Small Business Tech Roundup: Instagram Releases Its Twitter-Killer

5 min read

Here are five things in tech that happened this week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Threads – Instagram’s Twitter competitor – is released.

The popular photo/video sharing platform Instagram has just released an app called Threads. Instagram’s iteration of Twitter, Threads has been assessed as a strong competitor prior to its launch. One of the leading advantages is users can migrate their Instagram followers to Threads. From a branding standpoint the timing is ideal since Twitter has experienced some not so user-friendly issues – (for example) Musk’s rate limit terms. As for Threads, the immediate future looks promising. Now available on iOS. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Other than personally following a bunch of hilarious accounts, I have no presence on Instagram and most of my interactions are on Twitter. But every business owner – including me – needs to keep a close eye on the new Threads social platform. If I sense that people – my customers and community – are embracing it, then I’m going to be moving there too.

2 – The top 7 ways you can use Google Bard.

From code debugging to organizing travel logistics, tech expert Vinayak G detailed a list of tasks Google Bard can help you with. Developed by Google, Bard – “your creative and helpful collaborator” – can put together a travel schedule based on your interests and chosen destination, plus any other recommendations you might have overlooked. (Source: MakeUseOf)

Why this is important for your business:

According to the article, Bard can also provide suggestions for your next content creation project (marketing campaigns, website copy, etc.) and will refine that content according to your target audience or client. If you’re interested in learning code then Bard’s at your service. The AI ​​is now capable of “generating code from scratch” and can teach you what each code means. It will also remove any bugs. Data analysis, email composition and article summarizations are among the seven listed.

3 – McAfee launches a powerful new online protection solution for small businesses.

Security software provider McAfee announced McAfee Business Protection – developed for the needs of small business owners. As described on the company website – “[it] protects your employees’ devices and data so that you can run your business without worrying about data theft and hacking.” (Source: iTWire)

Why this is important for your business:

In partnership with Dell Technologies, the intent is to address a prevalent need for small business owners who are encumbered with IT tasks as MacAfee found from its business survey. It cited 80 percent who described themselves as “self-managed” in security issues – with more than two-thirds unable to devote more than an hour each week. McAfee noted that the product is in beta testing for Dell users. If your business relies on Dell products, this security offering is something you should seriously consider.

4 – Business owners are poised to invest more in technology.

Financial expert and marketing executive Scott Cryton published an article focusing on where SMBs are making notable investments. With respect to technology – small and medium sized businesses are spending “$10,000 more in tech solutions” this year as compared to 2022. Citing data from a small business survey conducted by Intuit, business owners will invest over 140 thousand – at most – on tech products that will help foster growth. Included is their assessment of AI as SMBs actively seeking technology that will provide a sharper picture of ‘financial performance.’ As Cryton reports, “SMBs are already planning to up their spend on AI-based technology. Over the next year, 32% of business owners plan to invest in AI tools…” (Source: CPA Practice Advisor)

Why this is important for your business:

I can agree with Cryton’s perspective – my clients are gearing up to invest more in tech this year, spurred both by the promises of AI and the need to keep headcounts under control, particularly during these times of tight labor. Hopefully you’re considering the same for your business.

5 – Microsoft and LinkedIn partners to empower workers with free generative AI courses and career essentials certification.

Microsoft and LinkedIn are teaming up on a project called the “AI Skill Initiative” that will offer free introductory courses on generative AI. Now that AI is in the collective conscience – it implores not only awareness but also knowledgeability. For those professionals who want to stay ahead – they need to sharpen their skill set by adding AI to that list – as Microsoft and LinkedIn exemplify by offering the program. Once participants complete the program, they receive a “Career Essentials” certificate that will verify their literacy and capability in generative AI – an increasing demand in today’s job market. (Source: Mint)

Why this is important for your business:

Two reasons why this is important. For starters if you’re considering AI investments you need experienced IT people to help evaluate, implement and maintain these tools so getting them trained is critical. Also, this certification looks like a good way to determine if a prospective employee has the experience needed to contribute to your organization.

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