Instagram Is Creating A Marketplace For Influencers …And Other Small Business Tech News – Forbes

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

1 —Instagram is working on creator shops and a ‘branded content marketplace’ for influencers.

Instagram is in the process of developing a new suite of features and tools to assist influencers in making money off of the social media platform. Some of the tools include a “branded content marketplace” and creator shops. Creator shops are being developed as an extension of Instagram’s current shopping features, where businesses are already permitted to sell products. (Source: Engadget

Why this is important for your business:

Small businesses come in all shapes and sizes and there are countless influencer entrepreneurs who rely on Instagram for their livelihoods. If you’re one of these entrepreneurs, this is important stuff. The branded content marketplace being developed would also assist influencers to make money by pairing them with sponsors. While the new tools are still being developed, the features could potentially have a major impact on how influencers make money on Instagram.

2 — Mailchimp is adding stores and appointments eCommerce tools.           

According to an announcement this past week, Mailchimp has rolled out two new free ecommerce tools especially for merchants. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

Stores—one of the new features—lets merchants make a digital storefront and edit or add products, manage tax, shipping and payments, and complete orders. Appointments—the second feature—makes it possible for businesses to manage schedules digitally and provide the option for service bookings. Both Stores and Appointments will also allow users to have access to the company’s marketing features.

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3 —Google is making it easier to run your Windows app on Chromebooks.

Over the last year Google— in partnership with Corel Corporation— has been working to implement Parallels Desktop to Chrome OS, additionally announcing some support improvements to new hardware in order to let Windows apps operate on a greater number of Chromebooks. Using a virtual machine, Parallels lets Windows 10 run on macOS systems. While the product is geared toward enterprises, it assists in tackling the issue of legacy applications for businesses and corporations that are interested in adopting Chromebooks. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Google continues to make their Chromebooks more mainstream. Up until recently I had avoided considering a Chromebook for my business because I thought you’d need to always be online and couldn’t use Windows apps. That’s wrong. And the next time I’m up for a new laptop, Chromebooks will be strongly considered.

4 — JotForm is announcing approval and a no-code approval flow automation solution.  

Leading online form software company Jotform shared that it is rolling out a new tool, —called Approvals, —which was developed to help teams streamline workflows to make them more efficient and automate approval procedures. Approvals allows users to drag-and-drop elements in order for teams to more efficiently add emails, approvers, and perform other tasks. Additional features of the new Approvals tool include personalized emails that match approval flows, customized approval settings, over 100 templates for several industries, and more. (Source: PRNewsWire)  

Why this is important for your business:

Jotform is a very powerful workflow automation and collaboration tool that many of my clients use. I’ve also contributed content for them so I’m very familiar with their offerings. It’s an excellent and more affordable alternative to Microsoft, Google and other similar platforms because it’s so easy to use and adapt. 

5—These tech trends are shaping the mortgage industry in 2021.

Experts have identified a major digital shift and transformation when it comes to the mortgage industry, brought on by the rise in home buyers who are interested in technology and the obstacles created due to the coronavirus pandemic. Out of necessity, COVID-19 forced the mortgage industry into utilizing technology as a means to survive. (Source: MPA Mag)

Why this is important for your business:

Some of the trends include the adoption of API to streamline business procedures and processes, improving omni-channel capabilities and self-service options, heightened use of AI and machine learning, the use of blockchain technology, and greater collaboration with fintech.

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