Facebook Successfully Tests Drone, Pinterest Adds Buyable Pins to Web, More

facebook drone 2

 

Commercial drone use is a hot topic for commercial deliveries these days. But Facebook is using technology in a very different way – in an experiment aimed at giving a potential four billion more people access to the internet. Some of those could be additional customers for your small business, by the way.

 

In addition, here’s a look at Pinterest’s long awaited Buyable Pins feature for the web. These headlines and more are included below in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

 

Social Media

 

Facebook’s  Aquila Internet-delivery Drone Could Add Billions More Online Customers

 

Social networking giant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) last week reported the first successful full-scale test flight of its ambitious Aquila solar-powered high-altitude unmanned aircraft. It’s part of an ambitious goal to bring four billion more  people online – more customers, freelancers and maybe even partners for your business.

 

Pinterest Brings Buyable Pins to the Web – Finally

 

Pinterest is finally introducing Buyable Pins to the web version of its site – and a new shopping bag is being rolled out too. Last year, Pinterest introduced “Buyable Pins” on mobile and later integrated them into eCommerce platforms such as Bigcommerce, eBay-owned Magento and IBM Commerce.

 

Your Ice Bucket Challenge Videos Worked! New Gene Breakthrough Discovered (Watch)

 

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from a few years back? The viral videos had everyone from LeBron James to former President George W. Bush getting buckets of icy water dumped onto their heads – all for a good cause, of course. The Ice Bucket Challenge was created to support research into a cure for ALS, or Lou Gherig’s Disease.

 

Finance

 

U.S. Bank and Sage Announce AP Optimizer to Streamline Invoice Payments

 

U.S. Bank (NYSE:USB) and Sage (LON:SGE) announced this week at Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago a new partnership that will benefit Sage customers in the U.S. and Canada. The partnership centers around the introduction of AP Optimizer, an application built by U.S. Bank that lives inside the Sage Live accounting platform.

 

Sage Announces  API Partnership: This Will Make Using Third-Party Apps a Breeze

 

Cloud Elements, a Denver-based API management and integration platform, today announced a strategic partnership with Sage (LON:SGE), the accounting, payment and payroll provider used by millions of small businesses, as a part of the Sage Partner Program at Sage Summit taking place this week in Chicago.

 

Marketing Tips

 

Email Marketing STILL Not Dead, New Podcast Claims

 

“Email marketing is dead.” If you’ve been involved in the world of marketing over the last few years, you’ve likely heard that declaration more than once. But a new podcast wants to bring a new perspective to that discussion about email marketing. Email Marketing’s Grave is a new podcast from the team at marketing solutions provider PostUp.

 

The Latest Harry Potter Book is Already Breaking Records (Watch)

 

Harry Potter is back – or at least, another book starting with that name will be released this weekend. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a book written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, which is actually based on a play of the same name, is slated to hit bookshelves on Sunday.

 

Make Money, Get New Customers Now Thanks to Pokemon Go

 

If you don’t know your Pikachu from your Pichu or if you have no idea what either of those are, that doesn’t mean you have to stand out in left field as the rest of the world – and thousands of businesses big and small – capitalize on the Pokemon Go craze.

 

Zoho Introduces Email for Sales People, Marketplace and More

 

Zoho came out with four announcements today. Among them is the launch of SalesInbox. Zoho calls it the first email client just for salespeople. SalesInbox prioritizes customer conversations, instead of displaying emails strictly in chronological order. Also announced were upgrades to Zoho’s popular CRM system, as well as an expansion into the European market.

 

Small Biz Spotlight

 

Spotlight: BeeSmart Provides Social Media Services for $75 a Month

 

Social media has become a huge part of small business marketing. But it doesn’t have to take up all your time or marketing budget. BeeSmart Social Media is one company that strives to provide affordable social media solutions specifically for small businesses. Read more about the company and its offerings in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

 

Small Business Operations

 

2-Minute Whirlwind Tour Of Sage Summit 2016

 

The theme was “Ignite your passion” at Sage Summit 2016. Sage CEO Stephen Kelly said in the opening keynote yesterday, “At Sage we want to help you ignite your passion for business.” To help with that goal, Sage this year included several celebrities in the speaker lineup. Day 1 kicked off with iconic entrepreneur Richard Branson on stage with Kelly.

 

What  Brand is Tops with Small Business Owners? WordPress, Alignable Index Says

 

Winning the trust of small businesses is not always easy, but one brand that seems to have succeeded is WordPress. According to the new SMB Trust Index, WordPress is the most trusted brand for small businesses, with a Net Promoter Score of 50 in Q2 2016. Languishing at the bottom of the list are Web.com (-62 NPS score) and Yelp (-65 NPS score).

 

Need  to Get Off the Phone? Microsoft Bookings Will Handle Customer Scheduling

 

Small business owners are jacks of all trades, which is a great attribute, but can be overwhelming if there is not enough help and the business is growing faster than expected. However, digital technology has introduced many solutions that have made it possible to run a business single-handedly without pulling out your hair.

 

Sage Introduces New Partner Program, Marketplace, Community at Summit 2016

 

In his keynote address to partners on Monday at the annual Sage Summit, held in Chicago, Sage CEO Stephen Kelly introduced several new initiatives designed to build on his company’s partner strategy. These include the Sage Partner, Marketplace, Community and Rewards programs.

 

UPS Can Now Rush Deliver Your Package to More Places Than Ever – 177 Countries to be Exact

 

UPS (NYSE:UPS) has announced a major expansion of its UPS Worldwide Express that will see the world’s largest package delivery company provide customers with next day shipping to 117 countries across the globe. Over 50 countries and territories have been added to the UPS Worldwide Express service, which guarantees delivery on the next business day by 10:30 a.m., noon or 2 p.m.

 

Skype Meeting Broadcast Will Get Translation, Transcription Features

 

A communications tool used to facilitate online meetings will soon have the capabilities to translate the remarks of participants and preserve a written transcript of what was said. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced last week at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto that it would be adding automatic transcription and translation for Skype Meeting Broadcast.

 

Startup

 

Does Census Data Suggest Progress Towards Gender Equality in Entrepreneurship?

 

Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners – the Census Bureau’s quinquennial examination of business ownership – indicates that the fraction of women-owned businesses increased substantially between 2007 and 2012, the most recent year the survey has been completed. But on other measures of entrepreneurship, there has been less progress.

 

 

 

Technology Trends

 

Watch Out for Modobag! It’s Motorized Luggage You Can Ride – Really

 

Ah, the road warrior of the business world. The image is almost universal – a business person in the airport running along pulling their luggage, a laptop on one shoulder, a carry on, an overcoat of some kind, and the always present pastry and coffee.

 

Amazon is Going Outside the U.S. to Test Drone Delivery (Watch)

 

Remember that drone delivery service from Amazon you’ve been hearing about? Well, the company is finally getting to do some testing in preparation even if the actual implementation of the program could still be a ways off here in the U.S. Amazon is partnering with the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority to test the technology, since U.S.

 

Small Cable Companies Worry About FCC “Unlock the Box” Rule

 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a proposal that would make room for software, hardware devices and other technology innovations to compete with the set-top boxes that consumers lease from cable, satellite and telco companies.

 

How Good a Deal Did You Get on Your Smartphone? ZTE Still Has You Beat

 

It doesn’t matter how great a deal you got on your last business smartphone, there’s one company that almost certainly has it beat.

 

Think Pokemon Go is Advanced? Here’s What’s Next (Watch)

 

Pokemon Go’s massive breakout popularity could propel some other tech companies into the world of augmented reality success. Microsoft’s HoloLens, for example, is an AR headset that could let users play games like Pokemon Go without having to actually look through a phone screen.

 

Verizon  Will Acquire Yahoo for $4.8 Billion with Advertising Assets Being Added to AOL

 

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) for $4.83 billion. The acquisition only includes Yahoo’s core operating business, not its more valuable assets: Yahoo Japan and its $41 billion stake in Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce company.

 

New Product Sunscreenr Shows Where Sun Damage Can Occur

 

As you apply sunscreen before you go outside or spend the afternoon at the beach, how sure are you that you have covered all of the areas that will be exposed to the sun? Sunscreenr is a small and lightweight viewer that lets you see where your skin is covered or not covered by sunscreen.

 

Image: Facebook

 

This article, “Facebook Successfully Tests Drone, Pinterest Adds Buyable Pins to Web, More” was first published on Small Business Trends

 

 

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13 signs your coworker is a psychopath

The ShiningWarner Bros.

Bullying isn’t just for school kids on the playground.

 

Andrew Faas, a former senior executive with Canada’s two largest retail organizations, found this out the hard way when he blew the whistle on a corrupt colleague, and subsequently had his phone and email hacked and even received an anonymous death threat.

 

To help others, Faas says in his new book, “ The Bully’s Trap,” any worker being hired or promoted in a supervisory position should be required to take a psychological test.

 

What would it test for? The 20 signs listed in the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, as developed by renowned psychologist Robert Hare.

 

A psychopath may not show all he signs, but they will likely demonstrate at least some of them, Faas says.

 

Here are 13 sign that one of your coworkers may be a psychopath, from Hare’s checklist, Faas, and articles we found on Psychology Today:

 

Natalie Walters contributed to a previous version of this article.

They have sadistic motives and intents

 

Miramax via YouTube

 

“I think the most telling sign is their sadistic nature,” Faas says.

 

A psychopath motivates others through fear, rather than respect, he says, and they intend to destroy rather than correct.

 

This one characteristic is what separates psychopaths from a boss or coworker who is simply “firm,” he says.

 

“I’ve led and managed workforces that are in the thousands, and I’ve always been and still am a very demanding leader, but I motivate through respect because I want people to improve,” Faas says.

 
 
 

They’re glib and constantly turn on the superficial charm

 

Andrew Dobos/Flickr

 

Psychopaths are masters at presenting themselves well.

 

They are great conversationalists who can easily sprinkle chit-chat with witty comebacks and “unlikely but convincing” stories that make them look good, writes Hare in a post on Psychology Today.

 

Confronted with such charm, you may believe that the psychopath is a decent – delightful, even – person by the end of the conversation.

 

Hare writes that one of his raters once interviewed a male prisoner who threw in some compliments about her appearance, and by the end of the interview she felt unusually pretty.

 

“When I got back outside, I couldn’t believe I’d fallen for a line like that,” she said.

 
 
 

They have a grandiose estimation of self

 

The U.S. National Archives/Flickr

 

Psychopaths see themselves as the center of the universe, writes Hare, on Psychology Today. They are so important in their minds that they believe other people are just tools to be used.

 
 
 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

 

 

Hillary Clinton heckled, jeered by small group of protesters during DNC speech

Hillary Clinton was heckled and booed by a small handful of individuals Thursday night as she delivered her primetime address at the Democratic National Convention formally accepting the party’s nomination for president.

 

Here’s a look at what was happening on the scene in Philadelphia:

 

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Some booing Clinton as they hold up ban fracking, anti TPP & Jill signs. Chants of “Hillary” try drowning out hecklers. via @lateshiabeachum

 

 

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A few loud but scattered boos as Hillary begins her speech at #DemConvention #DNCinPHL pic.twitter.com/4Psp0glWOk

 

 

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Those hecklers are pretty loud. And persistent. One yells, “Never Hillary!” before being backed back into the hallway.

 

 

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The boo-ers were positioned right above one of the press sections

 

 

According to reporters at the scene, the crowd responded to hecklers by drowning out the individuals and chanting, “Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!”

 

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Several isolated hecklers. Hillary supporter hells “sore loser” at her as she’s escorted out. Crowd chanting Hillary.

 

 

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The chants of “Hillary,” which are drowning out heckles, are sometimes drowning out Clinton’s speech in the arena

 

 

The boos and heckles likely came from supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a vocal group of progressives who feel that Clinton unfairly used the Democratic Party apparatus on her way to a primary victory.

 

Clinton became the first woman to accept a major US political party’s nomination for president Thursday night. She will face off with Republican nominee Donald Trump in the general election.

NOW WATCH: Here’s the footage that Republicans suggest shows Hillary Clinton lied under oath

Deckstorm launches as DeNA’s latest stab at the $1.2 billion card game market

Deckstorm is DeNA's new card game for iOS and Android.


Niantic Labs’ John Hanke will be delivering a fireside chat for AR/VR day (augmented reality/virtual reality) at GamesBeat 2016. Get a ticket here!

 
 

DeNA has long had card games. But these have been simplistic affairs more like the game of War, where the biggest number wins. But the market has changed, and since Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft juggernaut hit in 2014 and the segment has grown to become valued at more than $1.2 billion, your card game needs more – it needs multiple modes, complexity, and a way to engage players who like solo play and taking on all challengers.

 

Enter Deckstorm: Duel of the Guardians, which the mobile game publisher released on the Apple App Store and Google Play today. Senior producer Roger Royce calls it a customizable collectible card game, one where you can level up your cards (and other components), play in solo campaigns and against others, and even uses your cards to solve puzzles to earn rewards.

 

Royce said that his team designed matches to last around 5 minutes. Your deck has 15 cards, made up of three elements (fire, water, and earth) and neutrals, which can block element affinities. Instead of taking down a player’s health, you’re taking out their deck – each card has health, and you battle in waves. Sometimes, you find yourself removing cards you’ve played from the board and back into your hand – and progress is persistent, so if a card is injured, it comes out with less health should you play it again. You even get to see the A.I.’s cards in the solo campaigns, but even knowing this, you don’t know what order these cards come out in. So you may build your deck to take on the foe and still lose for other factors – speed, attack, and other values play a role, and just because you have the stronger cards, you could still lose because they’re slower than your foe, as speed plays a role in initiative.

 

Cards are customizable, and each can level up and evolve to a stronger form. They also can take Runes (items that you equip on a card) and Essences (which boost stats).

 

Deckstorm also has daily, weekly, and monthly stages.

 
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Why You Must Act Now to Become the #1Rated Provider in Your Area

Why You Must Act Now to Become the #1Rated Provider in Your Area written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

 
Why You Must Act Now to Become the #1-rated Provider in Your Area - Duct Tape Maketing

photo credit Pixabay

 

It’s no secret that getting positive ratings and reviews about your business on third-party websites is an important part of marketing these days. Study after study has confirmed that a majority of consumers trust online reviews of local businesses and use those reviews when making buying decisions.  However, despite all the press about the importance of reviews, many local businesses still haven’t gotten the message and are not doing anything to encourage their customers to leave a review for them-and that’s great news for you.

 

You see, the fact that many businesses are not giving this aspect of marketing the attention it deserves means that it may not be too late for you to become the #1-rated provider of your products or services in your local area.  If you act quickly to claim this title, it could have a profound and lasting impact on your business.

 

The Psychology of Being #1

 

Before I get into how you can go about becoming the top-rated provider in your area, allow me to explain why doing so is well worth your time.  You’re probably familiar with the psychological concept of social proof, which says that people tend to reference the behavior of others when making decisions.  What you may not be aware of is how powerful this phenomenon is.

 

In many studies covering a wide variety of industries, the best predictor of the popularity of something was how popular it was already.  That has been proven to be true for everything from the number of downloads a song will get to which answer people will choose on a multiple choice test.

 

It has also been proven that a small increase in popularity early on will lead to a much larger increase in popularity down the road.  There is no denying that people simply trust the judgement of the crowd.

 

What this phenomenon means for your business is that if none of your local competitors has any online ratings or reviews-which is still the case in many industries in many local markets-by simply getting a small handful of great reviews on one or two key sites, you can not only become the top-rated provider in your area, but you will likely ensure that you will always be the top-rated provider in your area.

 

You see, once you get a few great reviews on third-party websites, at least some people will choose to do business with you simply because of that fact.  This will, in turn, make it more likely that you will get more good reviews on more third-party websites…which will make it more likely that people will choose you simply because of your good reviews…and so on.

 

The good news for you is that if you take action on this quickly, by the time your competitors realize what you’re doing you’ll probably be so far ahead that they’ll never catch up.  The bad news is that if your competitors take action first, you will have your work cut out for you if you ever want to unseat them as the top-rated company in your area.

 

Deciding what category you will be top-rated in

 

Now that you understand the importance of acting quickly to become the top-rated provider in your area, let’s talk about how exactly to go about doing that.

 

The first step is to decide what product or service you are going to be the top-rated provider of.  At first this might seem obvious, but it’s actually important to put a little thought into this for a few reasons.

 

First, you should do a little bit of keyword research to find out what products or services your potential customers are searching for, and what keywords they are using to describe those products.  This is important because you’ll want your business’s listings on third-party review sites to show up in search results for popular search terms, which means you’ll need to use those terms in the description of your business that you put on those sites.

 

For example, a handyman might determine that many people in his area are looking for plumbers online, but not many people are searching using the term “handyman”.  He would want to make sure to include terms related to plumbing on his business listings so that when he collects reviews he can brand himself as the top-rated plumber in the area.  Being the top-rated provider of a service nobody is searching for defeats the purpose of creating social proof, and won’t do you any good.

 

Another reason that you should put some thought into what category you will target for top-rated status is that one of your competitors may have beaten you to the punch in one category, but be lagging behind in another.

 

For example, a cleaning company that offers residential and commercial cleaning might have a competitor who only offers residential cleaning and has 20 five-star reviews on Google.  It might make more sense for that company to try and get reviews from their commercial cleaning customers and brand themselves as the top-rated commercial cleaning company in the area, instead of trying to catch up with their competitor in the residential cleaning category.

 

Of course, you can certainly become the top-rated company in your area in multiple categories, but you should first target categories that will get you the best results the fastest, and then move on to more specific categories.

 

How to get reviews

 

Once you’ve determined what category you want to become top-rated in and have set up listings for your business on third-party review sites using keywords related to that category, it’s time to start getting some reviews on those sites.

 

There’s really only one way to do this, and that means asking for them…and asking a lot.  As more and more companies catch on to how important reviews are, your customers will begin to get bombarded with requests for reviews.  Here’s a few tips about how to make it more likely that they will respond to your requests:

 
 
    • Have a specific point in your customer service cycle where you ask for a review in order to make it less likely that you’ll forget to do it.
 
    • Train yourself and your employees to always ask for a review whenever they get a compliment from a customer. Be specific about where you want the customer to leave a review, and give them the information they need to do it (such as a direct link to the site where you want the review sent in an email).
 
    • Especially target customers you have a long history and close relationship with. They’ll not only be more likely to leave you a review, but their review will probably be more descriptive.
 
    • In addition to your customers, ask strategic partners to leave you a review. This is 100% legitimate as long as they make it clear in the review that they are speaking not as a customer but from someone who has knowledge of your business from the perspective of a strategic partner.
 
    • Consider using an automated reputation marketing tool to help you collect reviews (Us and GetFiveStars.com are two examples of these).
 
 

Where to get reviews

 

The answer to where to get your customers to leave reviews for your business depends to a certain extent on your industry, your competitors, and where you are located, but for most businesses, the following guidelines are a good starting point.

 
 
    • Start by getting six 5-star reviews on your Google My Business page. This will make the average star rating show up on the page instead of just the number of reviews.  It will also make your Google listing more likely to show up as one of the three businesses displayed in the maps section of the local search results.  This will help kick-start your “top-rated” claim.
 
    • Next, get 5-10 reviews on your business Facebook page. This page often turns up just after or even before your website in search results when people search for your business by name.
 
    • After Google and Facebook, do some local searches for the keywords you are targeting and also some branded searches for your business, and see what directories if any turn up in search results. Get some reviews on these directories next and get 5-10 reviews on each.
 
 
 

Once you’ve done all of the above, then pick one or two sites to get the majority of your reviews on going forward.  It will be easier to brand yourself as the “top-rated” provider if you can point to a large number of reviews on one site vs having to average ratings and reviews across many sites (although this is still a valid strategy).

 

What to do if you’ve already been beaten

 

In some competitive industries or large metropolitan areas, if you are just now starting to gather ratings and reviews, you may be too late to the party to become the top-rated provider.  In that case, with a little bit of creativity you can still use social proof to help you get new customers:

 
 
    • Narrow your geographic focus: If someone else has nailed down the top-rated status for your industry in the closest major city, try targeting your suburb or even your neighborhood (if your business is located in a neighborhood that has a widely used name but is not formally recognized as a municipality).
 
    • Target a narrower category: If there is a service you provide that your highly-rated competitor doesn’t, get some reviews reflecting that and brand yourself as the #1-rated provider of that service.
 
    • Get reviews from a specific category of customer: Instead of branding yourself as the #1 rated provider of your service overall, you could brand yourself as the #1 choice of a specific type of customer after collecting reviews from that type of customer. For example, a cake bakery could get reviews from owners of bridal salons in the area and brand themselves as the “top-rated bakery for wedding cakes among local bridal salons”.
 
 

By following the tips listed above, within relatively short order you should be able to claim the title of “#1-rated” in at least one category.  Don’t wait too long to take action, though-for all you know, your closest local competitor could be reading this same blog post and planning their own top-rated marketing campaign!

 

kevin JordanKevin Jordan is a member of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network and the owner of Redpoint Marketing Consultants, the #1-rated marketing agency in Christiansburg, VA.  He’s also co-author of the award-winning book The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Local Lead Generation and the host of the top-rated video podcast The Small Business Marketing Minute Show. You can connect with Kevin on Twitter @RMCVirginia.

A Rio doctor had a blunt description of the water where Olympic athletes will be competing

guanabara bayBuda Mendes/Getty

With the Olympics just over a week away, concerns over the water quality in Rio are resurfacing.

 

It’s been known for some time that Rio’s waters are highly polluted, with one study finding it akin to raw sewage. Yet, even months later, after clean-up efforts, there doesn’t seem to be any improvement.

 

According to The New York Times, Rio officials and health experts say that not only have the clean-up efforts fallen short, the water conditions are worse than previously believed.

 

That’s leading to simple advice from health experts to Olympians: keep your mouth shut. Because as Dr. Daniel Becker, a local Rio pediatrician told the Times, the water is quite dirty.

 

Foreign athletes will literally be swimming in human crap, and they risk getting sick from all those microorganisms,” Dr. Becker said. “It’s sad but also worrisome.”

 

According to the Times, government and International Olympic Committee officials say the waters in Copacabana beach, where swimmers will race, are not that highly polluted. They also say that venues “with higher levels of human waste”, like the aforementioned Guanabara Bay, will not pose a risk to athletes getting limited exposure.

 

Nonetheless, this remains a problem, and it’s safe to say that any level of human waste in the water is too much human waste.

NOW WATCH: Soccer star Lionel Messi sentenced to 21 months in prison – here’s why he’ll most likely avoid jail time

 

 

Michael Bloomberg just summed up the election in one sentence

Michael BloombergAlex Wong/Getty Images

 

 

“Together, let’s elect a sane, competent person.”

 

It’s not a soaring campaign slogan, but it’s the strongest argument for voting for Hillary Clinton — and it brought laughs and cheers when Michael Bloomberg said it at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.

 

This is the most important election of my lifetime, and also the strangest, because one candidate clears basic bars of sanity and competence, and the other does not. Therefore, unlike most elections, this one is not about policy.

 

Periodically, I have gotten pitches during this campaign about the particulars of Trump’s policy proposals. Isn’t his tax cut too large, and his health care plan unworkable and full of magic asterisks?

 

The answer to these questions is yes, and I have a background in economic policy reporting, so normally I would write about them. But I’ve generally passed on writing these stories over the last few months because they don’t matter very much.

 

If Trump becomes president, an overly large tax cut will be the least of our problems. The primary issue in this election is Trump’s disqualifying lack of sanity and competence.

 

As a result, the necessary thought process for making peace with voting for Hillary Clinton is surprisingly similar for a moderate like Bloomberg (or me), or for a leftist who is crushed that Bernie Sanders did not get the nomination.

 

No, Clinton does not agree with us on everything. And no, we might not find her ethics record totally assuring.

 

But what’s our alternative? Are we going to hand the nuclear codes to an ignorant, hot-headed egomaniac with a relentless urge to pursue vendettas and an insatiable thirst for Vladimir Putin?

 

The options on the table are that and Hillary Clinton, who at least is sane and competent, and who does not pose a significant risk of the end of the American republic.

 

It’s a depressing choice to have to make – but it is also an easy one, which is why Bloomberg could sum it up so succinctly.

NOW WATCH: Here’s what we know about Trump’s youngest daughter, Tiffany

 

 

Why Snapchat Memories Will Be Pivotal (And Why Marketers Are So Excited)

If you could travel back in time to when Facebook or Instagram first started grabbing mainstream attention, knowing what you do now about the opportunity they hold for brands, you’d jump aboard, right?

 

Well, that opportunity is now on Snapchat.

 

Snapchat, a platform built on short ephemeral messages, seems destined to become a long-lasting social media powerhouse.

 

This future seems all the more realistic with the addition of Snapchat Memories – a way to share photos and videos captured outside of Snapchat to your Story. I’ve done some thinking about what this new addition means to Snapchat content and the future of the social network. My conclusion: All good things!

 

Keep reading to see what Memories is all about and how Snapchat is evolving into a must-have social media channel.

 

 

 

My teammate Brian recently shared his thoughts about Snapchat Memories in this video commentary. Would love to have you take a look!

 

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbufferapp%2Fvideos%2F1141263059279473%2F&show_text=0&width=560

 

What Are Snapchat Memories? Here’s an Overview

 

With Snapchat Memories, you can now, for the first time, share photos and videos captured outside of Snapchat to your Story.

 

That’s one of the key features of Memories – an update that fundamentally shifts Snapchat, taking the platform that has become famous for its disappearing content and moving it in a new direction.

 

Alongside the ability to share content from outside the app, Memories also enables users to save Snaps to a smart, searchable camera roll and enables re-sharing (and embellishing) of previously sent snaps.

 

Here’s the video that Snapchat put together for their announcement:

 

 

 
 

I’d love to show you more about how each of these new Memories features work.

 

1. Share any photo or video – from within the app or from anywhere else

 

Memories enable Snapchat users to tell bigger stories that incorporate more than just in-the-moment photos and video. Instead of purely spontaneous content, Snapchat can now be used to share much more thoughtfully – similar to the approach you’d take with platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where the content you post doesn’t disappear.

 

With the flexibility to share any photo or video you want through Snapchat – not just those you took within the app – the company has opened up a whole new way to create content.

 

memories

 

Users can access Memories by swiping up from the camera section of the app.

 

Saved photos and videos that are uploaded as Stories or Snaps have a timestamp to show when they were originally taken.

 

2. Save Snaps to a searchable camera roll

 

As Snapchat explains:

 

You can use Memories to create new Stories from Snaps you’ve taken, or even combine different Stories into a longer narrative. It’s fun to celebrate an anniversary or birthday by finding a few old Snaps and stringing them together into a new Story.

 

All saved photo and video Snaps plus your Stories appear in the main Memories tab, where you can also import all of your previously saved Snaps. From the Memories tab (which serves as an in-app camera roll), it’s super easy to find the Snap or Story you’re looking for in just a few seconds by typing keywords like “dog” or “Hawaii.”

 

memories-search

 

That’s the ins and outs of Snapchat Memories covered. Now, what does this mean? And how will it affect the way brands create content on Snapchat?

 

On the future of Snapchat: How Memories will affect Snapchat’s content

 

1. Memories raise the bar for quality Snaps

 

Political news site, The Hill, uses Snapchat to live-snap key political events and the larger world of politics and life in DC. They also have some recurring Snapchat series’. One, called Capitol Cribs, for instance, offers Snapchat tours of lawmaker offices.

 

Speaking to Nieman LabTaylor Lorenz, The Hill director of emerging platforms explained that Memories could lead to higher production qualities on Snapchat:

 

Memories will make producing this type of content easier in the sense that it doesn’t have to all be done in real time, but harder in that I think it will raise the bar for repackaged content. Now that we have a longer lead time on creating these evergreen-type stories, the quality of what we put out on our channel should improve.

 

Lifting the limit on content creation from what can only be created within the app has a huge upside when it comes to creating engaging stories for Snapchat.  Allowing people to upload pre-existing content also opens up the door for .

 

2. Memories make a longer shelf life for content

 

These days, content on social media has a very low shelf life.

 

None more so than Snapchat, where content disappears after 24 hours.

 

With the new features in Snapchat Memories (saving, reusing), this will make it easier for brands to justify budgets and invest in high-end creative for their Stories. Any photos or videos created for Snapchat can now be re-used, and content from other networks can also be re-published on the platform.

 

3. Memories may help Snapchat expand to a wider audience

 

In order to continue its impressive growth, it’s increasingly important for Snapchat to attract a broader (and older) audience. Currently, Snapchat dominates attention for 18 to 34-year-olds. Forty-one percent of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States use the app on any given day.

 

snapchat-demo

 

And the company is also making strides with older generations. According to numbers from comScore, 14% of smartphone users aged 35 and older use Snapchat, too.

 

This comes as no surprise, as Snapchat has put a lot of focus on becoming a more mainstream product and moving away from the stigma that it’s only for teenagers.

 

In 2015, Snapchat Discover made the network a media destination by providing publishers with a mobile-first way to share editorial content. And now, Memories is another strong move to help Snapchat become a complete distribution channel for individuals and brands alike.

 

Snapchat has huge, multi-billion dollar revenue potential, and as reported by TechCrunch, the company is looking to be making and as much as $1 billion in revenue during 2017.

 

Hitting this revenue target will rely greatly on Snapchat’s ability to spread its wings and continue to grow beyond its early adopters and increase its market share for the 35+ age range (and into the early majority). Much like when Facebook expanded from college students to parents (and now grandparents), Snapchat’s future growth and revenues could rely on its ability to pivot and engage the older generation and mass market.

 

snapchat-innovation

 

4. Memories can feed the evolution of Snapchat’s ad product

 

While Snapchat has reportedly achieved 150 million global daily active users (overtaking Twitter), the company is still a ways off Facebook’s 1 billion-plus user base.

 

And ads only work if there are users to engage with them.

 

With Memories, Snapchat now has a legitimate claim to be the go-to camera app for capturing and saving moments. Users in the early and late majority may also appreciate the ability to take a photo and video and worry about sharing later.

 

This shift could be seen as more user-friendly and easier to understand for the less digitally-native population and should help the company to build its user base, and in turn, boost its revenues.

 

The fact that Snapchat can now store photos and videos as Memories could also give it more insight into its user interests than before and more data should help Snapchat to improve its ad-targeting. Something that Facebook mastered on its way to becoming a dominant mobile advertising network.

 

Just last month (June 2016), Snapchat announced an advertising API – its biggest move yet towards becoming a pay-to-play network for large brands. The API will allow selected partners to sell Snapchat’s video ad inventory via an automated, auction-based system.

 

With the API roll-out and launch of Memories, Snapchat is getting serious about growth and revenue. And I don’t think it’ll be too long before we see a Facebook-style ‘ads-for-all’ platform, enabling brands of all sizes to capitalize on Snapchat’s highly-engaged audience.

 

Only time will tell how Snapchat’s ad product will evolve, but one thing’s for sure when it comes to revenue, Snapchat is just getting started…

 

Why now is the time to go all-in on Snapchat

 

At Buffer, we believe there are two key periods of opportunity for brands on social platforms:

 
 
    1. Organic
 
    1. Paid
 
 

We call it the law of the double-peak:

 

 

Right now, Snapchat is growing towards the mainstream and there’s still a ton of opportunity to stand out and build an audience organically. Meaning you don’t need ads or paid distribution to grab attention.

 

Think of it as Instagram in 2014-2015 or Facebook in 2009-2010.

 

Great content works on Snapchat, and you don’t need a huge budget.

 

In a year or so, things may be different. Snapchat is rumored to be working on a Facebook-like algorithm that would curate Stories and show users content it feels they’ll enjoy most at the top of their feed, rather than displaying each Story in chronological orders as the app does now. This, coupled with more brands and individuals vying for attention on the platform could make it harder to break through and get people to open your Snaps.

 

I’m confident when I say Snapchat will be around for the long haul. The ephemeral messaging app loved by teenagers could have been a short-lived fad, but what Snapchat is building has far, far more longevity and opportunity for brands of all sizes.

 

Your thoughts

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Snapchat Memories and the future of the platform.

 

How do you see Memories affecting your use of Snapchat? And how do you feel ads will affect the platform?

 

It’d be great to hear from you in the comments.