General

Now that the WWDC keynote is over and I’ve had a little bit of time to reflect, I’ve been thinking about what excited me the most from today’s announcements. The list is long, no doubt. But I think I’m going to have to go with something that surprised me — while at the same time making me look smarter than perhaps I really am. (Again, just perhaps.) iMessages.

As one of the core new features highlighted today in iOS 5, iMessages has one purpose: to kill SMS. That is, traditional carrier-controlled text messages. iMessages will do this by replacing SMS with a service that Apple is in control of across all of their iOS devices. And here’s the real death blow: iMessages will be completely free.

Sure, you can argue that iMessages is limited due to the iOS requirement. But as Apple announced today, there are over 200 million iOS devices out there now. That’s a lot. Like Blackberry Messenger before it, Apple now has the strength to create their own device-to-device messaging application. And that’s exactly what they’ve done. And considering what a colossal rip-off SMS is, I can’t help but love this move.  It’s exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

Five days ago, on my personal blog, I responded to a post Anil Dash wrote wondering if Apple had all the tools in place to build their own Twitter. (As we’ve seen today, they’ve chosen to partner with them instead.) That was an interesting idea, but more interesting to me was the higher level concept of Apple creating their own messaging platform — again, like RIM did with BBM.

“There’s a reason why BBM took off. Apple could make it work device-to-device as well. I’m thinking we need a FaceTime without the ‘Face’,” I wrote noting that while there are no shortage of third-party attempting to do this, it may take a true Apple integrated solution to fully take off. And that’s exactly what iMessages is.

But SMS, with its billion percent margins (roughly), is a huge profit center for carriers. So why would they let Apple do this? (After all, this isn’t just a WiFi feature, it will work over 3G as well.) That’s easy. What choice do they have? Are Verizon and AT&T (or international carriers) going to boot Apple at this point for destroying their precious SMS services? No. And Apple will probably argue that SMS remains a great medium for cross-device message pollination (which is true).

But it’s not just that iMessages kills SMS because it’s free. It kills it because it’s better. While the sending of photos, videos, and text matches SMS (and MMS), it’s better with iMessage because it’s streamlined and simplified. Plus you can now send contacts and locations. And you can see in real time when someone is typing, responding to your message. And there are delivery receipts. And optional read receipts (so you know if someone has actually read your message). There’s group messaging. Encryption. Etc.

It’s sort of like SMS 2.0. And again, free.

And my favorite part of all of this is that Apple is baking it into the same Messages app that SMS goes into. People will use this. A lot.

And again, while this may be iOS-only, guess who else is going to have to match this feature now? Android. SMS is about to become a cross-platform messaging platform only. As a person who has paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars in bullshit SMS fees in my life, I happily say to the carriers: eat it.

Apple is very good at taking over the world, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. I wonder which category this development will fall into? Either way, it adds another dimension to mobile marketing.

Introducing the +1 Button

Google trying to compete with Facebook? It will be interesting to see if this takes off or falls flat on its face.

If you’ve used PayPal for any length of time you will be familiar with their service charges for sending and receiving payments;- These can be reduced by using PayPal Mass Payment drastically if you are sending large amounts!

Using the PayPal Mass Payment system will ensure that any payments you send to your outsourcers, clients, or affiliates will be received by the recipients without them paying a service charge fee.

You, as the sender, will not pay more than 1.00 USD even if you’re sending thousands of dollars, pounds or Euros! Fabulous news!  The rate for sending a PayPal Mass Payment  is actually 2% up to a limit of 1.00 USD . This is of course is much more attractive all round than the standard PayPal fee based on a percentage of the amount being for sent.

How to set up a PayPal Mass Payment

1. Login to PayPal

PayPal Mass Payment Login to PayPal

2. Select send money Tab

PayPal Mass Payment Send Money

 

3. Select Make a Mass Payment

PayPal Mass Payment Make a Mass Payment

 

4. Open a Notepad TXT file and enter the following 3 obligatory pieces of information

The recipient’s PayPal email address – sometimes referred to as the PayPal ID

The amount that you want to send without the currency sign;- just the amount.  NOTE;- that each different currency will require a separate Mass Payment

The Currency Type;- always given in CAPITAL letters, it can be any currency used by PayPal’s Mass Payment system.

PayPal Mass Payment Enter on a Note Pad

The space in between these 3 pieces of information above is gained by using the TAB key. Just hit the TAB key once between each of the 3 items of info. Keep one payment per line.

Tab Key

 

 

 

Additionally you may wish to add a 4th field for a customer reference and / or a 5th field for a short personalized message;- these are optional. If you chose to do so these fields might look something like this.

PayPal Mass Payment field txt example

These are the currencies currently available in PayPal’s Mass Payment system

PayPal Mass Payment Currencies Available 2011

 

5.  Save the TXT file

 

6.  Upload the TXT file in the PayPal Mass Payment screen

PayPal Mass Payment Uploading Page

 

7.  Review;- When the TXT file has finished uploading the ‘Upload’ button turns from orange to grey. Click the Review button.  On the next page you will see how your Mass Payment instructions look before pressing send.

PayPal Mass Payment Review

8. Happy Dance It’s a easy as that … you now know how you can save money when you’re using PayPal for making online payments!

PayPal Mass Payment Happy Dance

 

 

 

 

9. Remember

Tell your customers about the benefits of using  PayPal Mass Payment too, they’ll love you for it! It will ensure  that they too will only ever pay $1.00 to send payments to you even very large amounts of money using PayPal and you will not have to pay a service fee for receiving payments they send to you.

10. Share this information with anyone who will benefit from it.

Wow! Considering how much I use PayPal, I can’t believe I’d never heard of this. Definitely something to remember for the future.

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