Net Briefs [April 2018]

Highlights from around the Web as featured in Website Magazine's April 2018 edition:

Digital Salaries
The current hiring rate in the marketing/technology realm has never been greater. While there's always the looming threat of automation replacing many positions within the industry, as it stands now there is plenty of work to go around and companies are increasingly willing to pay a premium for premium talent. Staffi ng agency Onward Search, which provides services for those in digital, creative and marketing positions, released its 2018 Salary Guide recently and it shows that salaries have risen an average of 3.5 percent across many industries and professions over the previous year.

Further Reading: IT Work-Life Balance

Rise of the Machines
Google has released a new AdSense format that will likely take much of the burden off of publishers trying to fi gure out their monetization problem. The company's new Auto Ads use machine learning to make "smart placement and monetization" decisions on behalf of publishers - and it may just signal that true automation in advertising has arrived. What's unique about the format is that the ads are shown only when they are likely to perform well and provide a good user experience and will identify available ad space and place new ads on its own.

Further Reading: Google Could Be In Trouble

P2P Lending Among Millennials
Businesses routinely take out loans of all sorts to keep their operation running and manage their cash flow (an existing line of credit for example). On the whole, millennial owners appear to be more likely than average to leverage lending in general, but they are apparently less likely to have their line of credit at their primary business bank. An estimated 27 percent of U.S. small businesses, in fact, used online alternative lenders in 2017 (also known peer-to-peer lenders or marketplace lending platforms) according to Mercator Advisory Group's latest report, Business Banking Services: Keeping Up with Millennial Owners. That's down slightly from previous years, but Millennials specifically are twice as likely to use alternative lending to fi nance their business.

Further Reading: Managing SSH Keys

Blockchain & Borderless Currency
Rakuten has announced its plans to introduce a blockchain-based loyalty system (based on its acquisition in early 2015 of integrated bitcoin wallet service Bitnet Technologies) that will take existing the Rakuten Points offering, turn those loyalty points into a cryptocurrency all its own called Rakuten Coin. The new development is being positioned as a "borderless currency" that could be transferred and used anywhere Rakuten customers access the service. The current loyalty system, Rakuten Super Points, has awarded more than 1 trillion Super Points to users since the program's launch 15 years ago, totaling $9.1 billion.

Further Reading: AI in Advertising

Content Intelligence
Adobe is rolling out updates to its Experience Manager solution that will enable enterprises to proactively engage in the process of content personalization. The solution's new intelligent content capabilities, which make use of Adobe Sensei (the company's artificial intelligence and machine learning framework), make it possible to deliver content that adapts to individual users' behavior and preferred channels. The system will enable users of the system to discover images and customize them for different screens, personalize layouts and messaging for individuals, and adapt forms for a better experience.

Further Reading: Product Managers in Focus

Multi-Cloud the Preferred Strategy for Enterprises
Cloud usage by enterprises large and small continues to grow at an absolutely phenomenal rate but that doesn't necessarily mean companies are making the best use of their spend and investment according to RightScale's recently released "2018 State of the Cloud Survey." 20 percent of enterprises (companies with more than 1,000 employees), according to the RightScale research, plan to more than double public cloud spend and an additional 17 percent plan to increase cloud spend 50 to 100 percent. Overall, 71 percent of enterprises will grow public cloud spend more than 20 percent. Rightscale's research also indicated that among enterprises with more than 1,000 employees, 26 percent say they spend more than $6 million a year in the public cloud and another 26 percent say they spend between $1.2 million and $6 million a year.

Further Reading: The Death of Spreadsheets

POPULAR WITH Triggered Email Campaigns to Increase Engagement & Boost ROI
What if there was a way to create a personalized customer experience and improve the performance metrics that marketers are judged on?

+ Google Featured Snippets Now Support Multifaceted Questions
The search engine is adjusting its search results because the questions consumers ask often mean different things.

How to Create Amazing User Experiences
Elaborate visual design and overly complex software design do not translate into usability.

+ Snapchat Shows Elite Social Creators Some Data Love
Mobile messaging app Snapchat is rolling out some new analytics capabilities that will be appealing to social influencers and advertisers.


+ Behavioral biometric authentication and threat detection technology solution BioCatch has closed $30 million in growth funding led by Maverick Ventures.

+ Atom Tickets, an app that combines online movie ticket booking with social features has raised a $60 million Series C led by Fidelity Investments.

+ Fishbrain, a mobile app and social network for sport fi shing, is disclosing $13.5 million in Series B funding. The round is led by B Capital Group.

+ S&P Global announced it will acquire Kensho, a startup concentrating on AI and analytics for fi nancial institutions in a deal valued at $550 million.

+ Data analytics provider Splunk has acquired security automation technology developer Phantom Cyber for a reported $350 million.

+ Salesforce is expected to acquire enterprise ecommerce solution CloudCraze, which to date has raised upwards of $30 million in funding.