1. Black Friday Shatters Online Sales
Black Friday foot traffic was unsurprisingly lower this year by 1.7% compared to 2017, while online sales were up 23.6%. Shoppers spent $6.22B, with $2B of that amount spent on smartphones. For the first time this year, shoppers were able to score Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving Day. Adobe Analytics tracked 80 large online retailers and found shoppers had spent $1.75B online by 4 p.m. CT on Thanksgiving, a 28.6% increase from last year. If you missed the shopping palooza, you still have Cyber Monday (today!) as sales are expected to reach $7.8B, a projected 17% increase. Find the best tech deals here.
(Source: Fortune, MarketWatch)
2. Ohio Accepts Bitcoin
Ohio has become the first state to accept Bitcoin to pay for taxes, which seems soooo 2017. Starting this week, Ohio businesses can go to OhioCrypto.com to register and pay for anything from cigarette sales taxes to employee withholding taxes with the expectation that the initiative will eventually expand to individual filers. The tax payment is sent to an Atlanta-based payment processor, BitPay, which converts bitcoins to dollars. This measure is a step towards supporting technology and a hope that other states will follow suit. This “does help send a message that bitcoin’s a technology that can be used by anybody — by bad guys but also by the government,” said Jerry Brito, the director of Coin Center. If I had a Bitcoin for every time someone tried to explain to me how to use them…
3. London Bans Unhealthy Food Ads
London has decided to bite down on a healthy initiative, putting public transportation food ads on a strict diet starting February 25th. Ads for foods high in fats, salt and sugar will be prohibited from the Transport for London network. Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said: “… over 37% of 10 and 11-year-olds in London are overweight or obese – a figure that is worryingly high with further data showing those living in deprived areas [are] much more likely to be affected. We know advertising directly influences children’s choices.” This ban on ads is part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s London Food Strategy, which also includes establishing a Child Obesity Taskforce set on shedding half the percentage of children in London who are overweight by 2030.
Is it fair to say that Facebook is starting to fade away? Read more here.