Tag Archives: apps

Can an AI business advisor tell you how to run your business Amastra Eileen Brown

Can an AI business advisor tell you how to run your business?

There are over 500 million small to medium business owners (SMBs) on the planet. Only one percent of these owners have access to a business advisor. But that could soon change with this new AI app.

A team of young entrepreneurs and software programmers spread between New York, Cebu, and Sydney have launched the world’s first artificially intelligent (AI)business advisor.

The free app, called BRiN, is an AI chatbot that helps business owners to scale. It uses artificial intelligence to create a customized learning program for every user. It is capable of providing personalized education and human-like support to every entrepreneur on the planet, at the same time.

Early results seem impressive, with over 10,000 business owners signing up for the service within the first 3 months, according to the company.

The company interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs, about their preferences for current learning models. It then modelled trends based on these responses.

The app has 1000 business videos over 80 topic categories in video and audio formats. There are titles such as “Should I leave corporate and become an entrepreneur?”, “How to plan out your website in 45 minutes”, and “A five minute tech byte on Mailchimp.”

The app will know the answer to more than 10,000 business questions. The founders expect that later in 2017 users will be able to connect BRiN through APIs to other business applications such as Salesforce, MailChimp, QuickBooks, and Google Analytics.

In terms of business models, the company has a goal to get 100,000 business owners using BRiN over the next 12 months, before the company introduces video ads, in-app purchases, and a monthly subscription for premium features and content.

Founder and CEO, Dale Beaumont said: “Chatbots are great at holding a conversation, asking questions and finding out what a user needs. However, when it comes to the solution, chat-style interfaces are completely inefficient when it comes to dispensing actual advice.”

When asked if their name has anything to do with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Beaumont explains the link is pure coincidence.

“Following in the footsteps of Siri, Cortana and IBM’s Watson, we wanted a name that was personal, feminine, short and easy to remember. So quite simply we searched ‘Four Letter Girls Names’. That’s when we found BRiN and we loved it.


Facebook introduces explicit sharing for apps to reduce Feed spam

Facebook has started to restrict those annoying apps that auto-post to news feeds. Now you have to specifically share those posts that you want to share. This means that there will no longer be those annoying posts from apps such as Spotify or images from Instagram that flood your news feed. Apps now need specific, explicit  permissions in order to be shared.

The News Feed algorithm has changed to allow priority of posts that have been explicitly shared. Implicit sharing was a good idea but there were few apps that were written well enough to make engaging content in users news feeds.

The number of implicitly shared stories has declined as users have marked posts implicitly made by apps as spam. Less users marked posts as spam as implicit post visibility declined.  Apps in your news feed will only appear if they have been explicitly shared by your Facebook friends.

In a blog post Facebook explained its rationale for the change:

We’ve found that stories people choose to explicitly share from third party apps are typically more interesting and get more engagement in News Feed than stories shared from third party apps without explicit action. We’ve also heard that people often feel surprised or confused by stories that are shared without taking an explicit action. In the coming months, we will continue to prioritize explicitly shared stories from apps in News Feed over implicitly shared stories.

Developers now have the option to add dialog boxes to their apps such as the Message Dialog, or the Send to Mobile option.  The Message dialog embeds content from within a conversation thread on Facebook Messenger.

The Send to Mobile feature enables developers to encourage more app downloads.

The option adds the functionality for the mobile app to be installed when people log into the app website using Facebook credentials. 

If users request the app then the link to the app is sent to the mobile phone with a notification.

Clicking on the notification sends the user to the Apple App store or the Android Google Play store to download and install the app.

This is a good move by Facebook. Facebook is all too aware that users need to remain engaged with the Facebook page in order to see the advertising. If users are flooded with spammy apps implicitly sharing everything from the app, then users will turn away from engaging with Facebook. This could lead to a revenue drop – something which Facebook is determined to avoid.

Eileen Brown is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Connect with Eileen on Twitter and or contact her to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

Facebook launches the app centre

Facebook has announced that it is rolling our the app centre in the US with access to 600 apps for web and mobile. It aims to add to the community feeling of Facebook by recommending apps for you that your friends already use.


In addition to recommended apps, users can see top rated games and recommended games.  Trending games are highlighted as well as games played by your Facebook friends.

You can browse the apps that your friends use and shows feedback from people who are using the app.  There is also a ‘send to Mobile’ feature on your PC.  If the app needs a download, then you can download the software from either the Apple store or Google Play .

It is a good strategic move by Facebook.  Here they are trying to create the first cross platform app store for mobile devices.  Currently the store is limited to Android and iPhone only but I’m sure that plans are in place to extend the platform to BlackBerry and Windows phone.

With this, Facebook would be able to completely change the app store landscape.  A smart move Facebook.  It will be interesting to see how this develops as it rolls out in other countries.

Perhaps this is another way that Facebook can monetise its platform after its shaky IPO debacle last month…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


Keeping your information away from Facebook apps

If you are concerned about Facebook using even more of your data to repopulate applications and friend information, then here is another setting that you need to change.

Hot on the heels of Facebook’s privacy policy alteration, is a new setting about apps.  Look at Home| Privacy settings |Apps games and websites| Edit settings.

Checked information is what other apps can see of your data.  See below:


If you don’t want other apps seeing so much information about you, then uncheck the boxes next to information you don’t want to share.  Are  you Sharing more than you thought on Facebook?  It might be worth your while checking around your privacy settings to make sure that you only share what you intend to share…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


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