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Instagram Prioritizes ‘Scantily-Clad’ Photos…And Other Small Business Tech News

By June 22, 2020No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes ‘scantily-clad’ photos according to a new study.

A new study revealed Instagram’s algorithm is likely the reason you are seeing more provocative photos on your feed. The study—driven by the European Data Journalism Network and AlgorithmWatch— uncovered the finding through having conversations with content creators, analyzing patents, and examining newsfeeds on the popular picture-sharing platform. The research team had 26 users download an ad-on for their browsers that instantly would launch their homepage and keep track of the types of posts that would appear most frequently. According to the research, the algorithm prioritized party-nude photos over photos of landscape, food, or other subjects. (Source: The Next Web)

Why this is important for your business:

Scroll through Instagram for ten minutes and I doubt the findings of this study will surprise you either. But the fact is marketing is a data driven exercise and small businesses who want their posts to be seen on Instagram have to consider the pros and cons of this kind of approach. Should your Instagram posts be more provocative to get more likes and potential sales? Can you pull this off without being unprofessional or violating the platform’s terms of use? It’s a fine line. If you can, the numbers point to higher traffic.

2 — Amazon is going to use AI tech in its warehouses to enforce social distancing.

This past week, Amazon rolled out a new AI-based technology to help ensure that employees at their warehouses and offices are following social distancing guidelines in order to help minimize spreading the coronavirus throughout its workforce. According to the announcement, Amazon’s warehouses will now have monitors that will show individuals who are maintaining the suggested distance highlighted in green circles, and individuals who are not following distancing guidelines will be circled in red. Distance Assistant—the name of the new technology— will also utilize footage throughout the buildings to assist in highlighting areas densely populated. (Source: Reuters)

Why this is important for your business:

As a small business owner I’m a big believer in following big business practice. We’re all concerned with keeping our workplaces safe, so how are the big companies doing it? In Amazon’s case it’s a social distancing AI-driven application. Can our software vendors provide something similar? Is it worthwhile creating an app of our own? Sure, there’s a cost. But there’s also a potentially significant liability for not doing so.

3 —Yelp is adding new features for reopening businesses.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Yelp has worked to provide resources for businesses through fundraisers and waiving fees as they navigated the shutdown. Now—with easing restrictions—Yelp is rolling out tools to help businesses during the reopening phase of the shutdown. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

One of the two new tools will be an expansion of their existing COVID-19 banners that appear at the top of each profile, allowing businesses to share what they are doing to follow social distancing guidelines. The second feature will come as an update to their waitlist function to help prevent long lines for things like curbside pickup or outside dining. If you rely on Yelp for traffic to your business then you should make sure you’re familiar with these changes.

4 — There’s now a creepy new way to spy on your WFH employees.

Enaible— a new tech startup— is working to assist employers assign “productivity numbers” to each worker to try and monitor and ensure productivity while more and more companies are working from home due to COVID-19. The company plans to monitor employees working from home by attaching AI to already-existing data within a company’s system and providing a score and is based around an algorithm they call the “Trigger-Task-Time” algorithm that can calculate what specific motivation results in which tasks, and what time of day they are performed. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

One of the biggest concerns small business have about working from home is monitoring productivity. I’m of the opinion that my people are grown-ups and that they’re responsible for doing their jobs without micromanagement. But other business owners – many more successful than me – have differing views. I predict more, creepy, monitoring apps like this to come on the market as the remote employee workforce expands.

5— According to a new Startup Nation Central study, the pandemic will boost the adoption of new technologies.

A recent report conducted by Startup Nation Central suggests that the coronavirus pandemic will drive companies to start using more technologies to help them transition to working from home more efficiently. The study revealed that a massive $1.8 billion has been invested in fintech’s during 2019 alone. Startup Nation Central—a Tel Aviv-based non-profit—detailed that 200 investments were made in the AI sector, 119 money transfer and payment companies, and 74 companies focusing on compliance anti-fraud, to name a few.  (Source: CTech)

Why this is important for your business:

Necessity is the mother of invention and the pandemic has made it necessary to find new ways for doing things faster, while safely. That’s at least a silver lining amidst a very dark environment.

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