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WhatsApp May Soon Stop Sending Calls And Messages…And Other Small Business Tech News

By May 16, 2021No Comments

(This article originally appeared in Forbes)

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

1 – WhatsApp really, really wants you to accept their new terms.

Because of growing privacy concerns, WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, is requiring users to accept their updated terms and conditions by May 15th…or else. No, your account won’t be deleted right away. But features will slowly go away and after a few weeks of limited functionality, WhatsApp will simply stop sending calls or messages to your phone. As Prasham Parikh writes on AndroidPolice “It’s important to note that the company’s existing policy regarding inactive users will still apply. That is, if WhatsApp isn’t connected to the internet for about 120 days, your account might be deleted.” (Source: AndroidPolice)

Why this is important for your business:

WhatsApp is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide and many small businesses in the U.S. for communications with their foreign counterparts. It’s important that you read and hopefully accept their terms and conditions if you want to continue using this service and avoid losing critical features.

2 —TikTok started testing an in-app shopping and a job recruitment tool.   

TikTok is in the process of developing and testing two new features: in-app shopping and a job recruitment tool. The social media platform is hoping to ramp up competition with Facebook through the in-app shopping feature and has already started working on different approaches to selling products with merchants in the U.K. Additionally, the platform is in the process of testing a job recruitment tool in order to help individuals locate companies and jobs while helping brands and recruiters find top-notch candidates. Instead of traditional resumes, applicants will be able to post video resumes instead. (Sources: Bloomberg and Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

TikTok could be the place for you sell your products AND find workers too. Considering the large number of users – particularly younger people – that are on the platform, this is an opportunity for businesses who are trying to reach new customers in this demographic. And it certainly can’t hurt to help find people in this tight labor market.

3 — COVID-19 caused tech hubs for young talent to scatter.

The pandemic has changed the way companies are working and has had an impact on which cities are considered to be tech hubs for young talent. Instead of places like Seattle, New York, and San Francisco, recent graduates are setting their sights on cities such as Philadelphia, Houston, and Miami. In fact— according to a survey by One America Works— almost half of workers in the tech industry moved during the pandemic, redistributing sought-after tech employees throughout the country and spreading startups, job opportunities, and wealth. (Source: Axios)

Why this is important for your business:

The effects of the pandemic will be long-lasting and one of the most significant is the acceptance of using workers – particularly tech workers – wherever they are. That means that lower cost cities like my hometown of Philadelphia can be a great place for workers to live, regardless of where their employer is located. Smart employers are beginning to recognize the geography may not be as important as lifestyle – and finding great workers is more important than where they actually live.

4 —Amazon said it blocked over 10 billion suspected phony listings in 2020.

Amazon shared this past week that it blocked over 10 billion alleged fake listings in 2020 prior to anything being sold. Working to implement new anti-counterfeiting technologies and tools since 2019, Amazon revealed that the amount of counterfeiters trying to sell on the platform skyrocketed during the pandemic due to scammers trying to capitalize on more shoppers buying online during lockdown. Data also detailed that fake listings that were blocked went up approximately 67% from 2019 (Source: MarketWatch)

Why this is important for your business:

This is a big warning sign for both consumers and businesses who are buying and selling their products on Amazon. There are a LOT of fakes out there and it could turn into a costly mistake if adequate care isn’t taken. It’s great that Amazon is on watch, but so must we be.

5 — One-third of organizations are using AI, according to an IBM survey.   

According to a new study conducted by IBM, nearly a third of companies and organizations are using a variation of AI, with 43% of participants sharing that their use was expedited due to the coronavirus pandemic. A third of survey participants also shared that they have plans to invest time and money in AI solutions and skills over the next year. AI was already on the rise even before the pandemic, with research conducted by NewVoiceMedia last year revealing that 25% of individuals preferring to have questions answered by automation or chatbot alternatives. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

The fact is that your business is probably already using AI and you don’t even know it. That’s because your software providers are likely building this automation into your applications behind the scenes. However, it’s important that you reach out to those software providers and ask them what AI and automation they’re creating in their products both now and planned. Taking advantage of AI will help reduce your costs, increase productivity, better customer experience and improve profits.

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