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WhatsApp

  • Sanlam debuts SA’s first WhatsApp drama in novel marketing campaign

    We've seen social media used extensively as the vehicle for performance art, but what about less image-heavy services like WhatsApp? Arriving via a clever marketing campaign by Sanlam, South African drama series Uk’shona Kwelanga (or The Death of Langa) is set to debut on the Facebook-owned chat app next month. Yes, a drama series made exclusively for WhatsApp. According to the press release, the show "tells the tale of a South African family struggling to deal with the emotional and financial ramifications of loss while planning their father's funeral". The screenplay is penned by Bongi Ndaba (previous head writer of Generations) while a...

  • Opera’s nifty new browser caters for WhatsApp and Messenger addicts

    Opera's desktop browser is known for pushing the envelope of browser design. It was the first to offer the tabs, a speed dial pane and the pop-up blocker experience now standard on most browsers today. But it's latest innovation is aimed directly at those who love to chat. Following a mild visual redesign based on its "Reborn" project, Opera has now given its desktop browser users access to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp directly from the browser's side bar. While that doesn't sound like much of an innovation, it's particularly useful for those who use these services on a daily basis for...

  • [Update: it’s back] Is WhatsApp down worldwide? Here’s what we know

    Update, Thursday 4 May, 12.10am: According to a tweet published by Reuters Tech citing a company spokesperson, "Whatsapp is aware of outage issue and working to fix it". UPDATE: Whatsapp is aware of outage issue and working to fix it - spokesman — Reuters Tech News (@ReutersTech) May 3, 2017 Original article: Messaging service WhatsApp, used by more than a billion people worldwide, is down according to multiple users across the globe. The outage, which occurred late Wednesday evening in Africa, is also being reported in Europe and South America, according to DownDetector. Notably, the site also suggests that users are unable to...

  • ‘Pinned chats’ are coming to WhatsApp for your most important contacts

    Few things are more annoying than hunting for your bae, mom or BFF in the WhatsApp contact list. And while the app does boast a search function for finding them, it's by no means efficient. But that will soon be a problem of the past. The company's latest pre-release version of the Android app features "pinned chats" which allows users to pin three primary contacts to the top of the chat list. You'll soon be able to pin your most important WhatsApp chats to the top of the chats page This means that even if your distant relative or that person you used...

  • WhatsApp flaw lets hackers take over accounts in seconds

    WhatsApp and Telegram's online platforms had a bug that allowed hackers to take full control of anyone's account by sending a simple image to a user. Check Point Software researchers revealed in a blog post yesterday that if hackers had exploited the hack, they would have been in control of all the victims' conversations, photos, files and contact lists. "This means that attackers could potentially download your photos and or post them online, send messages on your behalf, demand ransom, and even take over your friends’ accounts," the blog reads. According to Check Point, the source of the issue was the end-to-end encryption...

  • WhatsApp testing a direct business-to-customer messaging system

    According to a new report by Reuters, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is trialing a service that will allow businesses to talk directly to users on the service. The project was "seen" by Reuters, and is believed to be used by a "handful of companies" from the Y Combinator startup incubator. While the nature of the service isn't yet fully understood, the report believes that this will allow Facebook to finally use WhatsApp as a revenue tool. Be it advertising revenue by allowing companies to send select users messages, or simply provide ads within content rolls like Status -- much like what Facebook's Instagram...

  • WhatsApp Status has landed in South Africa [Photos]

    True to co-founder Jan Koum's words, WhatsApp Status has landed on Friday (24 February), delivering Snapchat Stories-style functionality to the messaging platform. So what should you know then? Well, it's an overhaul of the text-based status feature ("I'm busy", "I'm at the gym" etc). The overhaul lets you post photos and videos as a general status update, much like Snapchat Stories. These updates all expire after 24 hours, again, like Snapchat's effort. It's worth noting though that WhatsApp does keep track of how many people viewed your update -- simply tap on the ellipsis next to "my status" to get a view-count...

  • WhatsApp Status: will it be a Snapchat clone?

    Who knew that WhatsApp originally started out as a way to leave status messages, so others knew what you were up to? Well, it looks like that feature is finally receiving an overhaul this week. "The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you're up to . This was months before we added messaging," said WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum in a blog post. Koum explained that the team had always wanted to updating and "evolving" the feature. Who knew that this evolution might be rather similar...

  • WhatsApp’s two-step verification: here’s how to enable it

    Without much fanfare, Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has rolled out its two-step verification system for users on both Android and iOS. But what does that mean? Well, for one, it brings WhatsApp's security in line with the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft -- three companies who already support the system on their services and devices. Moreover, it will also be a lot harder for baddies to gain access to your account. WhatsApp explains that it will remain an optional feature, that users can switch on if they so desire. But we recommend you do. How to enable WhatsApp's two-step verification system It...

  • WhatsApp location tracking is coming, according to latest betas

    According to new beta builds of WhatsApp's mobile apps, users may soon be able to track others' location in real-time. Spotted by beta-sniffing Twitter account @WABetaInfo, the feature will let users switch on location tracking within the app, allowing those in their contact list to see their current location, and effectively track their movements. 2.17.3.28 iOS | 2.16.399+ Android: Live Location feature, that tracks the live location of other group participants (DISABLED BY DEFAULT). pic.twitter.com/pYEXT1nxyR — WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) January 26, 2017 Although that seems scary, location tracking in mobile apps isn't a new feature at all. In fact, some apps specifically exist for...

  • WhatsApp adds Giphy GIF search to latest beta

    After enjoying its busiest ever day on New Year's Eve, WhatsApp has turned its attention to the most important feature of the modern messenger -- GIF support. In the company's latest beta for Android, the app now boasts its own GIF searching function. A video posted by Burn Media (@burnmedia) on Jan 11, 2017 at 1:29am PST According to Android Police, the app asks the emoji button to pull double duty. Tapping on it opens what we'll call the "reaction" interface, which allows users to choose between inserting a GIF from Giphy, Tenor or an emoji. WhatsApp's new Giphy-powered GIF search function lets...

  • 5 ways to reduce your WhatsApp mobile data usage

    Pretty much everyone and their grandmother is on WhatsApp these days, with the Facebook-owned IM app accruing one billion users earlier this year. We've already covered some nifty tips and tricks for the service, but what about reducing mobile data usage? We've got a few pointers for you. Disable auto-download of videos WhatsApp allows you to automatically download videos, photos, voice notes and documents over WiFi or mobile data. WiFi isn't a problem, but you'll want to save your precious mobile data, so visit the settings menu, then choose "data usage". From here, you'll want to scroll to the "media auto-download" field and tap...

  • WhatsApp video calls: yes, it’s finally official

    Facetime and Skype still rule the roost when it comes to video calling, but if any company could take them on, it's WhatsApp. And the Facebook-owned service has done just that, allowing users to seamlessly call its contacts. "Today we're excited to announce the next step in our efforts to connect people -- WhatsApp video calling. In the coming days, WhatsApp's more than one billion users can make video calls across Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone devices," the company wrote in a blog post. WhatsApp could take the fight to Skype and Facetime with video calling The company explained the move, saying that sometimes voice...

  • WhatsApp Status: Facebook’s latest Snapchat killer?

    According to a report by BGR India, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is revamping its Status page with a splash of inspiration from Snapchat. Dubbed "Status" for now, the new WhatsApp feature will allow users to send and set images as statuses. Users can also doodle over them, and limit the viewable audience. Okay, so it's not entirely like Snapchat's rolling photo-reel then, but it does have shades of the app within it. WhatsApp Status allows users to set images as statuses, similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories BGR India notes that the new feature is buried in WhatsApp beta version 2.16.336 but can only be...

  • 10 WhatsApp tricks you should know about

    One of the world's most popular messaging platforms, WhatsApp has gone from strength to strength since its 2011 launch, eventually being swallowed by the giant known as Facebook. Whether you're a newbie or just not tech-savvy, here are a few cool tricks you should know about. How to italicise/strike through/bold words The platform introduced the ability to format text a while back, so how do you do this then? To italicise a word or sentence, you'll simply need to add an underscore (_) to either side of the word/sentence. Bolding is a similar affair, as you add an asterisk (*) on either side....