5 Things In Tech You Missed This Week – 4/2/16

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(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 – The FBI hacks into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone without help from Apple AAPL +0.90%.

Per Forbes’ Matt DrangeInvestigators for the FBI have hacked into the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters on their own, lawyers for the government told a court and asked a judge to end their high-profile case against Apple. In a two-page filing, the Justice Department told the court it has “successfully accessed the data” on the phone. ”The government … therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by the Court’s Order” that would have required Apple engineers to bypass basic security measures that come installed on its iPhone 5c.

Why this is important for your business:

Uh-oh. Looks like the government doesn’t need the tech industry’s help to get to our personal and private information, do they? Just remember that whatever “confidential” business information you think is safely stored…it’s probably not as safe as you think.

2 – Instagram extends its video length to 60 seconds.

Per Forbes Kathleen ChaykowskiWhy does a 60-second limit make sense? It’s all about optimizing viewership metrics, according to Sephi Shapira, CEO of performance mobile advertising firm MassiveImpact. “It’s about keeping users in the feed,” Shapira said, describing one-minute as Instagram’s magic number. “Unlike YouTube where users jump from video to video, Instagram wants users to finish videos.”

Why this is important for your business:

More metrics will support Instagram’s continuing ad expansion. And if the metrics make sense for this demographic, you might very well be enticed to spend some marketing money with Instagram. And that could be good for them…and you.

3 – KLM will use Facebook FB +1.70% Messenger to help customers check in and make changes.

Also from Forbes Kathleen Chaykowski: Facebook Messenger and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced a partnership that allows KLM travelers to check-in, receive flight confirmation, access boarding passes, receive check-in reminders, get flight updates and make flight changes through live customer service chat without leaving the Messenger app. The tools will work wherever KLM and Messenger operate, Facebook said. Facebook plans to partner with additional airlines down the road.

Why this is important for your business:

Notice something about Facebook Messenger? It’s not just a messenger service anymore! It’s quickly turning into a platform for accepting data, completing transactions and engaging with a company’s customer service database. If your business has a significant community on Facebook, then you should look into potentially using the Messenger platform to further grow revenues, just like KLM.

4 – A new survey shows that 83% of small businesses are “rocking it” in 2016 by doing more email marketing.

From AWeber, an email marketing firmThe survey of 1,600 respondents shows that businesses are rocking their email marketing efforts in three key ways: by tapping into email automation, honing in on their subscriber relationships, and simply doing more by sending more. More specifically, highlights from the survey data show: 83% plan to increase their use of email marketing in 2016 versus 2015, 45% say the email marketing strategy they’re most excited to try is automation (automating emails based off of subscriber actions and attributes) and the top three areas where businesses are dedicating their email marketing energies are (1) subscriber growth, (2) converting subscribers into paying.

Why this is important for your business:

You see it and you know it – and this survey confirms it. Email is not dead. Far from it. And your business should continue to make it a significant part of your marketing efforts.

5 – Microsoft MSFT +0.57% is betting on bots.

From Forbes’ Aaron TilleyMicrosoft says it will first bring automated chat capabilities to two of its marquee products, Skype and Outlook. In a demo, Microsoft showed how easily a developer could build a chatbot. With a few simple instructions, a company like Domino’s, for example, can put together a bot to order pizza using natural language. In another demo, Skype, in combination with Cortana, understood that the user was about to take a trip to Ireland and launched a chatbot from the upscale Westin hotel chain, allowing the user to book a room without ever leaving Skype. “We envision a world with more communication tools,” the compay’s CEO Sataya Nadella said “We want all these conversation tools to become rich canvasses for computation.”

Why this is important for your business:

Bots will be an enormous part of the way your online customers engage and transact business with you in the future. You’ll need to make sure your web team is incorporating this technology in the days to come if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Of course, given Microsoft’s most recent experience with one very infamous Twitter bot this past week, there’s still some work to be done!

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