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All posts by Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter

  • UnoTelly wants to remind you that international Netflix sucks

    Last week, Netflix became legally available to consumers in 130 new countries around the globe. And while the news was initially greeted with widespread adulation, it quickly became clear that, thanks to content and licensing agreements, those countries would mostly be getting a stripped back version of the video streaming service. South African Netflix users, for example, only have access to around 600 titles compared with the more than 7 000 titles on the US version. As we've noted previously, there are ways to get around that -- most notably by using a DNS and proxy service such as...

  • #ZumaMustFall movement urges SA digital players to donate 30 mins a day to cause

    While the ugly wounds of South African race politics have been picked open this week, there are still some determined to make the country's president Jacob Zuma pay for his mid-December axing of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene -- an action which sent the Rand into freefall. Memeburn has received an email from someone claiming to be "one of the people behind the #ZumaMustFall campaigns" urging South African companies with a social media presence to donate 30 minutes to an hour of their time every day to what it says will be "THE biggest Social Media campaign this country has...

  • Facebook Messenger out to kill the phone number

    Facebook Messenger, which passed the 800-million user mark in 2015, is out to kill the phone number. That's according to post from the social network's Vice President of Messaging David Marcus, in which he outlines what the messaging platform is out do in 2016. Looking back, Marcus says 2015 was a year "when we made significant improvements to how we enable people to communicate". "Among other things, he writes, "we made Messenger blazing fast, we introduced video calling, the ability to customize conversations with colors, nicknames and emojis, and with Businesses on Messenger, we introduced a new way for...

  • Facebook to reward small business advertisers in 2016 Facebook Awards

    Facebook on Tuesday announced that entries are open for the 2016 Facebook Awards. The awards, now in their fifth year, are designed to celebrate the best creative advertising work being shared on the Facebook platform as well as on Instagram. Facebook expects the awards to experience continued growth in 2016 after it reviewed more than 2 700 submissions from 160 countries in 2015. It also says it's aiming to internationalise the awards more this year in the wake of increased entries from outside the US. For the first time, the awards will also recognise small business advertisers who have earned...

  • Can the Afrinolly Marketplace curb Nollywood piracy?

    Piracy is a massive problem for entertainment distributors around the world, and Nigeria is no exception. In fact, some sources suggest that Nollywood loses around US$38-million a year to piracy. In a bid to curb the worst of its effects, Afrinolly has launched Afrinolly MarketPlace; a pay per view, secured mobile platform for the distribution of Nollywood/African movies, Short films, Series and more to GSM users in Nigeria and the rest of the world. The marketplace is the latest addition to the Afrinolly app and is designed to allow producers and creators in Africa to offer their content via...

  • Kaspersky: scammers using Syrian War for online extortion

    Online scammers have found a new way of extorting money out of internet users. Rather than pretending to be Nigerian princes or the daughter of an influential, recently ousted minister, they're using the war in Syria to exploit the kindness of strangers looking to help those affected by events in the Middle East. Of course, it always helps if those kind strangers think they could make a quick buck themselves. That's according to Russian online security provider Kaspersky, which says that most of the scam emails claim to be from Syrian citizens seeking asylum in Europe and request assistance...

  • Here are the 10 top trending YouTube videos of 2015

    Ahead of the launch of its annual Rewind video, YouTube has announced its top trending videos for 2015. Based on views, shares, comments, likes and more, the list dance phenomenons, social commentaries, pranks, and late night TV moments. According to YouTube, this is the first year that a dance video has made the top of YouTube’s trending videos list. Four television moments have made the list this year, including three late night talk shows. The number of hours people spent catching up on viral late night show clips has nearly doubled in the last year alone,...

  • Google Play Music launches in SA at R50 a month

    Google Play Music, the technology giant's music streaming service, is officially live in South Africa. Set to cost users R49.99 a month, the service has been live in other markets for some time now and arrives in South Africa considerably later than a number of other international players. Using the subscription model, Google says that Play Music allows users to create an ad-free, interactive radio station from any song or artist. As well as being able to curate your own playlists, you can browse recommendations from Google’s music team and explore songs by genre. Read more: Apple Music now...

  • ShowMax now lets eBucks users subscribe using vouchers

    Naspers-owned ShowMax on Sunday announced a deal with FNB, which will allow eBucks users to subscribe to the video-streaming service using prepaid vouchers. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, the vouchers come in one, three, and six-month denominations and can be debited directly from a customer’s account, or paid for using eBucks. Depending on a member’s rewards level, a discount of up to 40% is applicable on the six-month voucher. "We’re really pleased to get FNB’s eBucks on board as our first partner", said Chris Savides, Head of Payments and Partnerships for ShowMax. "It’s a trusted brand and...

  • 5 massive security threats set to emerge in 2016

    The Internet of Things (IoT), a global network of objects equipped with connected sensors, is only just starting to take off in a big way. As more and more of those objects come online however, so the security risks around them increase. It's not just the connected objects at risk either, but also the cloud and virtualised infrastructure that supports them. And perhaps scariest of all, it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell that an attack's actually happened. That's according to a new report from cybersecurity company Fortinet, outlining the top five threat predictions for 2016. According to...

  • 2015: the year SA social media embraced Black Friday

    Amongst a certain sector of the social media community at least, 2015 will be remembered as the year Black Friday truly took off in South Africa. According to data collected from the Social Studio media monitoring platform that was analysed by digital customer engagement agency, 25AM, mentions of Black Friday among South African social media users increased by more than 300% compared with 2014, with Checkers, Dionwired and Pick ’n Pay ranking as the most talked-about brands on the day. The data reveals that there were more than 18 000 South Africa mentions of the term ‘Black Friday’ on tracked...

  • Online marketing, offline marketing: it’s all the same these days

    Remember when marketing executives had to convince their bosses to put time and resources into "that internet thing"? Well, bar a few stubborn hangers-on, it's apparently safe to say those days are very firmly past. According to Gartner's 2015-2016 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Spend Survey, 98% of marketing executives from large companies in North America and the UK agree that online and offline marketing are merging. Respondents represent organisations with more than US$500 million in annual revenue across seven industries: financial services, high tech, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods (CPG), media, retail and transportation/hospitality. The survey took place between May...

  • New documentary shows off Twitter co-creator’s anarchist side

    Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Ev Williams: those are the names we associate with the founding of Twitter. But as a new documentary aims to show, there's a Twitter co-creator you haven't heard of who's looking to bring Silicon Valley ideals to the activist space. Evan Henshaw-Plath, the subject of the latest episode of Al-Jazeera's Rebel Geeks series, left the social media network shortly after it launched, but says he learned incredibly valuable lessons during his time there. The Twitter co-creator now lives mostly off the grid, partly in a house in Portland and partly in a house in the woods made...

  • 10 of Africa’s most innovative apps of 2015 you should know about

    Pan-African competition AppsAfrica has concluded earlier this week, announcing the continent's ten most innovative mobile applications of 2015. With entries stretching from Nigeria to Togo and South Africa, the awards recognised a variety of platforms, that include live video and radio streaming to e-readers and many more. "Our mission is always to promote and honour the fantastic innovation across the mobile and tech ecosystem in Africa," AppsAfrica wrote in a blogpost. "We had diverse entries from 21 countries and both the finalists and winners are a testament to how technology is being used to disrupt business models, empower people and drive...

  • Facebook, Airtel launch Free Basic services in 17 African countries

    Facebook and telco provider Airtel on Tuesday announced a partnership that will see two companies launch Free Basics in 17 African countries. Free Basics, part of Facebook's Internet.org programme is a set of basic websites and services to introduce people to the internet and demonstrate how it adds value to their lives. They include providing free health, education and finance-related information to people in developing countries so that they can make informed choices and decisions to improve their lives. In the first phase, Free Basics will be launched in Airtel Nigeria, DRC, Gabon and Niger followed by other...