Google Is Warning About “Intrusive Interstitials” (What?) and Other Small Biz Tech News This Week

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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 – WhatsApp and Facebook will begin sharing user data for ad targeting.

In its newly released privacy policy, Facebook says it willbe stepping up how it handles encryption and protecting its users from snooping by advertisers. Except, it seems, for WhatsApp, the messaging service purchased in 2014 for $19 billion by the social media giant. Facebook said that it plans to share information about who your friends are, where they are and what content they like based on data collecting from WhatsApp.

Why this is important for your business:

Controversial as this may seem, it will enable Facebook to deliver more targeted advertising to its user base, which means that your ads could be more effective. For privacy advocates, it’s not great news. For marketers, it is.

2 – LinkedIn joins the “Gig Economy.”

This week, LinkedIn released ProFinder – a marketplace that connects consumers with independent service providers. The service covers more than 140 service areas like design, writing, editing, accounting, real estate and even career coaching. Professionals who have submitted 10 or more proposals will need to subscribe to the site’s Business Plus subscription ($60 per month), which will then open them up to unlimited leads.

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a business looking for a freelancer, here’s another reputable place to try. If you’re a freelancer looking for work, then there are more than 450 million leads in LinkedIn’s community. Looks like you’ll be busy!

3 – Google is planning to crack down on “intrusive interstitials” in January.

What the heck is that? It’s basically an annoying pop-up that users must deal with on your mobile website before they can get to the main content, particularly when they arrive at your site from a search site like Google. If you’ve got this on your site, Google’s going to punish you by lowering your search rankings, according to Search Engine Land.

Why this is important for your business:

Many companies (and publishers) have pop-ups on their mobile sites that users must navigate around before getting to the real content. Maybe your site does, too. That will raise a search engine optimization challenge for you unless it’s changed soon.

4 – Lyft now gives its business users the ability to customize their expense reports.

Earlier this year, the taxi-sharing company launched a service targeted at the business community and professionals to help them better segregate rides taken for work or for personal use. Now, the company is stepping that up – allowing users to grab their business rides and put it into an expense report.
Why this is important for your business: 

If organizing travel expenses inside your company is a big task, this is a tool that will help make it easier. And it may encourage you to tell your people to take a Lyft instead of their you-know-who competitor.

5 – Engineers have developed a new, flexible window material that can more efficiently regulate heat and light.

The material is inexpensive to produce and can lighten or darken with a small electric charge, according to this piece in Tech Times, which means it can control the radiation that produces heat. “Such smart and flexible windows are ideal for homes and businesses because they can save on cooling and heating bills,” according to the article.

Why this is important for your business:

Lower cooling and heating bills? Can’t wait for that…

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