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Net Briefs - February 2017

Posted on 2.02.2017


Freelance Isn’t Free (in New York)

Big changes are on the horizon for freelancers in New York City and those that employ them. The “Freelance Isn’t Free ACT” (or FIFA), which officially goes into effect in May 2017 (leaving employers just a few months to ensure they’re in compliance) requires written contracts for freelance projects worth $800 or more over a six-month period. The law will allow freelancers to file complaints with the Department of Labor Standards against non- and late-paying clients as well as institute penalties against those found guilty of nonpayment.

Digital Natives Not Hip to Ad Blocking

Despite the very real concerns about ad blocking’s impact on publisher revenue, younger audiences may not be using the tech after all. Recently, eZanga conducted research across 1,200 members of Gen Z (post millennials) to discern their digital and technology consumption habits. eZanga found that only three percent of respondents use ad blockers, yet 65 percent of Gen Z view more ads on their mobile devices than any other screen.

Women Buy from Influencers

What makes social media influencer posts successful? Apparently, an abundance of female followers. Media platform Bloglovin recently surveyed some 20,000 women and more than one-half said they bought a product or service due to an influencer’s social media post and 63 percent of participants even said they were not bothered by advertising disclosure tags (good news for brands leveraging this strategy).

+ Discover related social media news and practical insights in Website Magazine’s Social Media Mavens channel on the Web at


Funded: Customer personalization engine SmarterHQ announced the closing of a $13 million funding round. Spring Lake Equity led the financing round with participation from previous investors Simon Venture Group and Battery Ventures.

Funded: Magento Commerce announced that Beijing-based Hillhouse Capital will make a $250 million investment in the company to fuel Magento’s growth strategy. Hillhouse is partnering with the Magento management team and the Permira funds (which backed Magento’s separation from eBay in Nov. 2015 and will continue to own a majority stake in the company).

Acquired: Adobe has formally announced the completion of its TubeMogul acquisition, a cross-channel video advertising platform that enables brands and agencies to plan and buy video advertising across desktops, mobile, streaming devices and TVs.


Majority of Businesses Want Chatbots

There are many benefits of using chatbots for support and most businesses recognize that. A new survey from Oracle, in fact, reveals 80 percent of respondents either already used or plan to use chatbots (the interactive functionality within apps, live chat, email and SMS which behaves much like humans) by 2020. The survey also indicated that business decision-makers are turning to the broader umbrella of automation technologies (which includes chatbots) for positions and processes such as sales, marketing and customer service.

Reporting on Data Breaches

Security is top of mind among enterprises but a good percentage of companies don’t abide by the rules they put in place to handle such incidents when they arrive. A survey from security solution Balabit revealed that 75 percent of organizations set fixed time limits for investigating potential security incidents, but 44 percent reported missing internal or external deadlines for investigating or reporting a breach in the last year – and seven percent said a missed deadline had resulted in serious consequences.

Got 404 Errors? It’s Probably Not Your Fault.

The dreaded “page not found” message that Internet users encounter are the bane of every great Webmaster, but Google’s John Mueller recently indicated that most of the 404 error codes Google identifies are often not a Webmaster’s fault; rather, they are the result of others linking incorrectly. Since 404 errors don’t cause ranking issues, they should not really be a top concern with the exception of how they impact user experience.


4 Design Elements to Keep Above the Fold


While print and digital marketing are very distinct in terms of design, there is some crossover specifically when it comes to keeping key elements “above the fold.” Web designers would be wise to master the concept for better results.

How to Tidy up Your Site for SEO


As brands plan for all the great things they will do in the coming months, they should not forget to take some extra time to review and improve what they already have in place – starting with a little website maintenance.

5 Reasons You’ll Fail at Blogging


Managing a weblog could seem like a fool’s errand these days with all the flashy, real-time, click-bait driven content. Success with blogging today means concentrating on those things that ultimately matter the most.


Best Photo Apps to Try


Photo apps have come a long way in that users can do some pretty advanced editing straight from their phones and designers can use them to easily adjust elements that used to take more time to finish. We’ve curated a list of the best photo apps, whether you’re a newbie or a pro, for managing a brand’s social media accounts.


Check out what has the digital community all abuzz with Website Magazine’s #WebTechWatch series, a monthly roundup profiling emerging and established technologies and some of the most useful solutions for today’s Web workers. Submit your own recommendations by tweeting us at @WebsiteMagazine.

QnA Maker by Microsoft: Build, train and publish a Q&A bot based on FAQs

Planiro: Project collaboration platform for teams

Docdown: Manage Web content with Google Docs

Zittly: Customer experience feedback surveys through chatbots

Julius: Influencer marketing platform / InvoiceBus: Send invoices and receipts for Stripe charges

Micro Animations: Ready-made animated gifs for use in prototypes

Kuoll JavaScript Tracer: See how users crashed a Web application

UserEngage: Marketing automation solution

Baremetrics Trial Insights: SaaS trial and lead velocity metrics

Today's Top Picks for Our Readers:
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