5 Tech News Items From This Week That Could Make Business Owners Money

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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.

1 – WhatsApp finally launches a desktop app for Windows and Mac.

From Forbes: “Though it’s the biggest messaging application in the world with more than 1 billion active users, WhatsApp has for years lived primarily on mobile phones. That could change significantly now that WhatsApp has launched its first desktop apps for Windows 8 and Mac OS 10.9 and up.”

Why this is important for your business:

With more than a billion monthly users, this Facebook-owned service is a messaging giant. And now your employees and your customers can access this service from their PCs and Macbooks instead of just their mobile devices. Look for this application to become a growing and more important part of how you deliver customer service through Facebook.

2 – Google is opening up Nest to get more Internet of Things partners and take on Amazon.

From TechCrunch: “Launching OpenThread gives Nest a shot at offering code and a potential platform for free (following a road taken by stablemate Android) as a way of bringing in more hardware and software developers to build products that can work in a Nest-led ecosystem.”

Why this is important for your business:

Nest is an extremely popular device for automating things that happen in your home and office, from adjusting your thermostat to turning off lights. Now Google wants its partners (like you, perhaps?) to develop even more users of this device. Entrepreneurs will see potential product development opportunities here. And the rest of us will start seeing more automation in our offices as Nest (and products like it) evolve.

3 – T-Mobile adds roaming in Cuba.

From GeekWire: “The company has announced that users will be able to call Cuba for less, and this summer will be able to use their T-Mobile devices on Cuban networks.”

Why this is important for your business:

Don’t ignore Cuba. Relations are warming, and business is picking up. Airlines are flying there, cruise ships are docking there and other services, like T-Mobile, are expanding there. Cuba could very well be a home to more customers for your business in just a short period of time.

4 – Amazon is making Video Direct content available to millions and paying royalties.

From Small Business Trends: “Amazon has announced an addition to Amazon Video called Amazon Video Direct (AVD), a new first-of-its-kind self-service program that lets you make your video content available to Amazon customers, including millions of Prime members, and earn royalties based on the number of hours streamed.”

Why this is important for your business:

Do you produce video content for your business? Training? Certification? Business building? Entertainment? If it’s useful, it could potentially be viewed by many. And it could become a revenue stream for you. Amazon’s move to pay royalties is incentive for both big and small businesses to produce more content and earn money in the process.

5 – Virtual Reality jobs jump.

From Forbes: “Tech-facing companies are scanning for developers and coders who can help them build out their VR capabilities. Though still early, some in the job-search industry are noticing a trend in the hiring market.”

Why this is important for your business:

The popularity of Virtual Reality (VR) is exploding. Headsets are being mass-marketed, and companies are trying to figure out ways to use this technology to give their customers a different kind of educational and buying experience. This type of programming will grow into a lucrative niche for some. And the products they ultimately create will help many businesses, like yours, grow their customer base.

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