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All posts tagged "Whatsapp"

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #115: SA drones, new WhatsApp features & more

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons plays host to Andy Walker and Daniel Mpala. Daniel kicks off the agenda discussing the drone startups taking South Africa by storm. Some, like Aerobotics and DroneClouds, help South African farmers, while others like Ranmarine help clean up ports and canals. Over on Memeburn, Andy talks the latest in WhatsApp news. Facebook's last bastion in China, the app has been blocked from sending images or video from the app. In more exciting news, though, it seems the app will soon allow...

  • China’s Great Firewall now censors WhatsApp and Winnie The Pooh

    China has had a particularly interesting week in digital thus far. In the run up to the country's Communist party reshuffle taking place later this year, it seems that instant messaging service WhatsApp has been crippled within the country. While WhatsApp isn't the most widely used chat app in China -- that honour goes to WeChat with just under a billion users -- it is a notable target. It is the last bastion for Facebook in China and one of the last popular chat apps still functioning within the country. According to the New York Times, Chinese citizens are unable to send or...

  • WhatsApp may soon let you watch YouTube videos in its app

    You might soon be able to view YouTube videos within WhatsApp. According to WhatsApp feature watcher WaBetaInfo, the new feature is currently being tested in the latest build on iOS, numbered 2.17.40. The build also addresses a number of other issues on iOS, including numerous UI improvements and tweaks to the calls list and media management tools. But most interesting of all its the mention of YouTube. Users can view videos in a picture-in-picture mode, with added controls such as pinch-to-zoom and the ability to continue reading messages while video playback continues in the background. This means that users needn't leave the chat app...

  • WhatsApp becomes a file sharing service with new feature

    WhatsApp is no longer just a messaging app: it's now a file sharing service too. A new feature added to the chat app this week allows users to send a bevy of file formats to any user including app files, music files, compressed zip files and even Windows executables. The latter might be quite helpful if you're using the Desktop version. Previously, users could only send PDFs to each other (because that's exactly what social media users send to one another on a daily basis). There's one caveat though: the file you intend to send will need to be smaller than 100MB. If that...

  • Amazon, WhatsApp score poorly in EFF’s annual privacy report

    When you sign up for the world's biggest services/apps, you're giving loads of information to these firms. But who can be trusted with your data? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released its annual "Who Has Your Back" report to answer this very question. The report grades some of the biggest companies in five categories, namely whether they follow best practices, tell users about government data requests, have a pro-user public policy, stand up to gag orders and promise not to sell out users. The worst offenders? US networks AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile and Verizon all scored one star out of five -- a...

  • 6+ news services using WhatsApp in useful ways

    WeChat is one of the most popular instant messaging platforms in the world, in no small part due to its wide range of uses beyond mere messaging. The platform makes extensive use of bots, QR codes and other features, enabling everything from payments to alerts. What about WhatsApp though? The Facebook-owned service is much less complex in this regard, but that hasn't stopped news outlets from stepping up anyway. We take a look at a few publications that offer WhatsApp functionality. Eyewitness News South Africa's own Eyewitness News offers news stories via WhatsApp, giving you another avenue to consume articles. And the signup...

  • Uk’shona Kwelanga review: if only it weren’t an ad

    With the rise of digital media comes a host of interesting ways for storytellers to express themselves. We've seen the likes of movies told exclusively on Snapchat, and television shows enriched by the fictional social media lives of their characters. And now we've seen a WhatsApp drama. Uk'shona Kwelanga (or Death of Langa) is an innovative ad campaign by Sanlam about a family dealing with the loss of its patriarch. Told entirely as if the viewer is part of the family's group chat, Uk'shona places you front and center for the drama that a family death inevitably brings. Unfortunately, what is an intriguing and exciting concept...

  • 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...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #105: WhatsApp’s blackout, Windows 10 S & more

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week sees Hadlee Simons hosting Andy Walker and Stephen Timm. Kicking off the show, we detail one of SA's biggest business deals this decade: the US$100-million sales of GetSmarter, a South African ed-tech startup, to a US company. Hadlee and Andy discuss Windows 10 S as well as the Microsoft Surface Laptop, which were both unveiled this week. With both Microsoft products having their ups and downs, the duo explores what makes them great and what makes them somewhat disappointing. WhatsApp was...

  • [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...