SRAX Recap: Pinterest introduces new feature, Uber runs monthly subscription trial, Starbucks partners with cloud company

In this week’s digital news, Pinterest helps users reduce stress and anxiety, Uber experiments with an all-encompassing monthly subscription, Starbucks partners with tech company to create cloud-based software, and more.  

Pinterest launches wellness activities

Pinterest recently launched emotional wellness activities tailored for users with emotional health pinboards. It’s a unique feature created in partnership with various companies. Companies such as Brainstorm, the Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation, Vibrant Emotional Health, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The look and feel of the wellness activities are completely different from the rest of the app. The activities, designed for users feeling stressed, anxious, or sad, include deep-breathing and self-compassion exercises.

The recommended exercises pop up at random when users search subjects such as “stress quotes” or “work anxiety.” People have the right to opt out, of course. However, Pinterest assures its users that the activities are private and not connected to their account. In addition, practicing the exercises will not result in unsolicited promos or ads. The level of privacy is further enforced by the fact that the company doesn’t track who uses the feature. The wellness activities feature will become available after its global roll-out in the coming weeks.

pinterest app
Via Pexels

Uber tests monthly subscription

Earlier this week Uber reported the company is currently testing a monthly subscription pass that includes all services. Services such as rides, Eats, and JUMP (bikes and scooters). As of now, Uber is experimenting with a couple different versions in San Francisco and Chicago. All of which include free Uber Eats delivery and a fixed discount on every fare and JUMP ride. This pass is set at $24.99 per month. Although it is subject to change with further development.

In addition, Uber has been testing a lower-priced pass in other cities that offer discounted rides and free delivery on Eats orders above a certain amount. Uber’s subscription pass will definitely come with some challenges though. Challenges primarily surrounding product differentiation and brand loyalty with competitors such as Lyft.  It’s also a great strategy for customers to fully commit to Uber’s multimodal platform. Uber’s monthly subscription could prove to be very lucrative as it’s sure to encourage spending more on Uber and its various services.

Starbucks licenses exclusive technology with new partnership

Starbucks recently announced its partnership with Brightloom to create an end-to-end cloud-based software for restaurants. Apparently, Brightloom is licensing software from Starbucks’ mobile and loyalty technology. Well known by many as its “digital flywheel software.” Then incorporating its own existing technology. As part of this licensing agreement, Starbucks is taking an equity stake in the company. In addition to joining Brightloom’s board of directors. From here, Brightloom will work with global Starbucks license partners and help offer the platform to restaurants all around the world. Although 69% of restaurants work with more than one tech vendor, many have expressed desire to have an easy, all-in-one system.

For that reason, Brightloom’s software will act as a one-stop-shop. Offering modules of mobile payment, order management, loyalty, personalization, and more. Both Starbucks and Brightloom aim to offer a more seamless experience for restaurants. Essentially by removing the pain of building a complicated and costly platform. Although the development will be costly, Brightloom has secured $30m in funding from partners and Starbucks licensees. The tech company also noted the funding will help with further tech development, as well as hiring more software developers.

coffee shop
Via Pixabay

Netflix chases growth with cheaper mobile-only plans

Netflix recently unveiled its cheaper mobile-only subscription service in India after a series of tests across Asian markets began last year. Although mobile phones are popular for consuming content, they’re not exactly the first choice for relaxed Netflix-style viewing. However, individual markets vary, which is why Netflix has launched its cheaper plan in India. This development is due to the fact that India has a very high mobile TV-viewing ratio among its users. As of now, the mobile-only subscription’s price is at $2.80. In addition, the plan is only available to a single smartphone or tablet, and streams solely in  standard definition.

Twitter allows users to retweet and retweet with comments on same tweet

Earlier this week Twitter announced that users can officially both retweet and retweet with comment on the same tweet. It may not be well known until now, but users only had access to use one or the other. Now this update will provide more room for users to add their own  context to all tweets, while sharing the original message at the same time. Although this is an interesting concept, it’s also a little concerning. While it’s great that users may be able to build a better connection with the tweet originator, the ability to double share tweets can also enable people to abuse the function to get maximum amplification for their own messages.

Of course, the main implication is that the feature could quickly get annoying. A simple unfollow, of course, can solve that issue. But that may still anger users initially. All in all, it appears that it will be a fairly minor addition to the platform. However, Twitter should keep an eye out to see how the feature contributes to clogged feeds and retweet abuse.

Published on July 26, 2019

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