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Viu OTT App Comes to the Middle East

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Vuclip, a PCCW Media company, and the leading premium video-on-demand service provider for emerging markets, today announced the launch of Viu, a direct to consumer video-on-demand (VOD) service, in the Middle East. Viu has already achieved market success and tremendous consumer adoption in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong and Singapore, and is now available for users in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan.

Users across the region now have access to tens of thousands of hours of local, regional and international premium entertainment, built on Vuclip’s patented Dynamic Adaptive Transcoding technology™ to offer viewers a “buffer free” viewing experience.

Viu highlights include:

  • Rich content library designed and especially curated to meet unique user preferences. Viewers can personalize their experience with diverse entertainment options based on their choice of language and genre, ranging from cooking and cars to reality shows and documentaries
  • Unlimited downloads and streaming of all content on the mobile app
  • Diverse pool of the premium Arabic TV shows from across the Arab world including Egyptian, Syrian, Khaleeji and Tunisian dramas. Arabic viewers can also enjoy a range of movies including classics, all-time fan favorites and recent blockbusters, including premium curated music videos with 6000+ songs of the best of Arabic music hits featuring artists such as Nicole Saba, Amr Diab, Hassan El Shafei, Nancy Ajram, Ramy Sabry, Maya Diab and many more
  • Latest content from Bollywood, including movies, popular TV shows and music videos featuring megastars such as Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone
  • The most popular sitcoms from the Philippines, as well as music videos from regional stars Garry Valenciano and Christian Bautista
  • Hollywood content including movies, as well as TV series.

“We are excited to introduce Viu to the Middle East and extend to our viewers a unique platform to enjoy premium on demand content on their choice of device and network. We’ve been in the mobile video business for nine years and that has given us a lens into viewer insights that is unparalleled. The Middle East is home to a diverse population and our mission is to curate the most compelling and popular content from across the world. We look forward to an exciting journey as we bring new ideas to life and offer viewers a whole new experience in entertainment,” said Sherif Dahan, Regional Director for Middle East, Vuclip.

Viu launches as a freemium service, with consumers across the region having access to thousands of hours of content for free. Consumers can also subscribe to a premium portion of the service which includes an ad-free experience, as well as access to additional premium content for a monthly fee. Viu is accessible via mobile phones and tablets, as well as desktops by downloading the Viu app on Google Play or the Apple Store, or by typing in www.viu.com on a desktop or mobile browser.

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Four Trends Creators and Brands Should Consider When Developing Video Content

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Written by Team Likee

Short-form video content has been on the rise and shows no signs of slowing down in 2022. Social media continues to evolve and has become an integral part of our lives during the past year, as people spend more time at home consuming and engaging with content through their personal computing and mobile devices.

Despite the ever-changing landscape of social media, the key to succeeding in 2022 is to know where and how your audience is spending their time and meet them there with relevant content. Furthermore, customers need to be the focal point of every brand content, campaign, or strategy put into action to help build a strong presence for the future.

According to Forbes, by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. By leveraging emerging social media trends towards long-term planning, content creators, brands and businesses have the opportunity to truly differentiate themselves from competitors by creating relevant content with a slight difference.

“The pace at which the world is changing is quite fast and those that can anticipate the future and react to it will be the ones that can achieve longevity and success both in the short and long terms,” said Wick Wang, Operations Director of Likee MENA. “The key takeaway from last year is that people are reinventing their lifestyle, adapting behaviors, learning new skills, and finding their true passions online through social media. More than anything, the need for interactivity, live experiences, creative expression and true immersive content may very well be the blueprint for success on social media. Understanding how interests have changed and creating a plan to create relevant and trend-driven content is what will add value for both the creators and audience alike.”

Of all the content created though, video content will reign supreme, and below are the top four trends that content creators and brands should pay close attention to when it comes to conceptualizing, scripting, producing, and shooting video content.

Trend 1: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Becomes a Norm
There has been quite a lot of discussion about how AR and VR devices are becoming more feasible to use and that they will soon become more mainstream. In fact, the global AR and VR market is set to be valued at USD 570 billion by 2025, according to Saudi Arabia’s smart-city mega-project NEOM.

As technology becomes more accessible and the demand for more immersive content increases, AR and VR environments will finally find their way into the vision of people from all walks of life.

From healthcare providers using AR/VR for self-guided diagnostics to retail stores offering virtual ‘try it before you buy,’ creators and brands across different industries will use this technology to create seamless virtual experiences to captivate their audience, enhance their experience and create value in the form of information, education, entertainment and more.

Looking to the future, creators and brands need to be ready to incorporate AR and VR into their video creation, marketing and promotion strategies, as traditional videos may soon not be enough.

Trend 2: Trend jacking
It seems as though everyone today wants to “go viral”. Creators and brands try their best to go viral to maintain brand awareness and to gain a new audience. Today though, instead of conceptualizing something bold and new, creators and brands simply pounce on existing trends and play along with them.

Audiences across all social media platforms truly appreciate fresh versions of trending content as they can relate to it. By capitalizing on trending topics, viewers have the ability to connect and participate in a social media movement themselves that is being played out locally, regionally, or even internationally.

A recent trend that many brands and companies leveraged to create unique experiences of their own was that of the hit Netflix show – Squid Game. Trend jacking is a quick and easy way to raise awareness for content, engage with the fan base and strengthen followings.

Trend 3: Explainer Videos
Although selfies and stories will continue to be in fashion next year, there is a strong urge to generate more explainer videos. In fact, explainer videos account for 73 percent of the most commonly-created types of videos across social platforms.

Explainer videos are short, snappy, engaging, and have unusually high retention rates of around 77 percent. Good explainer videos tell a story and follow a simple structure that draws viewers in and takes them on a short enjoyable journey and is typically used to share content-of-value that highlights a product, feature, service, business idea, or concept.

Content creators and brands that are looking to develop quality content need to include explainer videos within their content strategy. This will not only improve their credibility and conversion rates but position them as being value-creators for relevant audiences.

Trend 4: Interactive Videos
It’s no secret, 82 percent of all web traffic is predicted to come from video by 2022. Furthermore, interactive video content generates 2x more conversions than passive content, 4-5x more page views than static content and 93 percent of marketers say that interactive content is somewhat or very effective at educating the buyer, versus just 70 percent for static content.

Interactive videos support user interaction through clicks, touches, taps, and movement. Viewers become the discoverer and creator whereby they navigate themselves through the video by choosing the narrative, storyline and making decisions based on their interests.

Interactive videos are extremely rewarding. They can help content creators, brands and businesses achieve a more detailed account of the personality of their audience members’ which can, in turn, help them understand what content is in demand and then develop videos that not only meet audience expectations but exceed them.

2022 will be the year of opportunity for everyone. Those that can identify potential trends and create quality content that is relevant to their audience and pop culture are the ones that will not only set a strong foundation for themselves but will realize exponential success both now and in the years to come.

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TP-Link Launches Tapo Care

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TP-Link has launched Tapo Care at a global level. This breakthrough cloud storage service for Tapo cameras now supports many intelligent functions. They include 30-day video cloud storage, person detection, baby crying detection, motion tracking, and privacy zone. Tapo Care helps users optimise their camera usage experience with more advanced and intelligent security functions.

30-Day Cloud Video History
When the Tapo camera is turned on, all the moments captured by the device can be stored by Tapo Care without worrying about the storage space limitation. Users can check the recorded video anywhere, anytime, regardless of the camera status. Tapo is the cloud storage service provider, ensuring user privacy is 100% protected.

Advanced AI Functions
Tapo Care service is designed to satisfy the evolving needs of camera users. This year Tapo Care updated its algorithm to support functions such as person detection, baby crying detection, and privacy zone.

Person Detection
Person detection function is an update on the traditional motion tracking function found in many standard security cameras. Users can precisely monitor the person’s movement, and notifications will only be pushed to your phone where necessary. Users can protect their indoor home security with more accurate notifications.

Baby Crying Notification
Tapo Care has designed the baby crying function to redefine traditional Tapo cameras. A Tapo camera can become a baby monitor by combining person detection and baby crying functions. Once your child cries, you will instantly receive the notification so that you can check in on your baby.

Privacy Zone Protection
Users’ privacy protection is an essential issue that Tapo focuses on. Tapo Care protects users’ privacy by owning the cloud service provider. TP-Link also encourages users to set customizable block zones to keep specific spaces from being recorded.

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WhatsApp is Making it Difficult for Strangers to Stalk You

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WhatsApp has been working to make its app safer for users by adding various new features. We recently saw the Meta-owned messaging platform introduce features like flash calls and message level reporting. In addition to these and various existing privacy features, the app has now reportedly started hiding users’ last seen and status updates from unknown contacts by default.

According to reliable WhatsApp tipster WABetaInfo, the messaging app has now started to change the default setting for some users’ last seen and statuses from “Everyone” to “My Contacts” on Android and iOS. This will prevent strangers from checking your last seen and status updates.

Previously, people who have your phone number could easily see your last seen and status updates on WhatsApp. It was the default setting for the last seen, status, and even the profile picture. Now, you can change these settings to “My Contacts” or “Nobody” as per your liking. However, with the latest privacy changes, WhatsApp will only let your contacts see your real-time activity updates.

Of course, you can always go back to the Privacy settings and change this default setting. But, it would be best to keep your last seen or status hidden from people you haven’t chatted with before and stay safe. Plus, this will also refrain third-party apps from letting people keep an eye on your WhatsApp activity, making such apps a bit useless!

It is further revealed that the new privacy setting is rolling out to some users as they are unable to see the Last Seen of various personal and business accounts on WhatsApp. The company has confirmed the availability of this feature via a reply to a Twitter user, who had a similar concern.

One thing worth noting is that the change will not affect any of your contacts. So, your friends and family need not worry. However, unknown users will be impacted. It remains to be seen when it will be available for all WhatsApp users. What are your thoughts on the new WhatsApp privacy feature? Does it sound helpful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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