There was plenty of exciting news this week, with great opportunities for businesses and creators. With new shopping features announced during Google’s I/O conference, a free, three-day live session hosted by Instagram to develop creator’s careers and more. Keep reading for other top stories including grants for small Australian businesses and free courses for women looking to get into the tech industry.
Top Tech, Digital and Business News from 17 – 21 May 2021
Monday, 17 May 2021
The Queensland Government has announced several new small business grants including:
Small Business — Business Basics Grant
- Launches 17 May and applications open 31 May 2021.
- $5,000 grants.
Small Business — Business Boost Grant
- Launches mid-July and applications open late-July 2021.
- Grants up to $15,000.
Follow us for the latest updates and visit https://www.business.qld.gov.au for more information.
Free Google High-Quality Photo Storage to End 1 June 2021
If you regularly use the Google Cloud to store photos, you’re going to have to pay for new high-quality photo storage above 15GB as of 1 June 2021.
Existing photos will not count towards your 15GB, but if you exceed your free limit, you’ll have to subscribe to a Google One plan to access more storage space.
Google One plans start from $2.49 a month for 100GB of storage, so will still be an affordable option for businesses to store and share photos.
New Data Reveals 20% of Businesses Yet to Utilise Critical Digital Tools in Fear of Cost
New research from MYOB has revealed 20% of small businesses are being left behind in using critical digital tools in fear of the cost outweighing the benefits.
Of the businesses who digitised during the pandemic, 85% said it helped them keep their doors open, while 39% have said they’re more productive and 34% said they were more profitable.
With the Federal Budget announcing several support lines for businesses and a digital focus, it gives small businesses a chance to catch up and compete.
Tuesday, 18 May 2021
Instagram is rumoured to be testing the ability to upload posts to the platform via the desktop version of the app.
This new posting feature would be beneficial to marketers and others wishing to centralise their uploading and posting processes.
The new desktop posting feature is meant to include the same features as the app, including filters and image formatting settings. However, while there’s no Story or Reels posting features for desktop at this stage, it’s also rumoured that users can expect to see IGTV upload options come soon after the feed post option launches.
The social voice-based platform Clubhouse is now available for Android users in Australia via the Google Play Store.
However, after downloading the app, users still can only access it via an invite from a current Clubhouse user, or place their names on a waitlist.
Users can talk, listen and learn in ‘rooms,’ a feature many social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are now trying to develop for their own platforms.
Free Online Tech Course for Australian Women
- SheDares is a free online course to help women upskill in the tech industry.
- The program includes four 45 minute online modules to help participants understand and adopt new skills.
Labor’s Loan for 2,000 Uni Students
- Labor plans to give 2,000 uni students and recent graduates loans up to $11,300 to cover the costs of an accelerated program to launch their own startups.
- Young entrepreneurs would spend a year working with a university or private sector incubator to create their startup idea, with mentoring on financing, commercialisation and business management.
Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Proposed amendments to the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 will allow skilled workers to register for an occupation in their home state and use said licence to legally carry out works in other states.
This will help trade workers throughout Australia be able to go wherever there is demand for their skill, creating and filling more jobs.
You can keep track of the process of the Mutual Recognition Amendment Bill 2021 on the Parliamentary Business — Bills and Legislation Results web page.
Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, has kicked off with some big announcement for the tech giant, including:
- Google Maps users will soon be able to see a Live View of useful info, such as restaurants, shops, straight from the Maps feature. It will also show reviews, how busy the venue is, etc.
- Google Maps will soon also show the best open places for coffee, breakfast, etc. relevant to the time, day and more.
- In search results, users will be able to select a feature called ‘About This Result’ to see more about the publisher of the content. This hopes to educate users on reliable info sources.
- Google Workspace will soon include a new all-in-one collaboration-orientated document called Smart Canvas. It will help make remote meetings, pitches, consults and more simpler.
With more news to come, it’s a huge reminder to businesses to be actively working on their Google SEO and Google My Business.
Facebook will be launching ‘Live Shopping Fridays’ this Friday, 22 May 2021, utilising popular beauty and fashion brands — like Sephora, Clinique, Bobbi Brown and more — to draw users to the event.
Viewers of the live streams will be able to comment and ask questions directly to the brand, to which the brand can respond to. This is on top of being able to click on products displayed in the stream to learn more, add to cart and purchase without leaving the stream.
The event will be tested with U.S. audiences, with hopes of being released in Australia depending on its success.
Thursday, 20 May 2021
Google has made more exciting announcements in their annual I/O conference, including new eCommerce tools.
- Google has expanded their partnership with Shopify, which will make it easier for merchants using Shopify to have their products featured across Google.
- Shopping Graph: Google’s AI-enhanced shopping model to better understand merchant’s dynamic products, reviews, inventory data and product details to show customers products which are currently available.
- Product discovery via image search: Google is working on giving users the ability to click on a photo and see potential product matches. For example, selecting a photo of a famous sports player may show product matches for the shoes they’re wearing.
There is currently no set date for the release of these updates, but we’ll keep you updated when they roll out.
Screen Australia’s First Nations Department has teamed up with Instagram Australia to launch a creators fund to boost diversity across social media platforms.
15 First Nations creators will be chosen to join the program, inviting them to join training sessions and workshops covering topics like product, creativity and safety, in addition to social media strategy and digital production.
The creators will also receive $7,600 in production funding to assist them with creating Reels and IGTV videos for their Instagram account.
Instagram’s Hosting Three Days of Live Courses to Help Creators Develop Their Careers
Instagram has announced their ‘Creator Week’ initiative to give creators and business owners insights and tips on the platform. Running from Tuesday, 8 June to Thursday, 10 June 2021, the event will help aspiring creators develop their careers with Instagram and Facebook tools.
The social media giant will host a variety of live professional development programs for free and accessible to anyone on the platform via their Instagram account @creators over the three days.
Friday, 21 May 2021
For the first time in four years, Twitter users will be able to apply for a blue verification tick from today.
Displaying a verified tick helps users know you’re a legitimate, active user with valuable information to share. This is very important for businesses on Twitter.
To apply for the tick, eligible accounts should find a ‘Request Verification’ option in their Twitter account settings.
Google Page Experience Update to Also Impact Desktop Pages — Impacting 98% of Websites
As Google Product Manager Jeffrey Jose announces the Google Page Experience Update (coming mid-June 2021) at Google I/O, Search Engine Land has said 98% of websites will be impacted by the update.
The information shows 98% of websites do not provide a good page experience, which will very likely see a drop in rankings if they are not optimised by mid-June.
But, how can website owners get prepared? Localsearch would be more than happy to run a free SEO audit and help you know what you need to do to get ready. Drop us a DM for more info.
$1,500 incentive + a $250 travel voucher for moving more than 100km to work in Queensland?
The Queensland Government has announced its new ‘Work in Paradise’ initiative to encourage workers to fill the demand for particular industries north of Mackay and west of Toowoomba.
- Would be required to travel 100km to fill a designated role in the eligible areas.
- Receive $1,500 and a $250 travel voucher.
- Program is open for 12 months from 20 May 2021.
For more info, visit https://workinparadise.initiatives.qld.gov.au.