Headlines This Week: Facebook Sued, Customer Privacy Issues Revisited

Headlines This Week: Facebook Sued, Customer Privacy Issues Revisited

The Small Business Trends editorial team gathers the news vital to running your business. Here are this week’s top headlines.

Social Media

Class action suit hits Facebook. The social media giant has been attacked before for its treatment of customer data. This time the suit may have implications for other businesses that collect and use similar information in their businesses.

Instagram ads create 17 percent more brand awareness. Not every small business has access to Instagram advertising yet. And it’s uncertain whether smll businesses would find a campaign affordable anyway. But one thing the latest numbers do tell us is just how effective your marketing message may be.

Rate & Tax Increases

Postage stamp increase is coming. As of Jan. 26, 2014, the cost of stamps, bulk mail and packages will all be increasing. Small Business Trends publisher Anita Campbell has a breakdown with all the details. Have a look.

A 15 cent tax increase on gas could be brutal. There may be perfectly good reasons for increasing the gas tax this year. But for small businesses the change could prove extremely damaging. Figure out what it could mean to your bottom line.

Amazon now collects sales tax in 19 states. Remember the past few years when Amazon was actively fighting the notion of collecting sales tax from customers in individual states, even apparently giving some affiliates the boot over the issue? Well, that was then — and this is now.

Business Apps & Tools

WhatsApp has reached 400 million members. It’s an alternative to social media (or a new kind of social media) depending how you view it. But this app has caught fire and certainly has applications for business.

This app is an alternative to PowerPoint. The creators of Haiku Deck wanted to create an alternative for presentation software like PowerPoint. But in what some might see as an odd twist, they gave it less features instead of more.

WordStream is improving its AdSense tool. If your small business uses AdWords, a free tool can help you spend less with better results. Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell has more on how the WordStream benchmarking tool has improved.

Brands & Communities

Mashable raises $13 million. There is money in independent news brands. Pete Cashmore started his business not with a VC investment, but as a blog run from his house at age 19. But that small independent startup would eventually grow to substantial size. Independent digital publishers – take heed.

Airbnb reaches 10 million stays. Airbnb has done more than create a successful business model. The company is responsible for a huge economy based on temporary and long-term rentals. Of course, not every municipal authority is a fan.

Adobe to shut down Acrobat Workspaces. They were once, and remain, a place of collaboration for many small businesses. But soon they will no longer exist as collaborative hubs. Read here about how handle to any files you may have left on the site before the end.

Other Trends

La Soiree shows vaudeville as small business. The new show harkens back to an era prior to television and radio. But it also tells the story of a group of popular performers turned independent business owners.

Reading Photo via Shutterstock

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.