Top Stories: Pinterest, Kickstarter Reveal New Features


Pinterest has been adding new features to help businesses reach their target audiences in the platform. One of the most recent updates is a promoted video feature. And Pinterest isn’t the only online platform making changes. Crowdfunding site Kickstarter also added a follow feature, making it more social.

These updates and more are included below in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Social Media

Pinterest Introduces Promoted Video, Three Other Platform Improvements

After testing with 12 early partners, including Lionsgate, bareMinerals and General Mills’ Old El Paso, Pinterest recently announced it is rolling out Promoted Videos (that is, video ads) in the U.S. and U.K., with featured Pins beneath.

Kickstarter Adds a Follow Feature, Makes the Funding Platform More Social

In news of interest to crowdfunding entrepreneurs, Kickstarter recently rolled out a new ‘Follow’ feature that allows users to follow creators directly and be first to find out when their next projects launch. Once you follow a Kickstarter creator, you’ll also be notified when they’ve backed a project that’s just getting off the ground, the crowdfunding company said.

How Snapchat’s New Acquisition Vurb Transforms Business Search

Snapchat is paying $110 million, with 75 percent in stock and 25 percent cash to acquire mobile contextual search engine Vurb. The deal also includes a $75 million retention bonus to keep Vurb founder and CEO Bobby Lo. Vurb touts itself as tool for helping consumers decide what to do and who they want to do it with.

Need to Share Some Content? Dlvr.it Provides Syndication Service

Dlvr.it provides brands, publishers and marketers with a way to syndicate content using their social media channels. Essentially, dlvr.it provides you with a simple way to curate content and automatically distribute it to preferred channels. The platform enables you to share content from RSS-enabled sites to social networks.

Management

Your Business Can Overcome Huge Obstacles – Just Like the Rio Olympics (Watch)

A few weeks ago, many experts expected the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio to be a disaster. Now that the games are over, it seems that those experts were mistaken. That’s not to say that there weren’t any issues. Aside from the green pool water and the now infamous Ryan Lochte incident, there were several smaller incidents that went mostly unnoticed.

Marketing Tips

Can  Your Business Benefit from Influencer Marketing? Intellifluence Says Yes

Joe Sinkwitz left a comfortable, high-paying career as a marketing executive to found a startup, Intellifluence, a platform that helps brands partner with influencers. The reason: To give small businesses access to the same type of influencer marketing opportunities that were only available to large corporations.

What Sasquatch Can Teach You About Brand Excellence

ESPN The Magazine is essentially the print equivalent of a prime-time advertising slot for big brands. But in a publication driven predominantly by striking imagery and cool aesthetics, standing out from the crowd can be nigh unto impossible. That’s where it comes in handy to have constant access to an eight-foot, 374-pound model covered in hair.

Retail Trends

Shopkeep Boasts Simple, Inexpensive POS for Small Businesses

The Shopkeep app is an iPad point-of-sale (POS) system that claims to add simplicity and speed to sales functions SMBs need to effectively run and manage their operations. The company boasts a comprehensive iPad POS system for small business owners that seems to come fully loaded with all the big business features at a small business price.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight:  iMOBDEV Claims More Than 500 Customized Apps and Websites Worldwide

Mobile apps are becoming more and more popular for businesses in a variety of different industries. For those who want to look into getting their own mobile apps or even just building a more professional website, there’s iMOBDEV Technologies. The company prides itself on providing technologically advanced options for business websites and mobile apps.

Small Business Operations

Time Running Out to Take Advantage of Error in USPS Shipping Rates

The U.S. Postal Service is announcing yet another change in its shipping rates. This change affects companies that ship First-Class Mail Parcel Retail lightweight packages. These packages weigh between 1 and 3 ounces. The cost of shipping these packages beginning August 28 will be $2.62. That’s a 17-cent increase over the current rate of $2.45.

New Research Says Houseplants Can Make Businesses Safer (Watch)

Your business might soon be adding indoor plants to the list of necessary safety equipment needed around the office.

Mobile Technology

App or Credit? Why Cash May be Replaced by Mobile Payments

It is Monday morning in San Francisco, and you have just woken up late. To help in your rush to get to work on time, you use your favorite ride service app to pay for a driver to bring you to work. On the way to work, that pre-coffee, drowsy feeling starts to kick in, so you use your Starbucks app to order a coffee and a breakfast snack to get you through the morning.

Is Your Business App On Android? Here’s Why It Had Better Be

Planning a new app for your small business? Make sure you build it on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android, since that’s where you’re most likely to find your customers. According to a new Gartner report, Android is dominating the smartphone marketplace with a whopping 86.2 percent share in the second quarter of 2016.

Technology Trends

Has Fitbit Been Stealing Trade Secrets? Judge Says No (Watch)

The competition between wearable device companies Fitbit and Jawbone is heating up. Jawbone recently accused Fitbit of violating patents and poaching its employees in an effort to steal trade secrets. But the U.S. International Trade Commission just ruled that Fitbit didn’t misappropriate anything. The ruling is obviously good news for Fitbit, although Jawbone wants to review the ruling.

Kobo Provides eBook Alternative to Amazon

When considering the platform on which to publish your next ebook or from which to purchase your next business ebook or online magazine, it may be helpful to consider that Amazon is not your only option. Kobo is a Toronto-based company that has been providing an open platform as well as it’s own eReader platform, since 2009.

The Robocall Strike Force Teaches How to Go the Extra Mile for Customers (Watch)

Chances are, you’ve received one of those unsolicited robocalls or automated text messages at some point. And you probably haven’t been too happy about it either. But a new task force made up of some of the biggest names in tech is trying to put a stop to those unwanted calls and texts. Google, Apple, Verizon, Microsoft and more are all part of the Robocall Strike Force.

Want to be Productive? New ZEEQ “Smart Pillow” Analyzes Sleep Patterns

Artificial light, and now information and communications technologies are some of the factors responsible for people sleeping less, so it is fitting ZEEQ is using the same technology claiming to offer better quality sleep.

What Uber’s Self-Driving Car Tests Can Teach You About Offering New Services (Watch)

Uber is starting to test out its self-driving car service in Pittsburgh. And it’s doing it with real passengers in the vehicles. There will still be a driver in the front seat of each self-driving car with hands on the wheel in case they need to take over at any point. And an engineer will also be in the passenger seat to take notes.

Kickstarter Photo via Shutterstock

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