Free WiFi On JetBlue (Free!) And Other Small Business 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?

Facebook, Instagram and YouTube all add more video advertising options.

Announcements just this week: Facebook is to begin testing ads that will run in the middle of posted videos. Instagram introduces full-screen ads in its “stories” and offers new tools to companies with a “business profile” to see their stories’ reach, impressions, replies and exits. YouTube has added “super chats” that allow paying viewers to post messages in bright colors to stand out more – a great way for feedback and engagement.

Why this is important for your business:

Social media today is all about pay-to-play. All of the major services are pushing to monetize through advertisements. Your job is to pick the best platform (where your audience is) and maximize the features provided to get the most reach. Smart managers will be familiar with all of these tools.

JetBlue now offers free WiFi on domestic flights.

Jamie Perry, vice president of marketing at the airline, said, “It’s 2017 and our customers expect to be connected everywhere, whether that be from the comfort of their sofa or 35,000 feet above it.” You won’t even have to wait for the plane to get to a cruising altitude to go online either. (Source: Consumerist)
Why this is important for your business:

I’m sure you don’t need me to spell this out for you. And for someone who regularly pays through the nose to receive a horrible connection on GoGo Inflight, this benefit may be the tipping point for me (and other business travelers) to book more flights with JetBlue.

Microsoft launches a scheduling app.

Called StaffHub, it will be part of Office 365 and is meant for managers to use as a way to schedule shifts and for employees to gain quick access to their schedules. Employees can even request shift changes – all from a mobile device. The Marks Group is a Microsoft Partner. (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

This is yet another feature of Office 365 that needs to be explored by your company, particularly if you have a lot of “deskless” workers with work shifts and if you’re in the retail, hospitality or restaurant industry. It’s all part of the package.

Researchers at MIT have developed a substance that is 10 times as strong as steel.

It’s called 3D graphene, and the research team found that by compressing small flakes of graphene under heat and pressure, they could create strong, stable porous structures that were similar to coral. The material has only five percent of the density of steel. (Source: New Atlas)
Why this is important for your business:

According to the New Atlas piece, this material, and the technology used to create it, could be applied to “other materials ranging from polymers to structural concrete.” Additionally, the “porous structures could be used in filtration systems for water or chemical plants.” I’m thinking higher and stronger buildings, faster planes, cheaper cars…a big impact on all these industries.

Capital One adds HR and cash flow tools to its product list.

Capital One® Spark Business® already offers a suite of financial tools for doing online banking. This week the bank added Gusto, a powerful and popular human resources management application to the mix as well as accounts payable management tool Bill.com. Capital One is a client of my company, The Marks Group. (Source: Capital One press release)

Why this is important for your business:

Over the next few years, I predict that most larger banks will be doing what Capital One is doing: bringing more and more accounting, business and financial technologies to its small business customers that integrate with its own online banking system. For businesses like ours, it means quicker and better data entry and reporting. But will banks ultimately become accounting software companies one day, too?

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