Big Changes At Twitter …And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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

1 – Twitter is planning to big changes.

Though not confirmed, Twitter plans to begin charging users $8 per month for paid verification. The goal of the change is to turn Twitter’s optional, monthly $4.99 subscription into a pricier subscription that verifies users as well. These are just a few of the many changes now-owner Elon Musk is planning in the months to come, including enhanced content moderation and a move towards a more subscription-based model for all users. (Source: BBC News)

Why this is important for your business:

Millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners use Twitter around the world and many of us have been watching recent events closely as Elon Musk has assumed ownership. Musk has been cleaning house and working on new policies for content moderation and revenue streams. It’s obvious that his move to a more subscription-based model and away from advertisers that could get jumpy at the “free speech” changes is needed to boost the company’s revenue streams while still allow its community to have their say. There are bets-elon-musk-will-turn-twitter-into-a-super-app.html” target=”_blank” class=”color-link” title=”” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=”ExternalLink:” aria-label=”also rumors”>also rumors he’ll turn the platform into a “super app” like China’s WeChat that can support mobile payments, banking and communications. If your business uses Twitter expect to see a drop in followers as bots are erased. Also expect to pay to play. But if Musk succeeds in turning the platform into a better place for conversations and news then these changes could increase credibility and in turn make Twitter a better place for free speech and free markets.

2 – Shopify acquired Remix to bolster its storefront design tools.

Shopify recently acquired developer tools platform Remix in an effort to enhance its tools for storefront design. Remix is a full-stack web framework aimed at leveraging native browser features and distributed systems. Remix is compatible with several public cloud services such as Cloudflare Workers, Vercel, Netlify, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services. Shopify plans to use Remix across several projects. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

This is interesting news for storefront developers of Shopify that want more open-source tools for their projects. According to TechCrunch, “one of Remix’s key features is prefetching – the framework can prefetch elements of a web page in parallel, including buttons and forms, before a user clicks on a link to minimize page loading.” Shopify believes that Remix will make it “easier for developers to deliver lightning fast, resilient experiences on the web.”

3 – JPMorgan Chase wants to disrupt the rent check with its payments platform for landlords and tenants.

JPMorgan Chase is rolling out a pilot platform to help digitize rent payments for property managers and owners. The new payments platform will automate invoicing and receipts of all rents that are paid online. Although digital payments have increased over the last several years, about 78 percent of rent payments are still done using paper checks. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

I’ve always been a believer that, over time, banks will take over the accounting space and replace many of the current players with its own applications. This story is a good example. The property management industry is still stuck in the ‘70’s when it comes to technology. 78 percent of payments are still done with paper checks? What? Cloud accounting applications have struggled to push customers forward, but failed. JPMorgan Chase’s platform could be an answer. And if the bank succeeds in expanding these tools for this industry, there are other service-based industries that could also use an upgrade.

4— This Walmart-backed fintech plans to test banking services in the coming weeks according to sources.

Fintech company One — which is backed by Walmart — plans to roll out checking accounts for beta testing to a small percentage of Walmart’s online customers and thousands of its employees. One’s goal is to provide these accounts to the 1.6 million Walmart employees within the first year after rollout before introducing broader services. The fintech also plans to grow investment and loan offerings. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Why this is important for your business:

Another reason why I believe banks will ultimately get into the accounting business is because other businesses – like big box retailers – are slowly eating away at their consumer banking services. If Walmart succeeds with this fintech project I would expect similar offerings being made available to its suppliers and partners in the future.

5 – HR employee benefits platform Fringe recently raised $17 million to offer customizable perks.

HR tech startup Fringe raised $17 million in a recent funding round. The company enables its corporate customers to provide customizable benefits to employees, giving staff the option to choose the plans and perks that meet their life stage and needs the most. Fringe plans to use the funding toward growing its team from 72 to over 100 employees by the end of next month. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Fringe is a very popular platform with many of my clients because it offers a flexible way to provide employee benefits ranging from Uber rides to mental health services. Workers love it because they get to choose the benefits they want. My clients like it because Fringe makes it easier for them to offer many different benefits from one resource, which cuts down on administration and oversight.

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