Small Business Tech This Week: Twitter Abandons The “Buy” Button and Now You Can Eat Your Six-Pack


(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 has stopped caring about “buy” buttons.

Twitter is said to have moved most of the staff working on its “buy” buttons initiative and many other have left the company, according to this report.

Why this is important for your business:

Have you offered “buy” buttons to your Twitter followers? You may have been the only one. When Twitter announced last year that it was adding “buy” buttons to individual tweets, many thought it was going to change the face of e-commerce. Apparently it didn’t. No one really cared. So if you ignored this trend, you probably did the right thing. “Buy” buttons on the social media service are a bust.

2 – Snapchat could now be worth $18 billion.

With its current round of funding, the social media service is now one of the highest valued “unicorns” ever. And, according to this Forbes article, its rising valuation also could suggest that the startup’s advertising business is healthy.

Why this is important for your business:

Healthy? I’d say so! If you haven’t tried Snapchat, try it. It’s addicting. And a picture is definitely worth a thousand words – particularly if it disappears into the ether forever. Millions of teenagers are using this service, which has seen nothing but growth in its popularity over the past few years. If your business is targeting this market, this seems like a platform that’s right for your marketing dollars.

3 – Employee monitoring is reaching a whole new level – and is creating new issues.

Fast Company reports on a new program called “Odo” which offers not only an internal chat and metrics function, but also “gives everyone access to birds-eye cameras looking over the office’s entire open floor plan.” Meanwhile, an article in the Wall Street Journal warns that collecting data from wearable devices is fast becoming a privacy problem in the office.

Why this is important for your business:

Wearable tech and the Internet of Things will bring with them better tools for improving productivity and health in the office. But the potential invasiveness of these products could also bring serious legal concerns.

4 – GoDaddy offers a cool new app to evaluate your startup idea.

According to TechCrunch, “The app lets users create a business idea and ask other users yes or no questions that better help them understand if there is a market for their product or service. For example, you could submit an idea for on-demand cookie delivery, and ask the question “would you pay $10 for this?” Other users can then see ideas and answer yes or no, giving valuable feedback to the entrepreneur.”

Why this is important for your business:

Maybe this is just a marketing gimmick, but I don’t think so. Getting feedback on a startup’s potential is probably the most important thing you can do before risking your time and money on what you think is a great idea. Look for more AI technology like this one to appear over the next few years that will add another point of view to your decision-making process.

5 – A craft company creates the perfect beer holder.

It’s genius. A six-pack container that’s also edible! It’s made out of beer-brewing byproducts like barley and wheat pulp, and it’s completely biodegradable. Talk about going green.

Why this is important for your business:

Using green technology to make your business stand out in a crowded field of competitors? Also genius. Congrats to SaltWater Brewery for giving us a reason to drink more beer.


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