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Social Media Vending Machines

Earlier this month, Pepsi revealed a prototype of a ‘social media vending machine’. The social media aspect of the vending machine is a feature which allows customers to send drinks voucher codes to their friends, which can then be redeemed on other similar vending machines.

The vending machine is operated with a touch-screen, which initially presents three options to the user. One of these options is ‘Gift or Redeem a Drink’. Once a drink has been selected, an optional video message can be recorded and sent to a friend’s mobile phone, together with a text message which includes a code that can be entered in to any other ‘Pepsi Social Vending Unit’.

Some social media experts have received the concept well; suggesting that it has been long overdue. However, others have voiced concerns over privacy issues.

The vending machine also provides nutritional information for the products, which should help to support the USA’s campaign to improve dietary habits.

Whether or not this particular vending machine will take off is yet to be seen, but it may be a glimpse of the vending machines of the future. It is certainly not likely to be the final attempt at integrating the phenomenon of social media to increase vending machine sales.

For those who are interested, there is a YouTube video of the social media vending machine’s interface in action.

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