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BC-APFN-Business News Digest

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DIGITAL LIFE-REVIEW-AMAZON PRIME

AMHERST, Ohio a¿¿ Spending $99 a year for an Amazon Prime membership to get free shipping hardly seems like a deal. After all, I can usually get free shipping anyway by spending at least $35 on a single order. But the benefits became apparent gradually over the nine months I've used it. Some features work only with a Kindle e-reader or tablet a¿¿ and likely with a new smartphone that Amazon is expected to unveil Wednesday. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 800 words, photo.

FEDERAL RESERVE

WASHINGTON a¿¿ The Federal Reserve will further slow the pace of its bond purchases because a strengthening U.S. job market needs less support. But it's offering no clear signal about when it will start raising its benchmark short-term rate. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 570 words, photos.

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a¿¿ FEDERAL RESERVE-COMPARING STATEMENTS a¿¿ comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting April 29-30. SENT: 120 words.

a¿¿ FEDERAL RESERVE-STATEMENT TEXT a¿¿ SENT: 830 words.

SMALLBIZ-INSTAGRAM

NEW YORK a¿¿ A picture on Instagram is worth thousands of dollars for Limelight Extensions. Phones start ringing at the Farmington Hills, Michigan, salon almost every time co-owner Miranda Jade Plater posts pictures of hairstyles or the company's hair extensions on the photo-sharing app. Once, a single photo of Plater wearing long and curly hair extensions generated more than $10,000 in sales. Small business owners say that Instagram is an increasingly important part of their social media strategy, helping them drive sales, gain more customers and develop their brands. Here's how they're doing it. By Joseph Pisani. SENT: 1,080 words, photo, and slideshow. This story stands for SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK.

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a¿¿ SMALLBIZ-INSTAGRAM-PHOTO GALLERY a¿¿ A slideshow of small business owners' Instagram shots.

a¿¿ SMALLBIZ-INSTAGRAM GLANCE a¿¿ Tips for small businesses that want to use Instagram.

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