This Week’s Tech, Digital and Business News: 19 – 23 April 2021

Looking for this weeks news for small businesses in Australia? Keep reading to find our highlights for this week's tech, digital and business news. This week, exciting new advertising opportunities and funds for Aussie businesses were announced, among other top stories.

Top Tech, Digital and Business News from 19 – 23 April 2021

Monday, 19 April 2021

Premium Canva Users Can Now Schedule Organic Instagram Posts

Canva has released Instagram scheduling for its premium users, giving them the ability to design, schedule and post organically on Instagram all from Canva. This feature will make organic content creation and scheduling a smoother process for users, since Instagram doesn’t have built-in scheduling options itself.

Scheduling posts through Canva can be done for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and Tumblr. Canva Pro users can link one Instagram Business account to one Canva Pro account to post organic content.

Job Ads Hit Record High, SEEK Data Shows

Data from SEEK’s Employment Report showed March 2021 had the highest number of job ads posted in a month in the platform’s entire 23-year history. Australia’s unemployment rate also continues to decrease, falling to 5.6% in March.

With more jobs available, there is a trend of less applications per job, leading to businesses struggling to fill job positions. Job seekers are also more cautious and seeking job security as a result of the pandemic, with many shifting industry.

LinkedIn Announces New Profile Features

LinkedIn is adding new features for profiles to allow users to better display their career journey and personality. Features include:

  • Cover Story: Add a video Cover Story to your profile to better engage your connections and recruiters. 
  • Pronouns: Users can add their preferred pronouns to their profile.
  • Creator mode: Available in the user’s profile dashboard, creator mode allows users to add hashtags to show what topics they primarily post about and move Featured and Activity sections to the top of their profile. 
  • Live: Live Broadcasters on LinkedIn can now see their Live broadcast appear on their profile background when they begin streaming to boost their broadcast visibility.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Facebook is Expanding In-App Audio Features

Facebook yesterday announced new in-app audio features, including audio content creation tools and monetisation opportunities. The features help the platform compete against new audio-based social app, Clubhouse.

New features to roll out in the next few months include:

  • Audio creation tools, including speech-to-text, voice morphing, ability to mix audio tracks, voice filters and more.
  • Soundbites: Create Soundbites by exporting your audio creation.
  • Podcasts.
  • Live Audio Rooms: This feature will work in Groups, Messenger and will be available for public figures. Creators using live audio will also be able to convert their recordings into podcasts or take short clips to make Soundbites.
  • Monetisation for audio creators: Fans will be able to donate to causes they care about or support their favourite creators through Stars. Creators can also charge for access to a Live Audio Room via a single purchase or subscription. Facebook is also introducing an Audio Creator Fund to kickstart Soundbites by supporting new audio creators.

Samsung Launches New Telecommunications Networks Operations in Australia

Samsung Electronics Australia is launching their new telecommunications networks operation in Australia, called the Samsung Networks Business. The network provider will support Australia’s digital transformation, offering 5G solutions to the market.

It comes after their success in other markets like New Zealand and Canada.

Facebook Expands Relationship with Spotify

Facebook has expanded its relationship with audio giant Spotify to create a new music feature called Project Boombox. The new in-app audio player will allow Facebook users to stream music and podcasts hosted on Spotify while using the Facebook app.

This announcement comes as Facebook also announced multiple new audio features, showing the social media giant’s efforts into audio. The new audio player could launch sooner than the other audio features Facebook announced, which are only months away.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Scott Morrison Announces a $120 Million Deregulation Package for Businesses

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed a $120 million deregulation package for businesses, helping cut the red tape business owners need to go through when hiring staff.

The four-year package will be included in the upcoming May budget as part of the Australian Government’s ongoing COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

Facebook Now Allows You to Export Your Posts to Google Docs, Blogger or WordPress.com

Facebook has announced users can now export their posts and notes to a number of third-party services, such as Google Docs, Blogger and WordPress.

You can find the export prompts under ‘Your Facebook Information’ and ‘Transfer Your Information’, which you’ll then be asked to re-enter your password for security.

The feature supports rumours Facebook is creating a text-based newsletter platform for creators to better inform their audiences.

ATO Creating Single Digital Inbox for Businesses to Receive Government Emails

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is planning to create a single digital inbox to allow registered businesses to receive any correspondence from the Australian Government in one place.

It’s part of a $480 million overhaul of the government business registers, and will help create a more secure way for the government to pass on information.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Businesses Accounts on Instagram & Facebook Will Be Able to Schedule Stories

Users with a business account on Instagram and Facebook will soon be able to schedule stories on both platforms.

The long-awaited feature and other new options, including the ability to manage photo albums and save draft posts, will be accessible via Facebook Business Suite.

Currently, businesses can create, schedule and publish posts using the Business Suite, with Story scheduling now available in the same process on desktop by selecting ‘Create Story’.

12-Month Roadshow for Regional Indigenous Businesses in Townsville

Next week, Indigenous entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators in Townsville will launch at the Townsville One Business Indigenous Business Expo. Indigenous businesses will be able to connect with government, corporate, council and community buyers.

Ten Indigenous businesses have gone through intensive pitch training, with the expo starting off with a pitching session. The businesses and entrepreneurs will present their business to buyers and the community, in addition to a trade show, which will allow potential buyers and the local community to meet the businesses and learn more about their products or services.

Businesses and organisations wanting to support the emerging entrepreneurs are invited to attend the expo.

Instagram & Facebook Release New Features to Combat Online Bullying

Social media giants Instagram and Facebook will release new features to combat bullying in the next few weeks.

One of the features will be automated filtering to control direct message requests. Direct messages with offensive language and emojis will be automatically filtered out, so users don’t have to see them. However, users have to turn the feature on manually and they can add a custom list of words, phrases or emojis they find offensive.

If a user blocks unwelcome messages from another user, the platform will then block messages from every Facebook or Instagram account linked to that user’s profile.

Friday, 23 April 2021

Facebook Starts Testing Instagram Reels Ads

Facebook will begin testing ads on Instagram Reels in Australia, Germany, India and Brazil, bringing new opportunities for advertisers and creators. Ads can be up to 30 seconds long and users will have the ability to skip ads.

Advertisers will be able to choose from a variety of categories of video content to place their ads in, such as fitness and workout videos or pets and animal videos.

The social media giant also announced they’ll start testing sticker ads for Facebook Stories in the next few weeks, allowing brands to create stickers for creators to use.

Google Cloud Makes Sustainability Pivot on Earth Day

Google Cloud announced their region picker tool on Earth Day, moving towards sustainability for its customers by allowing them to choose which Google Cloud region they run on.

This feature also allows companies to see their carbon-free energy score for Google Cloud regions. They can also choose locations optimised for lower carbon emissions, taking into account factors like carbon footprint, price and latency.

Besides the new tool, Google Cloud also revealed they are carbon neutral today and have a goal of running on carbon-free energy 24/7 at all their data centres by 2030.

Twitter Announces They’ve Started Testing Professional Profiles

Twitter announced yesterday they launched a test of their new Professional Profiles. The new profile for businesses, creators, publishers, non-profits or other accounts using the platform for work, allows more details to be displayed on their profile.

Businesses will be able to display their:

  • Website.
  • Followers and following number.
  • About section, which includes their address, operating hours and a map viewers can click to get directions to the business, in addition to a contact button customers can click to message the business via Twitter.
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