Twitter has announced it is rolling out a range of new features aimed at boosting public conversations on the platform. Group messaging will now be available for the private message function, including for people who do not necessarily follow each other. New! Use Direct Messages to speak privately with a group of up to 20 people. Share Tweets, show emoji & be yourself. https://t.co/8giGhC6OO0 — Twitter (@twitter) January 27, 2015 Users will also be able to capture, edit and share videos directly from the Twitter app in the same way that they can upload photos. Videos can be up to 30 seconds in length. The new features will be available to users in the coming weeks. Snapchat introduces news and entertainment service Snapchat has launched a new feature aimed at selling ads and sharing content from news organisations such as Vice and CNN. “Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams,” the company said in a blog post. “It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.” Snapchat is currently valued at around $10 billion. Fintech startup raises $1 million in seed funding Credit card startup Final has raised $1 million in seed funding ahead of its 2015 pilot program. TechCrunch reports the round was led by Ludlow Ventures, T5 Capital Partners, Y Combinator and other angel investors. Founded a year ago, Final aims to give credit card users more transparency about their spending and eliminate the friction around having to cancel a card due to fraud or theft. Overnight The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 1.62%, falling 287.22 points to 17,391.48. The Australian dollar is currently trading at US79 cents. Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Having a cash flow crisis or just looking to save a few dollars? One 14-year-old thinks he can show you how. Suvir Mirchandani has uncovered a way for the US government to save $400 million, and it could help your business cut costs too. The teen was thinking of ways to save money at his Pittsburgh-area middle school when, in a stroke of genius, he thought of an easy solution – switch to a new font. Mirchandani calculated changing all federal US government documents from Times New Roman to Garamond would save $136 million a year. Currently the US Government Services Administration spends $467 million a year on printing costs and if the state governments also switched, an additional $234 million could be saved. Mirchandani discovered ink is two times more expensive by volume than expensive French perfume, and for a school project he collected samples of his school’s handouts and looked at the most commonly used letters (e, t, a o and r). For a science project he looked at how the letters were used in four different typefaces, Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans, and measured how much ink was used for each letter using commercial software, before personally verifying his findings. Mirchandani detailed this process to CNN and discovered using Garamond could reduce his school’s ink usage by 24% and save $21,000 annually. While small businesses are unlikely to save hundreds of millions of dollars like the US government, it’s quite possible changing the font type of printed documents could save SMEs more than a thousand dollars annually. Mirchandani is also hoping his research has a broader impact. “Consumers are still printing at home, they can make this change too,” he told CNN. “I definitely would love to see some actual changes and I’d be happy to go as far as possible to make that change possible.” But changing the font of printed documents might be a step behind the game, as reducing printing all together can help businesses save on printing costs, file cabinets and storage space. Another simple change which can help businesses save money is to set up digital communication systems to hold client meetings over the internet. By using programs like Skype and Webex, businesses can save on travel costs when communicating with staff or clients in other offices.
According to Paul Graham, investor and founder of Y Combinator, the best way to get a winning business idea is to not think of any. Instead, you should be looking at which problems you can solve.
Barack Obama has won another four years as president of the United States, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney conceding defeat.
In just two years, the founder of Mention Mobile has partnered with an Emmy winner, secured funds from a billionaire and teamed up with a major games publisher.
Billionaire speculator Warren Buffett has given away $13,000 worth of highly-prized shares in his company, Berkshire Hathaway, to a group of budding entrepreneurs aged under 16.
Roboinvest, an Australian-run, New York-based start-up, has made the final of a worldwide funding competition for financial services ventures.
The Eurozone may be in crisis, the US teetering on the brink of a double dip recession and even Australia struggling to get back to surplus, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of enormously wealthy entrepreneurs out there.