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WhatsApp Could Let You Pay Bills Through WhatsApp Payments

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WhatsApp may be about to introduce peer-to-peer payments in India, its largest market with over 200 million users. A report from The Ken claims that WhatsApp plans to use UPI, a cross-bank payment system backed by the government, to begin enable payments between users within the next six months.

“India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we’re understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India. We’re exploring how we might work with companies that share this vision and continuing to listen closely to feedback from our users,” WhatsApp reportedly told media outlets.

That’s not a denial — nor, admittedly, a direct admission — but the new feature would make a lot of sense for the Facebook-owned company, which claims over one billion active users worldwide. On a visit to India in February, which included a meeting with the country’s IT Minister, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton admitted that the company was “in the early stages” of looking into how it can incorporate payment services.

Others have already taken that jump. Sweden-based Truecaller, which counts India as its largest market, introduced user-to-user payments last week through a tie-in with ICICI Bank that also utilizes UPI. It is hoping that the new functionality will help it compete for engagement with WhatsApp and other messaging apps like Hike, which raised money from Tencent at a billion-dollar valuation.

Facebook added payments to its Messenger app some time ago in the U.S., but such a feature inside WhatsApp could be far more transformative in India, where Messenger is less popular. Credit card penetration is far lower in India, while WhatsApp has already emerged as a platform for facilitating e-commerce despite currently offering no features that expressly support that.

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WhatsApp Now Transcribes Voice Messages on Android

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Calling all Android users who dread lengthy voice messages: rejoice! WhatsApp is rolling out voice message transcription to its beta app.

This feature, already available for iOS users since May 2024, is now part of the WhatsApp Beta version 2.24.15.5 for Android. It automatically converts voice messages into text, making it easier and faster to understand conversations.

Currently, transcriptions are supported in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, and Hindi, with more languages promised in the future. Users opting in will need to download an additional data package to ensure all transcripts are generated directly on their devices, maintaining message privacy.

This update brings Android users closer to iOS users in terms of features and highlights WhatsApp’s commitment to improving the overall user experience.

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WhatsApp Trials AI Image Generator

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Calling all creative minds! WhatsApp is testing a new feature that uses AI to generate personalized avatars. Imagine yourself as a superhero, chilling on a beach, or even exploring space – the possibilities are endless! WABetaInfo discovered this feature in the latest Android beta update.

Here’s the tech behind the magic: a combo of user images, text descriptions, and Meta’s powerful AI, Llama. “Take photos of yourself once, then imagine yourself in any setting from the forest to outer space,” reads the screenshot on WhatsApp. The way it works is in the Meta AI Chat: users can type “Imagine in…” or “@Meta AI imagine me…” as a text prompt. A user’s likeness will then be used to generate the personalized image.

While there’s no official release date yet, this exciting feature is entirely optional. It joins the recently launched in-app custom sticker maker, showcasing WhatsApp’s commitment to fostering creativity within the app. This, alongside their ongoing development of AI chat functionalities, highlights Meta’s focus on making WhatsApp a platform that embraces both technological innovation and user expression.

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YouTube’s New Eraser Tool Now Removes Songs Without Ruining Your Videos

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Good news for creators! YouTube has rolled out a major update to its eraser tool, allowing them to effortlessly remove copyrighted music from their videos without sacrificing other audio elements like dialogue or sound effects.

In a recent video, YouTube acknowledged that the previous version of the tool needed improvement in terms of accuracy. This new iteration addresses that concern by utilizing an AI-powered algorithm that precisely detects and removes unwanted songs while leaving the rest of the audio intact.

However, YouTube’s support page advises creators that the algorithm might not always achieve perfect separation. As an alternative, creators can opt to “Mute all sound in the claimed segments,” effectively silencing any portions potentially containing copyrighted material.

Once the edit is finalized, YouTube automatically removes the content ID claim, a system designed to identify the use of copyrighted material within videos on the platform. This allows creators to proceed with their uploads without copyright concerns.

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