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Twitter Imposes A Daily Followers Limit…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By April 14, 2019No 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 — Twitter introduces new daily follow limit in bid to curb spamming.

Due to the scrutiny it’s under over how it handles automated bots and human trolls, Twitter has announced a new policy aimed at curbing spamming. Its safety team says that, effective immediately, the daily limit for the amount of people users can follow will be 400 instead of 1,000. In explaining the reason for the decision, Twitter’s head of site integrity said that the company decided 400 was ‘a reasonable limit’ because almost 50% of accounts who made more than 400 follows per day were churning. (Source: Silicon Republic)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s a good rule, right? I mean, who exactly is following more than 400 people in a day? Sounds like one needy person!  Clearly, when a “user” follows that many people it’s probable that the user is a bot. This kind of step that Twitter is taking is important because many small businesses and professionals rely on the social platform for communications, service, news and even sales and the more credible the platform is, the longer its future life.  Making this adjustment makes Twitter more credible.

2 — Amazon thinks small with new e-commerce tools and services.

Amazon announced it will provide more help to small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) selling on its platform. So far in 2019, the company released 50 new tools and services to help SMBs increase business in its stores. Of the billions of dollars Amazon invests annually to enable SMBs to reach new customers and sell products online, the most recent investments have been in solutions and services related to fulfillment, selling, and advertising—including brand analytics, global registration experience, Fulfillment by Amazon monthly storage and removal fee waiver, and Interactive Seller University content.  (Source: Chain Store Age)

Why this is important for your business:

Amazon is putting the full court press on attracting more small merchants to its platform – and keeping its existing ones happy. These tools make it easier to promote and sell products and enable even the smallest merchant to look big. If you’re merchant you should take time to explore them.

3 — China wants to ban bitcoin mining.

Due to growing government pressure on the cryptocurrency sector, China’s state planner wants to eliminate bitcoin mining there—according to a draft list of industrial activities the agency hopes to stop. China is the world’s largest market for computer hardware designed to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and its National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said this week it seeks public opinions on a revised list of industries it wants to encourage, restrict or eliminate. NDRC says cryptocurrency mining, including that of bitcoin, should be phased out for not adhering to relevant laws and regulations, for safety concerns, and for wasted resources or pollution of the environment. (Source: Reuters)

Why this is important for your business:

According to some reports almost three-quarters of the world’s bitcoin is “mined” in China, all with a great cost to its infrastructure. If the Chinese government curtails these operations it could create yet another challenge to the future price and availability of this digital currency. If you’re using bitcoin in your business be careful that this potential regulation could have a significant impact on its value.

4 — For some small businesses, Instagram has replaced word-of-mouth.

Jarema Osofsky, founder of a one-person plant business called DirtQueenNYC, began by selling plants on a Brooklyn street. But recently her business has grown rapidly due to Instagram. In fact, she says for her it’s the 21st century version of word-of-mouth advertising. ‘People post a picture of a plant that they got from me and tag me,’ Osofsky says. From there, her service spreads among their friends. Potential buyers use Instagram to set up a time to meet her to talk about plant maintenance and sunlight setups over a cup of tea. She gets to know her customers personally and says Instagram has made shopping with her ‘more of an experience and less of a transaction.’ (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

More and more small businesses are turning to Instagram not just for posting photos but building communities, getting referrals and making sales. Osofksy’s story is one of many. Could it be yours too?

5 — WhatsApp Business app for iOS begins worldwide rollout.

WhatsApp Business, a free version of the messaging app that lets small businesses connect with their customers, launched on iOS in March and will soon be available worldwide in a limited number of countries. Using WhatsApp Business, companies can set up a profile to share email or store addresses, while also gaining access to greetings and away messages to manage interactions with customers (who contact them using the standard WhatsApp client). WhatsApp’s web interface is also supported by the app. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Most of my international message are made using WhatsApp because it’s 1) super-popular overseas and 2) free!  Now it’s becoming easier to make calls and send messages right from the desktop with WhatsApp’s new offers.

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