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Twitter Will Soon Be Deleting Some Of Your Followers…And Other Small Business Tech News

By December 9, 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’s announced plan to delete inactive accounts is on pause…for now.

Earlier in the week, Twitter said that it would next month begin removing inactive accounts from their platform. But the company then walked back on that promise because of an uproar, particularly from those who had deceased relatives with inactive accounts and wanted to have some way to maintain them. The company said it will come up with another plan soon. (Source: EngadgetBBC)

Why this is important for your business:

Rest assured, once Twitter comes up with a plan for memorializing certain accounts, the mass deletion plan will resume. While the closures will take place over several months, the goal behind the clean-up is for Twitter to be able to present more credible, accurate, and up-to-date information, rather than be filled with inactive accounts. The move may also make it more difficult for spammers to takeover accounts for their own personal gain. Accounts that haven’t been signed into for at least the last six months will be deemed inactive. Some business owners may complain about the loss of followers from this action. But in the end, Twitter’s move will increase the credibility of their platform and for those relying on Twitter to build their communities that’s a good thing.

2 — Pinterest is launching a small business shop ahead of the holidays.

Pinterest has announced that they are rolling out a new feature just in time for the holidays called The Pinterest Shop. While Pinterest does currently offer Product Pins, the current listings come from bigger brand names such as Target or Home Depot. Now—just in time for Small Business Saturday—users will be able to shop from different small businesses through hundreds of “Product Pins” within the feature. Although Instagram has a similar shopping platform, the main audience for their platform is teenagers. Pinterest—however— plans to capitalize on the fact that its audience is made up mostly of women between the ages of 18-64 who have children. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

Pinterest has a unique demographic in that it appeals more so teenagers and females. If that’s your target audience, then this may be a good time for your small business to take advantage of their new Product Pins geared towards small businesses.

3 — Employees shopping online pose a risk to small businesses.

According to a recent survey, 82% of small business executives expect a lot of their employees to use an employer-issued device to do their online holiday shopping this season. Although 61% of those executives share that they believe their employees shopping online will create a cyber-security risk to their company, they do not think they have any options to put a stop to it. 49% of participants predicted that the majority of their employees would not be able to identify a malicious, fake link posing as a retailer online. (Source: Small Business Computing)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s not uncommon for people to catch colds during the holidays. It’s even more common for computers to catch viruses. That’s because so many of us – and our employees – are using our devices to shop online and we’re never really quite sure which sites we’re being directed to are legit or not. It may be a good idea to sneak in a little security training for your staff in the next week just to be sure. Otherwise, the ransomware elves could ruin your holiday season.

4 — An online marketplace for independent boutiques has raised $22M.

Trouva—a London startup which offers brick-and-mortar independent boutiques an online marketplace—has raised $21.8 million and is planning to use the funding to help expand beyond the UK. Trouva’s focus is to provide a way for unique, independent boutiques who sell intricate and difficult-to-find pieces, to sell online. Funding will also be used to help continue work on building out more advanced technology when it comes to inventory and logistics management on the platform. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

As the company expands beyond the UK, Trouva may be a potential channel for your business as well. If you’re in the antiques or specialty retailing business you may want to check them out.

5— Google is adding AI smarts to G Suite and updating Google Assistant and Docs.

The most recent addition from Google’s AI experts will provide users with the ability to access specific G Suite apps using Google Assistant, and Google Docs will also see the addition of Smart Compose text suggestions. Currently, a beta version of AI voice assistant in G Suite exists, where users are able to use voice commands in order to navigate and manage their Google Calendar schedules, events, and invitations. The new Smart Compose capability being brought to Google Docs will allow users to utilize AI to assist with drafting documents, even helping reduce redundant language, slowly adapting to the user’s personal style. (Source: Computer World)

Why this is important for your business:

I will continue to report on new artificial intelligence features that software vendors are adding to their products and I will continue to remind my clients – and all small business owners – to embrace these features. With a little bit of configuration and learning time, you can find yourself automating processes that were previously done by humans and thereby increasing productivity and decreasing your overhead.

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