Small Business Tech News This Week: Facebook Wants To Help, But Amazon Just Wants To Compete

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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 launches a social media network for your office.

Called Workplace, it’s basically Facebook for the office, and it’s competing with Slack, HipChat, Yammer and other enterprise collaboration tools. (Source: Forbes).

Why this is important for your business:

Facebook says more than 1,000 companies, like Heineken, Starbucks and Campbell’s, are already using it. Your people know Facebook really well. You need a collaboration tool. Need I say more?

2 – A startup is offering a way for you to buy back your employees’ vacation days.

It’s called PTO Exchange, and it provides a platform to let your workers trade unused paid time off for travel, contributions to a 401(K) or health savings accounts. (Source: Bloomberg).
Why this is important for your business:

Some people don’t take as much vacation as others. Giving them the option to put their unused time to better use is a benefit that may attract more workers and keep your existing employees happier at their jobs.

3 – YouTube is making it easier for you to connect with marketers.

YouTube acquired a company called FameBit that “helps creators and brands find and work with each other through sponsorships and promotion.” (Source: Engadget).

Why this is important for your business:

FameBit is basically an influencer marketplace that will help you find people with lots of followers and fans to promote your company on YouTube and is another marketing option if you’re active on YouTube.

4 – Amazon is eyeing brick-and-mortar grocery stores.

The online retail giant wants to open real stores to sell fresh milk, produce and other grocery products. Shoppers would be able to use their smartphones or conveniently located screens placed all around the stores to place their orders. (Source: CNBC).
Why this is important for your business:

Just what you need if you own an independent grocery store: competition from Amazon. Watch what they’re doing closely, and invest in marketing, technology – or another business altogether. They’re coming after you, my friend.

5 – You can now make more professional videos on Periscope.

Twitter’s Periscope has debuted a new tool called “Producer” for businesses to create high-quality videos. (Source: Forbes).

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re active on Twitter’s popular live-streaming platform, now you’ve got more tools at your disposal to make professional videos that can look as good as others spending lots more money. According to Forbes’ Kathleen Chaykowski, Producer should help Periscope better compete against Facebook Live and Snapchat, and the new tool could “help lay the groundwork for bringing more advertisements to the app.”

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