Platforms&Sites

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ebay

Even though e-commerce sales grew at 14.6 percent year over year in 2015 to a grand total of $341.7 billion, it still accounted for only 7.3 percent of total sales. The segment has a long way to go before it catches up to brick and mortar stores, which is why companies are continuously trying to integrate both worlds so consumers can shop without much differentiation.

The expansion of the eBay Valet program to more than 1,600 FedEx Office stores looks to do that by making it more convenient for businesses to ship their items without any hassles.

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You’ve heard about bad bots and the havoc they wreak for website owners, but the Facebook chat bots just launched for its Messenger app are the good kind.

Facebook is opening up its Messenger platform in beta to allow chat bots into the application. These bots will let businesses deliver more services for their customers through the developer and business ecosystem of Facebook. This move is one way for the social media giant to integrate more functionalities into its Messenger platform, while at the same time keeping up with chat competitors that have already deployed their own bots.

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website-builder

In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible for a small business to succeed without establishing some sort of digital presence. Unfortunately, not every would-be entrepreneur is a digital guru — and not every start-up can afford to spend money on a shiny, new website.

Thankfully, there are plenty of free website builders out there designed to arm small business owners with all the basic tools they need to get up-and-running and turn a few heads online.

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Twitter has plans to stop counting photos and links within the 140-character limit allowed for each tweet, reports Bloomberg. Removing photos and links from tweets will allow tweets with media to contain more text.

At the current time, photos take up 24 characters and links take up 23 characters, eliminating 47 available characters when both are included in a tweet. Twitter is reportedly introducing the change to give Twitter users “more flexibility” after exploring methods that would allow users to include more text in tweets.

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Apple is still trying to figure out how to improve the usability of iTunes. Today, the company released an update that tweaked the interface a bit, adding a sidebar and media selection tool that make navigating through libraries a bit easier.

That sidebar menu is the biggest and most useful change, bringing back a UI feature from older versions of the app. From there, you can easily edit playlists, drag and drop songs to build playlists and hide or expand parts of the menu.

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Back in November 2015, Google dove into the world of Pinterest-esque photo bookmarking, allowing users to save photos and organize them in folders directly from their mobile browsers. Building upon this service, Google recently announced that it was bringing the Pinterest-like service for saving photos, articles, and other online content to the desktop.

“Today, we’re making it easier to stay organized across more devices: now, you can save images to Google from your desktop,” Google’s software engineer Mark Colbert said in a post.

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youtube messenger

YouTube is adding messenger features to its mobile app so you can talk with friends as you watch videos. They call it “native sharing” because you share videos within the app and invite friends into conversation threads.

There’s some logic to it: people do share videos on other platforms and discuss them in other apps, so why not keep the conversation in one place? But it’s also a feature literally no one asked for or expected. It’s rolling out today to a small number of users.

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Netflix’s apps for both Android and iOS have already received updates that bring with them a new and very useful feature. There’s a new option to be found in the App Settings section, namely Cellular Data Usage.

This basically lets you change the bitrate of your video streams for when you’re watching Netflix over your mobile data connection. There are a few options to pick from. The default is Automatic, which is around 600Kb/s, or three hours of streaming per gigabyte of data used.

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PayPal, one of the world’s largest internet payment services, recently announced that its PayPal Credit feature is now available in the UK. This simple addition to a standard account allows users to purchase items on interest-free credit for up to four months.

We’ll show you how to set up and use PayPal Credit so that you can buy that shiny new smartphone, laptop, or tablet that you’ve had your eye on.

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