This Week in Small Business Tech: Get Paid on Facebook, Get Help in a Microsoft Store, and More

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are four things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Facebook Messenger now allows customers to make payments through the app.

From Forbes: The new update to the popular app lets Facebook users click on advertisements, which will then open a window to a retailer’s chat bot. After this interaction, the user can now complete his or her purchase without ever leaving the chat platform.

Why this is important for your business:

If, like so many other small businesses, you’re advertising on Facebook, you’ve probably been a little frustrated that whenever a user clicks on your Messenger communications to buy your products, they’re redirected back to your site – and some customers fall away. Even your customers have been frustrated entering their payment information again when it’s already stored in Facebook. Now your customers can buy your products without leaving Facebook.

2 – A cybersecurity coalition made up of some of the biggest names in technology has formed that will assess the security of third-party vendors. 

From VentureBeat: Nine tech companies, including Uber, Dropbox, and Airbnb, have banded together to create the Vendor Security Alliance. The alliance will establish cybersecurity standards that businesses can use to assess the security of third-party providers.

Why this is important for your business:

As Uber’s head of compliance, Ken Baylor, says: “the real goal is about making a strong change and [making] the internet safer for everyone.”

3 – Twitter has recently unveiled new features for businesses running customer service accounts.

From TechCrunch: Businesses will now be able to have a “Provides Support” designation on their Twitter profiles and display the hours of customer service availability. Another new feature is that an account with that label will be able to receive Direct Messages from anyone, regardless if the customer follows the company or not.
Why this is important for your business:

Not only is Twitter soon allowing longer tweets, but these new changes are recognizing that there are many businesses who rely on the social media platform as a critical customer service tool. If your business has a big audience on Twitter, then you should be using the platform to interact and support your customers, too.

4 – Microsoft is now expanding its support for small businesses in its stores.

From Microsoft: Microsoft stores now have dedicated SMB Zones in their over 100 retail locations. These zones feature hands-on access to business-grade technology and offer technical guidance tailored to business owners.

Why this is important for your business:

While so many of us rely on Microsoft products and services, getting support has always been challenging. Now we can get help face-to-face right inside of a Microsoft store – and I know this will be a preferred method for many small businesses and my clients.

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