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Social Vending Machines

Out of quarters? Not to worry, a friend can now gift you a drink from Pepsi’s new social vending machine. Using these newfangled machines, you select the beverage, insert money and sent a text to the beverage recipient.  Many of the machines will even be fitted with a camera to send video messages along with the beverage code.

I imagine Pepsi is banking on customers buying a drink for themselves then deciding to try out the new technology, thus doubling Pepsi’s profits. After all, how could you gift a cool refreshing drink and not snag one for yourself? 

An innovation officer at Pepsi says ,

"Social Vending extends our consumers’ social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting.

The system also allows “random acts of refreshment,” or the ability to buy a drink for a stranger, in situations such as sending “a symbol of encouragement to a city that’s experienced some challenging weather or a congratulatory beverage to a university that just won a championship.”

Random acts of refreshment? Sounds just a little like Shaq’s Twitter stunts dubbed “Random Acts of Shaqness.

This will probably catch on briefly for the novelty but I can’t imagine gifting drinks on a regular basis.  Sounds a little like the paid Facebook gifts, which also came and went. The real blessing here is that the tired old vending machine is getting a facelift. 

Reasons why UX is so important…

theatlantic:

Gawker’s Traffic Numbers Are Worse Than Anyone Anticipated:

What does the network’s traffic look like now that two and a half months have passed? Turns out, according to Gawker’s public statistics, things are much, much worse than was originally reported. Yes, the redesign cut traffic in half almost instantly, but instead of coming back, even more readers left the site behind.

Here, a graph we put together using the number of unique visitors to five sites in the Gawker network — Gawker, Gizmodo, Jezebel, io9 and Deadspin — from November through today. The April numbers are only for the month to-date, but it isn’t hard to see, now that we’re twenty days in, how many of these sites will need a big boost to even reach March’s traffic.

Read on at The Atlantic.

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