Quidsi, the Amazon-owned parent company to a collection of single-word, e-commerce domains, including Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com, Yoyo.com, and more, is today launching a new membership program called Familyhood Plus. The program offers consumers free two-day shipping with no minimum purchases and other exclusive deals.
Prior to today, Quidsi sites would only promise free two-day shipping for orders of $35 dollars or more, but these could include a cart filled with items from across all the Quidsi-owned sites. In addition, the company notes that many orders are now being delivered in a day or sooner, and in New York and San Francisco, Quidsi has been experimenting with same-day delivery for orders placed before 9 a.m. That makes the need for an exclusive shipping program negligible, perhaps.
The new Familyhood Plus program is similar to Amazon’s own Prime membership program, which provides Amazon.com shoppers with free two-day shipping with no minimum order size. Amazon Prime is $79 per year, in part due to its other features, including unlimited access to Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library.
Meanwhile, Quidsi’s Familyhood Plus program doesn’t have annual membership pricing set yet, the company notes. Instead, the program, which offers support across all 10 of the Quidsi-run sites selling items for home, kids, babies, and pets, will be available only as a pilot trial for now. Using the coupon code “GOCRAZY,” consumers can try the program for free during the first three months (*they must shop on a site they haven’t bought from before to get the trial going), with annual pricing likely offered when the trial completes.
The free shipping will apply to more than 90 percent of the products on Quidsi sites, except for the “Add One” items which, like Amazon.com add-on items, are products offered at a discount when tacked onto larger orders. When ordered alone, these “Add One” items will not qualify for free shipping. However, AutoShip orders and those placed via mobile devices and native apps will receive the free shipping benefit.
Familyhood Plus members are also agreeing to receive promotional emails which offer exclusive deals, but there’s an opt-out process for those not interested in that aspect of the new service.
Amazon has been ramping up its Quidsi properties this year, bringing Diapers.com to the iPad in February, adding pet medications to Wag.com in March, and debuting children’s fashion site Look.com just last month.
More details on the new membership program are here.
Pinterest is ramping up its international strategy by kicking off a localisation effort in the U.K. today, tweaking the site so that it deliberately foregrounds U.K. content to U.K. users and also adding a British English language setting to make Brits feel more at home. The U.K. is the first part in what appears to be a bigger strategy to target more usage, and more users, outside of the U.S., with France likely to be the next country to get the localizing treatment, according to a spokeswoman.
We’ve asked Pinterest if it is conducting parallel localisation efforts in other global markets and will update this story with any response. Update: “Pinterest does feel like it’s just getting started with its localisation efforts and with the UK being the first international effort the team is hoping to learn a lot from it, in order to inform how they reach out to communities in other countries. France is likely to be next but Pinterest is waiting to finalise these details until after they’ve learned more from the UK,” the spokeswoman said.
The company is not currently breaking out user numbers, but according to one estimate Pinterest had some 40 million users as of February this year.
Back in February Pinterest raised $200 million in Series D funding – with “international growth” pegged as one of the growth-oriented initiatives that the money would be used for. Last year it also picked up a $100 billion investment from Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten – a further sign of its international ambitions. While in March this year, Pinterest rolled out a design refresh, adding bigger pictures and more discovery features worldwide.
It also rolled out a web analytics product to make it easier for businesses to track referrals and measure what users are doing on the site. Today’s localisation efforts reinforce that effort by encouraging greater user engagement — and driving engagement is likely to be key to helping the social network generate revenues some day.
Here’s how the company explained the U.K.-specific site changes in an email sent to TechCrunch:
…more UK Pinners and pins will be suggested to UK users on the site. Also, when a new person in the UK joins Pinterest, they’ll now see other Pinners in the UK. In addition, search results will feature more UK content. Finally, Pinterest is making sure that people in the UK can access the service in British English. We’re hoping this will lead to more British pinners discovering things they love on Pinterest.
In addition to these U.K.-specific site customisations, the visual social network/content discovery site is also kicking off a dedicated community event — using the hashtag #PinitforwardUK – in a bid to raise its local profile.
The Pin It Forward UK initiative, which also kicks off today, will be used to spread the word about the new, U.K.-flavoured Pinterest. The company has recruited 30 bloggers to post Pinterest-related blogs over the next 30 days to “celebrate their passion” — or rather explain how to use Pinterest to post blogs and, through that, hopefully reel in more British eyeballs.
Each day 10 or so bloggers will post about their passion, describe how they express it on Pinterest, and introduce the set of bloggers for the next day. Long-time UK pinner, Will Taylor, from Bright.Bazaar today started things off with a guest post on the Pinterest Blog. Pinterest will be promoting Pin It Forward UK on its blog, social channels (using #PinItForwardUK) and will also be featuring the best boards as part of the Pinterest Weekly emails.
Pinterest said the U.K.-specific site customisations are a “first step” in its effort to improve the experience for U.K. users, and are the result of feedback it has received from U.K. users.
Bright.Bazaar’s Taylor’s introductory blog on the Pin It Forward UK campaign explains that the site never officially launched in the U.K. — rather it was switched on globally and allowed to grow organically — adding that the idea behind the campaign is therefore to “make Pinterest feel more natural, welcoming and interesting to local audiences”.
Today Wander is launching a mobile app called Days, which aims to change the way you think of photo-sharing on every basic level.
To start, Days asks you to stop thinking of the moments that are “share-worthy.” On Days, every moment is share-worthy, because the idea is to share the normal, everyday routine of your life. The idea is that people can consume your whole day through photos, as opposed to picking up on little snippets throughout the day.
So as you go through the world snapping photos, Days automatically documents the time and puts them into the “Tuesday” gallery, or whatever day it might be.
Days also isn’t about taking beautiful pictures. It’s about taking a lot of them.
See, founder Jeremy Fisher believes there’s a huge disconnect between the best moments of people’s days and their Instagram feeds. He also feels that it takes far too long to share a single moment when you’re worried about making it visually appealing, as filters and captions pull you out of the moment.
On Days, you aren’t supposed to worry about how beautiful the picture is, but rather that you’ve documented as much of your day as possible.
But here’s the real zinger — nothing on Days is shared in real time. I know, right? Mind. Blown.
“I think people thought real-time was going to be a bigger deal than it actually is,” says Jeremy Fisher of most social and sharing services. “For things like friend-finders it’s a different story, but when you’re photo-sharing, real-time doesn’t actually make a difference.”
In fact, Wander studied Instagram photos tagged with #latergram (signifying that they were shared after the time they were taken) and found that these photos have the same level of engagement from other users as photos shared in the moment. For this reason, Days shows you a countdown clock within the app to the time you can share your day, starting at 5am each morning to ensure that party-goers late night photos don’t show up in the beginning of their Day.
Fisher explained that their beta testers don’t seem to be bothered by the fact that they’re catching up with their friends a day later. In fact, he said sometimes seeing someone’s daily story through pictures feels more real and meaningful than any narrative they might tell you when you ask the classic question: “How was your day?”
To keep your picture-snapping quick, and keep users in the moment, Days has implemented some restrictions.
One is that you must snap the pictures within the app, as you cannot import from the camera roll. The reason for this is that Days doesn’t want photoshopped, filtered, or edited photos on the service. They want you to feel like a photojournalist capturing each of the minute, but powerful, moments of your day.
Photos taken within Days are still saved to your camera roll, so you can share them through other social networks later if you feel the need.
Wander also picked up on the fact that users normally snap more than one picture of a certain event. This is to ensure you have multiple options for each instance.
But Wander doesn’t want you filling up your day with a bunch of throwaways and then having to go back and edit them out. So, to solve this problem, Wander turns all photos taken within ten seconds of each other into a gif. You have the option to go in and split the gif, delete one or two pics, or leave it the same.
Users can also add captions to all their photos after the fact, and go through and delete photos that they don’t want included in their Day. After that, you can share within the internal follow-model network, or push to your other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.
But what about Wander?
Well, Wander is the umbrella brand behind a lot of lifestyle products the company is working on. Since Wander is focused on travel, and recording your experiences to be lived by others, Days has been released as a counterpart to that.
The app is available now in the App Store.
The champagne bottles are empty. The startups are packing up. TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 is a wrap, and it was a hell of a show.
Enigma won the Startup Battlefield, taking home $50,000 and the Disrupt Cup. Ryan Lawler’s Urban Transportation panel was somehow more rowdy than Josh Constine’s talk with Rap Genius. Ashton Kutcher showed up and proved yet again his value as a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. There was even a special screening of Alex Winter’s upcoming film about the rise and fall of Napster, “Downloaded”.
It just wasn’t the door-busting attendance that proved this was the best Disrupt yet. The show featured the best startups, the best speakers, all at the beautiful Manhattan Center in New York City. I know we say this after each Disrupt — this is, after all, the eighth Disrupt show — but this really was the best show yet.
They say New York is the city that never sleeps — a point of trivia proven true by the thousands of Disrupt attendees, volunteers and staff over the last five days.
The show unofficially started with the Hackathon on Saturday, April 27. We had record attendance. Over a thousand hackers filled the lower floors of the Manhattan center, occupying every usable inch of the facility to pound out their applications over the following 24 hours. Nerf guns, energy gum and a midnight dodge ball session kept the attendees going. Rambler eventually bested 164 other projects to win the top prize.
Disrupt NY 2013 started with a fireside chat with Chris Dixon and Eric Eldon where the Andreessen Horowitz partner explained his take on Bitcoin startups and how 3D printing could transform manufacturing.
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington took the stage next with Benchmark’s Bill Gurley to talk New York City startups. Gurley also revealed that he sees Uber growing faster than eBay did. A rather shocking claim seeing how eBay was worth $5 billion just two years after Benchmark’s $6.7 million investment in 1997.
The first day of Disrupt NY 2013 wasn’t entirely heavenly rays of sunshine. Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and founder of investment firm The Social+Capital Partnership, explained that the tech world should be “utterly ashamed,” because “we are at an absolute minimum in terms of things that are being started.” Yep, Palihapitiya calls it as he sees it.
When Dennis Crowley took the stage, he explained to TechCrunch’s Colleen Taylor that Foursquare’s API is currently underutilized. Location apps will get smarter, he promised. Oh, and Foursquare is still growing — at least that’s what Crowley said.
Jim Bankoff’s Vox Media is stepping up its ad game with the launch of Vox Creative. With this, Bankoff stated that the company will be profitable in 2013.
Betaworks’ John Borthwick took the stage with TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis and talked about the acquisition of Instapaper and, although briefly, Digg’s upcoming RSS reader — a product that was apparently in the works well before Google killed Reader.
Big things are coming down the pike with Gilt Chairman Kevin Ryan and 10gen Founder Dwight Merriman who announced on stage that they were looking to launch one or two startups in the coming months.
Flipboard is huge. With 56M users, CEO Mike McCue explained to TechCrunch’s Eric Eldon that they aim to make the mobile app the home of brand advertising for mobile publishers.
The day kicked off with a talk between noted New York venture capitalist Fred Wilson and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, who recently became a VC himself. The two talked Bitcoins and traded VC stories with Wilson giving tips for pitching a venture capitalist. “Leave your backstory at home,” Wilson pleaded. Arrington quickly nodded and agreed.
Mike Abbott then took the stage with Mailbox CEO and co-founder Gentry Underwood. The two talked about the surprising pains in scaling Underwood’s hot iOS email application. It took engineers 24 hours a day for several weeks to keep up with the initial demand. And then Dropbox scooped up the company.
Google’s Seth Sternberg, Director of Product Management for Google +, and Ardan Arac, Product Manager at Google, used the Disrupt stage to announce new Google + features. Simply put, Google +’s visibility is now supersized in Google Search.
eBay chief John Donahoe explained to Bloomberg’s chief content editor Norm Pearlstine about how the company screens its acquisitions and how he keeps founders from leaving after the acquisition — a trick that many companies fail to execute after buying a startup.
Troy Carter is disrupting the music industry from within. And today he spoke with TechCrunch’s Josh Constine about his secrets regarding managing Lady Gaga’s online presence (she doesn’t use Facebook personally), where celebrities go overboard online, and why he thinks terrestrial radio will be the home of the next big disruption.
When should an entrepreneur raise money, who should they raise from… and, well, should they even raise? These were some of the questions discussed on a panel with TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis, which included participation from Mike Abbott of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Aaref Hilaly of Sequoia Capital, AngelList’s Naval Ravikant, and BoxGroup’s David Tisch.
Display Advertising Products at Google, Neal Mohan, Facebook Ad Products Director Gokul Rajaram and Twitter Senior Director of Product Revenue Kevin Weil took the stage to talk about the state of digital advertising — and they each had a unique take on the subject.
In a chat with TechCrunch’s Leena Rao, representatives from PayPal, Stripe and Gumroad gave thoughts on the currency that has VCs emptying their bank accounts to invest afresh — Bitcoins, a very popular topic at Disrupt NY 2013.
The afternoon kicked off with a talk between serial-investor Ron Conway, filmmaker/actor Alex Winter and CrunchFund’s MG Siegler to talk about the documentary “Downloaded” about the rise and fall of Napster. Conway said even in 2013, Internet sharing has yet to be solved and that is one of the most disappointing parts of the whole affair.
TechCrunch COO Ned Desmond and CrunchBase’s Matt Kaufman used the TechCrunch Disrupt stage to launch a big expansion of CrunchBase, TechCrunch’s own robust free wiki-style directory of people, technology companies and investors. The new feature, the CrunchBase Venture Program, is to appeal to venture firms that want to improve CrunchBase’s data set.
The last day of Disrupt started with a rather unruly talk with TechCrunch’s Josh Constine and the boisterous founders of Rap Genius, the collaborative annotation startup the founders proclaimed on stage will be bigger than Facebook. The site is also looking to get into breaking news with News Genius.
But Rap Genius wasn’t the loud point of the morning. That happened when SideCar’s co-founder, Hailo’s CEO/founder, took the stage with the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) Deputy commissioner of Policy and Programs Ashwini Chhabra. TechCrunch’s Ryan Lawler proceeded to manage the rowdy bunch as tempers flared. The talk peaked when it was finally revealed that the City of New York had just came down on two SideCar drivers giving free rides in a sting operation.
Ken and Ben Lerer spoke with Caroline McCarthy about the duo’s take on everything from venture investing, to starting a media companie, to StopTheNRA.com, which the two plan on launching in the coming weeks.
Ashton Kutcher took the Disrupt stage for the third time in as many years. Since first speaking at Disrupt NY 2011, he’s made large strides in Silicon Valley, with his VC firm now fundraising at a $100M valuation.
Disrupt isn’t all about web startups proven equally but Hardware Alley’s marketplace of hardware company and TechCrunch’s talk with Limor Fried of Adafruit. The NYC-based startup is attempting to make learning about coding and building fun. Plush electronic components are just part of the company’s secret sauce. Fried also explained to John why the company keeps all of its manufacturing within North America — it’s not always cheaper in the long run to outsource to China, she explained.
The afternoon season resumed with a talk between TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and noted Silicon Valley investors, Ron Conway, David Lee, and Brian Pokorny. The four VCs, when including Arrington, discussed in length Chamath Palipitiya’s comments on Monday that startup quality is at an “all time low.” They disagree. “Innovation is not dead,” David Lee concluded.
Dave Gilboa, co-founder at Warby Parker, one of the e-commerce startups that has “made it” so to speak, shared some stories from the startup’s early days on an afternoon panel, where he was joined by Everlane’s Michael Preysman, Nasty Gal’s Deborah Benton, Wanelo’s Deena Varshavkaya. The panel was moderated by TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsis. Oh and about those rumors concerning the hot NYC startup and Google Glass? “No comment” was official comment.
As one of the top NYC startups, Tumblr Founder David Karp had a lot to say about his city. He was joined with Sequoia partner Roelof Botha and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. Simply put, he vastly prefers walking down a New York City street than one in Silicon Valley.
Thirty startups took the Disrupt Battlefield stage. Seven were eventually chosen as finalists: Enigma, Floored, Glide, Handle, HealthyOut, SupplyShift And Zenefits.
After an intense afternoon of judging, Enigma won $50,000, the Disrupt Cup and the title as of the winner of Disrupt NY 2013. Congratulations, Enigma.
New York City turned out in droves for Disrupt NY this year. Over 1,800 people attended and 180 companies exhibited in Startup Alley and Hardware Alley. And 1,100 coders and designers hacked together 164 projects in just 24 hours. It was truly a fantastic Disrupt.
We’re tired, New York City.
But we’re not resting for long. TechCrunch is about to hit the road for a massive meetup and pitch-off in Austin, Texas on May 30. More events will be held throughout the summer until Disrupt SF hits in September and Disrupt Europe: Berlin 2013.
See you soon.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you videos of the keynotes and onstage debates from The Next Web Europe Conference Europe 2013.
To kick things off, here’s a fascinating conversation between two men with very different viewpoints. Andrew Keen has made a name for himself as a real skeptic when it comes to social media and the potential for ‘privacy invasion’ by modern technology. Robert Scoble, on the other hand, is a rampant enthusiast, who as we already know is never going to live another day without a wearable computer on his face.
Keen and Scoble chew over the privacy concerns surrounding Google Glass, whether wearable computing is a real paradigm shift and whether the next step will be to have computers inside your body. A telling moment is when a member of the audience tells Scoble “I don’t want you to look at me with your glasses.”
Go here to see the original: Google Glass and the future of wearable computing, with Andrew Keen and Robert Scoble [Video]