This Week In Small Biz Tech: Facebook Foils Ad Blocking And There’s A New Way To Stalk Your Rivals

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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 – Facebook finds a way around ad blockers.

The social media giant announced this week that it will continue to let ads be shown to its users, regardless of whether they have ad-blocking software installed or not.   More user controls will be provided to help its members filter out ads that aren’t relevant to them.

Why this is important for your business:

Your company’s marketing budget, like mine, is likely limited. And I bet that, like me, your head tends to spin at all the online advertising choices you have. But ad blocking limits those that can see your ads. So think about it: wouldn’t you want to choose the option that will give your ad the most eyeballs possible? And with this announcement isn’t Facebook, where you already have many prospective customers, a better option now than before?

2 – Twitter is opening up Moments to businesses.

Twitter’s Moments are a storybook collection of tweets and videos and, up until now, has only been a service curated by an internal team at Twitter for large publishers and Major League Baseball. But soon the company will open up the service for individuals and – more importantly – businesses to use. It’s yet another way for the social media service to expand its community…and its advertiser base.
Why this is important for your business:

If your audience is on Twitter, you can use Moments to create daily stories to attract more followers and further promote your brand.

3 – Amazon just made backups much, much cheaper.

Amazon Web Services, the leading hosting service in the cloud, has reduced the cost of its Elastic Block Store service by 47%! Are you excited?

Why this is important for your business:

You should be. What the heck is Elastic Block Store? It’s a place where developers and administrators on Amazon’s cloud service can take a “snapshot” of data for quick backup and restore, and it’s essential to the operation for many cloud-based services. Now that the price has been almost halved, look for more data to be stored and recovered quicker and faster, which should come in handy if there’s ever a database problem for your application. Delta, are you listening?

4 – A wearable jacket will keep you in the cloud all the time.

It’s such a pain getting online, isn’t it? You’ve got to find a hotspot. Or carry around your own devices to connect to the Internet. But now that may be a thing of the past. Engineers at the University of Alabama in Birmingham have developed a prototype jacket that you can wear – and it keeps you powered up and connected to the cloud wherever you are. The jacket has its own brains, three power banks and a remote touchscreen input.
Why this is important for your business: 

You know that sales guy who says he can’t update his numbers because he can’t get on the Internet? Just give him this jacket and tell him you don’t want to hear any more excuses. My only concern: what do you do in the summer?

5 – There’s a new stalking tool for your competitors.

A company in Barcelona, Spain has developed a service that will let you track your competitors in real time and “monitor the impact of rivals’ new features, integrations, SEO and content strategy across various online channels,” according to Anna Solana from ZDNet who also writes that “the company says its software tracks rivals’ websites, adverts, social profiles, newsletters, and social-media mentions, issuing alerts whenever, say, prices change or a new campaign launches.”

Why this is important for your business:

Even Michael Phelps doesn’t ignore his competition. And neither should you. You might not have the #PhelpsFace on all the time, but it’s important that you’re keeping tabs on what your rivals are up to. Maybe this product is a bit over the top for your business. Or maybe not. But the last thing you want is to find out after the fact that a key competitor is besting you.

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