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News

  • Google brings Street View, interactive tours to Robben Island

    Robben Island is one of the most important locations in South African history. It’s loomed large in the country’s political consciousness since the earliest days of European settlement and, in the years following the release of Nelson Mandela, has become a place of pilgrimage. The very fact of its geography does however mean that it’s only accessible to a very small number of people at a time. That changed a little today with Google’s launch of an immersive Street View tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site. The experience, which includes an audio-visual tour hosted on the Google Cultural...

  • Why Africa’s mobile games should become powerful marketing tools #MWA2015

    Even though the opportunities for them are quite vast and numerous, mobile game companies in most parts of Africa are still trying to crack the market with varying degrees of success. In a fireside chat at Mobile West Africa 2015 with Zubair Abubakar, the Nigerian game developer and co-founder of ChopUp admitted that no game company in Africa is at the same level of monetisation as their counterparts such as King’s Candy Crush which makes more than US$1-million weekly from in-app sales alone. This is while the local industry continues to grow in terms of number of companies, games and...

  • Google now lets you download your entire web search history

    Google is letting users to download their entire search history. Though this is virtual data, imagine it tangible, every last thing you have ever searched for on Google, years and years of searches and now collected into tangible data. This could rise into a small mountain, or if laid across a flat surface, stretch for miles. It is not only the amount of it but the contents of it. It is about what have you been searching for and what can it reveal about you as a person. Users can download their entire search history, dating to when they...

  • Twitter now allows users to send direct messages to anyone

    Twitter has announced new changes to its direct message features. Users can now, unlike before, send direct messages to other users even when they are not following them. Users can also opt to accept direct messages from any other Twitter user. The feature is not completely new, and it is interesting that Twitter rolled it out to some users in 2013 and is only rolling it out now to the general public. The feature has a new Direct Message button on profile pages on Android and iPhone and is visible on the profiles of people users can send Direct...

  • Memeburn goes behind Gyft’s big Bitcoin ecosystem plan

    Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. Unlike platinum which has an industrial use case for, say, the automotive industry, there are none that exists for bitcoin today. The price is determined in the market based on supply and demand, which today is driven by just the speculators. “Bitcoin is a commodity, not a currency,” Gyft founder Vinny Lingham told the audience at the Bitcoin African Conference 2015. The popular digital gift card startup is hoping to change this within the near future. “Our vision is to use bitcoin as a platform for secure digital gift cards,” the serial entrepreneur said. In essence,...

  • The curious evolution of brand storytelling [infographic]

    The way we (as brands) tell our stories to consumers has come a long way. Initially, before the days of technology and constant connectivity, our marketing strategies were focused around peer-to-peer communications. Telephones and small communities meant the most valuable way to advertise your product was to get others to talk about it. As the world evolved and technology became part of our day-to-day lives, brands were able to share their stories with more and more people. The idea of broadcasting your story became a popular one with brands, and marketing strategies gravitated towards one way communication. Brands focused on...

  • Report Xenophobia maps real-time insights through SMS, social media

    Kenyan non-profit Ushahidi and online publication iAfrikan have developed Report Xenophobia to help better understand the landscape of the violent attacks taking place against foreign nationals across the rainbow nation. Ushahidi was first popularised as a tool when it crowdsourced and mapped violent attacks during the Kenya’s 2007 elections. The open-source software was soon rolled out to be used during the Haiti earthquake in 2010 as well as Chile and many other humanitarian disasters. Similar to Ushahidi’s other platforms, the system provides a real-time reporting and alerting tool for incidents of xenophobia across the country. Information is collected from the...

  • IAB SA launches tool to show what SA’s talking about online

    You’ll often hear organisations claim to be “at the beating heart” of a country’s digital industry. In the case of a new tool launched by IAB South Africa, that’s a little more literal than you might expect. The member driven body, which oversees the online advertising and publishing space in South Africa has launched The Pulse, a 3D, heart-shaped manifestation of the main topics of interest South African web users on IAB SA publisher members’ digital platforms. It uses data gathered within the past seven days to show where the buzz is, and plugs into Twitter to analyse South...

  • Instagram gets strict on spam, nude photos, posting other users’ content

    Instagram has released new community guidelines. The platform wants its users to follow the law, post only their own photos, videos, respect everyone on Instagram and don’t spam people or post nudity. Arriving at the new community guidelines, the company says it considered its diverse community, all its different cultures, ages, beliefs, and tried to guidelines that suit all parties. The issue with guidelines, across platforms, is not their existence or lack thereof...

  • Geek out on Twitter with new Star Wars emoji

    If you needed any further proof that everyone is excited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, check this out: Twitter has created a new set of emoji just for the film. For now, the three emoji which appear in the featured image for this article are the only ones to have been launched, although Twitter does say that it’ll continue expanding the set as the film’s opening weekend draws closer. Read more: A new hope? Latest Star Wars trailer is what every fan was hoping for The emoji character set was unveiled at the same Star Wars Celebration event which...

  • Tinder introduces Instagram integration and more common friends

    Tinder received an update that integrates its users directly with Instagram and revamps common connections. This allows users to scroll through the Instagram profiles of other users without leaving the app. Before, users could only scroll through the Facebook photos that users have allowed to show up on their Tinder profile and had to search for users’ Instagram accounts on Instagram. Users can now click into a user’s Instagram profile and see the most recent pictures, with the option to click directly into their profile, check out the comments on the photos, who liked it, and more details. And...

  • Google launches Handwriting Input Tool for both text and emoji on Android

    Google Research today launched a new project, Google Handwriting Input. The new app allows users, instead of using a standard keyboard, to take a leap back to the ancient days of handwriting to write text on any Android app with or without a stylus. For now, the app recognises 82 languages and 20 distinct scripts, supports emojis, which can be entered by drawing them. Google Handwriting Input works with or without an Internet connection. The new tool comes with voice as well, accessible through the mic sign. After typing, as the same with most keyboards, one can choose the word...

  • Get a taste of music history and tour Abbey Road Studios on Google

    This is life changing for the fans that have always fantasized about stepping into one of the most legendary studios in London. Google has created an interactive walk-through inside Abbey Road Studios. The famous studio was used to record some of the best sold record albums of all times, from the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Stevie Wonder. It is also known for composing soundtracks for some of the most historically recognized films, like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones. Since opening in 1931, the studio pushed boundaries when it came to music and sound. The experience is accessible on...

  • Nokia agrees to buy Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6bn, puts HERE on sale

    Nokia is going to buy Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion in shares. Once the merger is completed Alcatel-Lucent will take on the Nokia name. Though the deal has been approved by both companies’ boards, its completion is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. Nokia said that it expects, once everything has been completed, to close the deal on the first half of 2016. In a statement, Nokia President and Chief Executive Officer, Rajeev Suri, said “Our innovation capability will be extraordinary, bringing together the R&D engine of Nokia with that of Alcatel-Lucent and its iconic Bell...

  • Just Drake it: could this awesome new search engine give Google a run for its money?

    Have you ever thought of a search engine that you would rather use than Google? I mean there were a lot of search engines in the 90s that tried to keep up with the trend like; HotBot, AltaVista and AskJeeves. And at present there are plenty of attempts to provide a viable alternative to the world’s largest search engine. But let’s be honest, when’s the last time you actually used DuckDuckGo? But there’s a new player that, if nothing else, is immensely entertaining to use. Let Me Drake That For You is a new search engine that will tell you...