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2013 saw many changes on the small business front, and 2014 is poised for even more rapid change. Here's a look back at some of the major news from the past year covered on the SinglePlatform blog.

Restaurant Tech News

In 2013, restaurant technology advanced most notably on the payment processing and reservation/POS fronts. Industry front-runners such as Square and OpenTable made product improvements, and big dog Apple entered the arena with a reservation system patent request. It'll be interesting to see whether specialized companies remain on top in 2014, or if giants such as Apple change the game in the coming months.

Social Media News

For seasoned social media networks, the news in 2013 centered around improvements and new features. Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest all introduced new functionality and updates. Last year also confirmed that the SoLoMo (social local mobile) movement is still going strong as neighborhood network Nextdoor received another major round of funding.

Retail News

As the economy began to bounce back in 2013, retail sectors saw more activity. In terms of technology, Apple led the way with highly targeted in-store recommendations; several other companies also introduced location-based recommendations in a variety of formats.

Advertising News

Social reigned supreme in terms of new advertising formats in 2014. Foursquare, Google, and Twitter all launched new ad types, giving users the ability to better target users and provide content in a more engaging format than traditional banner ads.

Local Search News

There was much more local search news in 2013 than was covered on this blog, but two big highlights made our list: Google's new customer data map feature, and the launch of start-up Openbay.

  • Google Introduces Maps Engine Pro to Help Small Businesses Visualize Customer Data
  • Meet Openbay, the New OpenTable for Auto Repairs

Franchise Sector News

In 2013, franchises saw greater job growth than the overall private sector, and they're projected to see even more success in 2014 as consumers' economic confidence returns.

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