Whatever happened to last year's breakout stars?
Facebook is getting into the mobile payments services industry. Move over PayPal? According to a variety of sources, including The Associated Press, Facebook has “a very small test” in the works for its new mobile payment platform. Although as of yet there is no set schedule for when this service will go live, it might just change the way you shop online, particularly on mobile devices.
AllThingsD reports that the newest test would allow users to permanently link their credit card information to their Facebook login, which could then be used to make purchases on a large number of partnering websites. As of right now, Facebook says that it has no plans to handle the actual processing of the payments, and will continue to use third party payment processing services like PayPal and Braintree.
A representative from Facebook explained the set-up to Forbes:
“The test is designed to make it easier and faster for people to make a purchase in a mobile app by simply pre-populating your payment information. It will be a very small test with 1-2 partners. Additionally, this test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current payments provider, such as Paypal. We continue to have a great relationship with our payment processing partners, and this product is simply to test how we can help apps provide a simpler commerce experience.”
For many, Facebook’s new payments test may seem like a natural extension of all the things Facebook already does for us. After all, we can already use our Facebook information to log on to any number of websites, therefore saving ourselves the agony and frustration of remembering a million different sets of login information. Still, some posit that this new service is not an entirely altruistic move on Facebook’s part.
Venture Beat explains it like this:
“There are two big incentives for Facebook to have its own PayPal competitor. One, it can generate revenue by taking a small cut of each transaction. Two, and maybe more importantly, it gets people to put their credit cards on file and gives Facebook more insight into its users’ shopping habits.”
Even if the service’s only purpose is to gather more information about me and my shopping habits, I am probably still okay with that. After all, if it saves me the trouble of re-entering my credit card information each and every time I want to make an impulse purchase, it is probably a good thing, right? Right.
I, for one, welcome our new Facebook overlords.
Would you save your credit card information with Facebook? Have you considered the possibility that, in the very near future, we will be able to use our Facebook profiles in lieu of a government issued passport?
The star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” charmed practically everyone at the Oscars, where she was the youngest best actress nominee ever; she went on to film a remake of “Annie” opposite Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Jepsen, who had 2012’s song of the summer with “Call Me Maybe,” released the fifth and final single from her debut album in January 2013. She toured the U.S. in mid-2013 -- just as Daft Punk and Robin Thicke battled to succeed her as icons of the summer.
Honey Boo Boo
2012’s biggest reality star, the young pageant contestant Alana Thompson, had a quieter time this year, with a second season whose ratings were strong but whose buzz was a bit muted. America was, by now, accustomed to young Thompson, and outraged or scandalized reactions were reserved for other TLC programming, like “The Man With the 132-Pound Scrotum.”
Ocean missed out on the top Grammys for which he was nominated in early 2013; he bounced back quickly with featured appearances on albums by Kanye West, Jay Z and Beyoncé, and is at work on a new album. Things are looking up!
The “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike” star had a marginally less charmed 2013, with “White House Down” failing to connect with moviegoers and “Foxcatcher” delayed until next year. It may get worse before it gets better: His big 2014 sci-fi flick, “Jupiter Ascending,” looks … well, a little weird!
With their third album in 21 months hitting No. 1 immediately upon its fall 2013 release, the boy band that broke into America in 2012 would seem to be here to stay for a while. Still, they looked a bit nervous in their reaction shots during the Video Music Awards’ ‘N Sync reunion; maybe not this year, maybe not next, but eventually, the Justin of One Direction is going to break out. For now, though, things look good!
Lana Del Rey
The famously uncomfortable “Saturday Night Live” musical guest overcame endless mockery from 2012 to land her first top-10 hit in the summer of 2013 -- a remix of a year-old song, “Summertime Sadness.” As the co-writer of “Young and Beautiful,” the love theme from “The Great Gatsby,” Del Rey is such a front-runner for the best original song Oscar (last won by Adele) that there has been a direct-mail campaign to academy voters against her. The song was also played at the most romantic event of the year: Kanye West’s stadium marriage proposal to Kim Kardashian.
Wilson, who charmed fans of 2012’s “Pitch Perfect,” had a rockier 2013, with her sitcom “Super Fun Night” struggling creatively and in the ratings. Her next planned movies are both sequels, to “Kung Fu Panda” and -- hoping lightning will strike twice -- to “Pitch Perfect.”
Another 2012 music icon, Gotye won the record of the year trophy at the 2013 Grammys for “Somebody That I Used to Know.” He released no new singles in 2013, and has told the press he has been struggling to complete new material. Good luck, Gotye!
The golden boy of the 2012 Olympics, without feats of aquatic derring-do to distract the public this year, saw his always-tenuous persona completely shift from “amiable jock” into “utter dolt” with his E! reality series. Worst of all, the series was canceled.
In 2012, the young actress -- best known for her role in the indie “Winter’s Bone” and a supporting part in the “X-Men” franchise -- had marquee roles in the first “Hunger Games” film and in David O. Russell’s comedy “Silver Linings Playbook.” In 2013, she played to her strengths: After winning an Oscar, she starred in the second “Hunger Games” movie, on whose publicity tour she managed to charm everyone in America, and had another role in a David O. Russell comedy, “American Hustle,” for which she might just win ANOTHER Oscar. By 2014, she may end up running a major studio, or serving as president.
The breakout bikini model of 2012 made a repeat appearance on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue -- and got to do high-fashion spreads in Elle, Vogue and Vanity Fair. She was cast in a Cameron Diaz comedy, too. Some types of appeal are eternal!
E. L. James
The “50 Shades” novelist now gets to help share some input into a movie adaptation set for release in 2015. She probably never needs to work again! Isn’t that great? Isn’t that … just … great?
The “Gangnam Style” phenom performed at New Year’s 2013, but will spend New Year’s 2014 flipping channels to find his pistachio ad, his goofy antics having been outdone in the past year by “The Fox” singers Ylvis. Nothing meme can stay.