A little bit of bad news tonight if you use Google Wallet for gift cards and loyalty cards. According to an e-mail that just went out, support for NFC redemption of gift cards and loyalty cards will end on Aug. 21. Any remaining balance will have to be spent by then.
Google stresses that all other Google Wallet features remain — including the NFC tap-to-pay functionality — and even hints that "other options for gift and loyalty car redemption within Google Wallet" might be on the way.
Here's the full deal:
Thanks you for being a Google Wallet user.
You're receiving this email because you've added gift and/or loyalty card to your Google Wallet app, and there's a change coming soon that will affect you.
On August 21, 2013, we are ending the current NFC redemption of gift and loyalty cards added to Google Wallet. If you've already redeemed your gift cards, you don't have to do anything. If you have a balance remaining and you'd like to spend it using the tap and pay functionality, you must do so by August 21st. If you still have the physical gift cards, they will continue to work even after August 21st.
Please note that this does not impact NFC credit and debit card payments, and you'll still be able to tap your phone to make purchases.
We're working with retailers on other options for gift and loyalty card redemption within Google Wallet, and are excited to share them with you soon.
If you have any questions, feel free to email or call us.
Like a cautious parent,Facebook is giving teen users new freedom despite risks. For the first time, users under 18 can post publicly. The logic is that other sites don’t restrict kids, teens are getting more web savvy, and young celebrities want a voice. This could let minors publicly share things they’ll regret, so they must manually opt in to public sharing and confirm they understand the risks. Somewhat disingenuously, Facebook frames its blog post about the change as being about adding more protection for teens. It starts off saying that now when people age 13 to 17 sign up, their posts to the News Feed are defaulted to “friends only” instead of “friends of friends (fof)” as they were before. That is important because many people don’t change their default settings, and if you have thousands of friends with thousands of friends, the fof setting would share your posts to more than a million people.
But considering there are 1.15 billion people on Facebook already, and its growth has…
Instagram has gone through a whirlwind of changes the past few months. Between bookmarks, likable comments, live video, tags, zoom, drafts, Stories and of course the controversial algorithmic feed – no one can argue that the Facebook-owned photo sharing app hasn’t been innovating at a rapid pace. But the real question is what effect are these product enhancements having on the bottom line – which in the case of Instagram is measured in user growth. And the answers seems to be that it’s working. The app just announced that they have grown to over 600 million monthly active users. This is almost 10% of the world population – and 100 million more than the company had 6 months ago when they announced a milestone of 500M monthly actives. As a comparison, it took about 9 months to get from 400M to 500M monthly actives – so their growth is still accelerating, even with such a large user base. While the growth over the past 6 months was still broad-based, the company noted that they were doing p…