New Features from Facebook, Instagram Make Business Headlines

New Features from Facebook, Instagram Make Business Headlines

Social networking platforms have the opportunity to make a difference in a variety of different areas. For example, Facebook just unveiled some non-profit partnership tools including safety check and donation features.

And Instagram also recently released some new features that might look familiar to users of other platforms like Periscope and Snapchat. You can read about these updates and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Social Media

Facebook Unveils New Community Help, Safety Check, Donation and Non-Profit Partnership Tools

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) recently unveiled some new tools as part of its Live feature at the social network’s first Social Good Forum held on 17 November in New York. The new tools include community help, safety check, an expanded fundraiser features, and nonprofit partnerships.

Instagram Introduces Two New Features that Borrow From Periscope and Snapchat

Instagram is putting the popular ephemeral spin on video streaming and private messaging. Taking a page out of the books of Snapchat and Periscope, the app is introducing two new features: live video and disappearing photos and videos for groups and friends in Instagram Direct.

It’s Come to This? Pro-Trump Entrepreneur Blocked from Incubator’s Social Network

Andrew Torba, founder of, a social network preferred by conservatives, has been blocked from Y Combinator’s (YC) private social network, Bookface. Officials at Y Combinator, a funding source for early startups, says  it was due to a Facebook post that, allegedly, violated the investment firm’s harassment policy.


Entrepreneur Who Helped Build Wrestling Empire From Nothing Could Be Next SBA Chief

President-elect Donald Trump may be close to naming former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon as the next administrator of the Small Business Administration. McMahon met with Trump at his Manhattan Trump Tower office on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Could Your Future iPhone Sport a Made in the USA Sticker?

One of President-elect Donald Trump’s consistent campaign promises was to bring jobs back to the U.S. As part of that emphasis, Trump routinely called out Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) as a company that should be doing more production in the states. And it does appear that Apple has been looking into the possibility of assembling iPhones, at least in some part, in the U.S.


‘Fight for $15’ Protest Demands Increase of Minimum Wage

A national “Fight for $15” protest Nov. 29, that had many taking to the streets, found many commenting on Twitter as well. The national protest day saw workers from fast-food chains, airports, retail stores and other industries participating in a union-backed strike to rally for higher wages, union rights and immigration reform. Uber drivers in more than two dozen cities also joined in.


Big Mac Creator and Early McDonald’s Franchise Owner Dies at 98

The creator of the Big Mac has died. Jim Delligatti lived to 98 and is best known as a McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) restaurant franchisee in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. His story and success show that one franchise owner can have a big league impact on the overall company.

Marketing Tips

64 Percent of Top Performing Marketers Use Automated Email Weekly, New Report Says

A majority (64 percent) of high-performing marketers send automated emails to their contacts at least once per week. And that’s how they generate the maximum number of leads. The insight comes from the new 2016 State of Customer Journey Marketing Report.

Why This Company Dug a Giant Hole on Black Friday (Watch)

Businesses can use publicity stunts for a variety of different purposes, from raising awareness about a cause or issue to promoting a new product. But one company recently launched a publicity stunt aimed at accomplishing something totally different — digging a big hole. Cards Against Humanity is the company behind the giant hole.

Retail Trends

How Were Your 2016 Small Business Saturday Results? (POLL)

Small Business Saturday gets more and more attention every year. The day after Black Friday is becoming one of the bigger shopping days of the holiday season and small businesses are the focus. If you market your business properly and join the movement, there’s a good chance you’ll find shoppers who make it a point to patronize small businesses during the holiday season.

A Watch Sold Every 3 Seconds on eBay on Black Friday

Black Friday has come and gone. In fact, the first wave of traditionally major holiday shopping days are history already. Early reports indicate that Black Friday wasn’t like it’s been in the past. It’s still a big shopping day but a lot more shoppers are spending more time and money on Black Friday online.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Ships-a-Lot Helps Ecommerce Businesses Fulfill Orders

Order fulfillment is an incredibly important part of running an ecommerce business. But it’s not always easy. That’s where Ships-a-Lot comes in. The company was born out of the needs of another ecommerce company. And now it provides fulfillment services for a variety of different ecommerce businesses. You can read more about the business in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.


Surprising New Business Trend: Customers Pay to Smash Things in New Rage Rooms (Watch)

The latest trend in stress relief might surprise you. Some customers aren’t working through their issues in doctors’ offices or taking pills to relieve their stress. Instead, they’re smashing things. Rage rooms are new types of businesses popping up around the country that let customers take baseball bats to breakable items in order to work through their stress or anger.

Apparel Brand Uses Virtual Reality to Tell Its Story

There are lots of brands out there that pledge to give back to good causes. But it’s rare that customers actually get to see first hand what kind of an impact their purchase makes. That’s where GIMME360 is trying to make a change. And it’s doing it through the use of virtual reality.

83 Percent of Entrepreneurs Get Support from Family, Bank of America Study Says

Family support is crucial to succeed as an entrepreneur. Luckily, most business owners have the necessary backing from home. That’s according to a new Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) study.

Technology Trends

A Recognizable Character Could Help Both Universal and Nintendo (Watch)

If you’re heading to any Universal theme parks over the next few years, you might see a familiar face. Mario, the popular plumber from many Nintendo video games, is headed to Universal theme parks in Orlando, Osaka and Los Angeles. Universal and Nintendo first announced their partnership over a year ago.

Smartdesk Brand Autonomous Introduces Customizable ErgoChair

Whether you are at home or work, a company already famous for revolutionizing the desk may change the way you sit as well. The ErgoChair from Autonomous may change the way people sit at their desks or at their computers forever. That is, if it can do all the things its designers say it can.

HP Mini Workstation’s Price, Size Make Intriguing Option for Small Business

If your business could benefit from smaller but still very versatile workstations, a new option has appeared on the horizon it may be worth considering. You might consider the HP Z2 Mini which seems to deliver in terms of size and the features it offers. The company describes it as the industry’s first ever mini workstation, and it comes loaded.

Drone Racing Could Be the Next Big Thing in Sports (Watch)

Drones and virtual reality are both growing trends in the tech sector. And now, the two concepts are combining in a new sport — drone racing. Here’s how it works. Drone pilots use virtual reality headsets to fly drones around an obstacle course from a first person perspective.

SPACO’s Attention Grabbing Levitating Speaker System Empowers Business Owners Too

While video gets more attention when it comes to rich media, it wouldn’t be much without audio. The creators of SPACO, the voice controlled levitating speaker, have designed a system that looks as good as it sounds, while performing some magic. The 720-degree SPACO speaker has smart technology integrated into the system so you can control it with your voice.

VC & Angel Capital

Is There a Series A Financing Crunch?

Since 2007, the number of high potential technology companies receiving seed or angel rounds of financing has increased dramatically, while the fraction of those businesses obtaining follow on financing has declined. Some observers have claimed that this pattern shows evidence of a Series A financing crunch. I’m not so sure. Let’s start with the facts.

Image: Facebook

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.