doctors, RealSelf is more focused on procedures in general.”

China’s Live-Streaming Fashion Boom Woos Gen-Z Buyers (South China Morning Post)
“According to Alibaba, which launched live streaming on its Taobao platforms in May 2016, about 80 per cent of the viewers are female, about half are Generation Z. Brands such as Giorgio Armani, GNC, Macy’s and Lane Crawford are making significant investments in going live in China.”

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