It has been an extremely difficult year for everyone, especially with countries going into lockdown and people being forced to stay away from their friends and families for health and safety reasons. Social and physical distancing regulations have made people crave and miss the communities they are part of. However, content creators on social media, short video, and live streaming platforms have been helping people feel as though they are part of an extremely large online community that transcends international borders.
Singapore-based BIGO Technology (BIGO) is one of the fastest-growing internet technology companies in the world. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, BIGO’s video-based products and services – such as livestreaming platform Bigo Live and short-form video platform Likee – have gained immense popularity and have been at the forefront of connectivity by bringing together users, employees and online communities across the world.
In honor of those who have supported thousands of people around the world, and made them feel happier during hard times, BIGO has announced its upcoming celebration of its creators and users at their annual Awards Gala Ceremony that will be taking place virtually at 8pm (GTM+8) on 21st January 2021, on their Music Livehouse channel (Bigo ID: music).
“BIGO has done it once again and is all set to bring its global online communities together, as they host their annual Gala Awards ceremony virtually in January 2021,” said a spokesperson from BIGO. “BIGO connects its users on a personal level, and users have been able to form lifelong, enduring connections with people across the world, especially now as they have been forced to forego physical and social interaction with their loved ones.”
Although this particular event is more of a celebration to honor its users, BIGO has also always made it a point to do its part to continue to develop its platforms and allow people to showcase and communicate their skills and talents. One such initiative is the BIGOFUN Epsorts tournament that was launched in the MENA region in October 2020. The aim of this tournament is to provide local Esports professionals and enthusiasts with an opportunity to experience an enjoyable and competitive environment via livestreaming.
“There has been a significant increase in the popularity of gaming and Esports activities on our platform. Esports stars are rising from here, showcasing their talents and skills to a broad audience through livestreaming and real-time interactions. We are committed to providing our users and broadcasters with the most enriching experience which is why we have and will continue to invest in Esports activities. We look forward to welcoming gamers from all walks of life in the months to come” said the spokesperson from BIGO.
In addition to creating platforms that allow users to shine, BIGO is also committed to giving back to society. The company has previously hosted several events and initiated campaigns that bring people together in order to raise awareness for various social causes and cultures as well.
One such campaign hosted by BIGO that have helped communities within the MENA region was in-app awareness and education on COVID-19 and the proper safety measures and restrictions to keep users and their loved ones safe and healthy. As well, following the Global Pandemic, BIGO took the initiative to donate over 5,000 masks and 25,000 medical surgical masks to Jordan in a stance to support the country, and combat the pandemic with them. Ultimately, BIGO’s aim is not only to provide a platform for creators to showcase their talents, but also offer users a global support system.
As well as part of their ‘Global BIGOer One World Together’ campaign, BIGO raised a total of $100,000 in donations for goodwill. The amount raised was donated to the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Response Fund, as part of global efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The event itself included BIGO Live’s music livehouse, where close to 100 broadcasters performed, and had over 3.7 million viewers in attendance.
Alongside these humanitarian efforts, BIGO continues to be a platform that allows users to combat their personal challenges and create connections, including boosting small businesses, or nurturing personal relationships over livestreaming.
“BIGO has brought about so many positive changes in my life,” said Sultan Khalid, a Bigo Live Broadcaster from the GCC region, who won the top regional broadcaster this year. “I have taken my passion for content creation, and am pursuing it as a full-time occupation thanks to BIGO Live. The opportunities I received from creating content on Bigo Live allowed me to connect with so many users from all over the world. I usually do daily livestreams, and at times have up to 15,000 followers tuning in to watch me and talk to me. I am so thankful that BIGO exists, because it truly brings people together. “
Who says you can’t be a part of something meaningful and fun, just because you can’t physically be present? If you wish to be a part of, or even just watch BIGO’s upcoming annual Awards Gala, you can tune in directly via the Bigo Live app which can be downloaded at https://bigolive.onelink.me/sG8X/bigoliveth
AppGallery Partners with Hungama Music
AppGallery, Huawei’s official app distribution platform, has expanded its streaming app offering for UAE users by partnering with Hungama Music, one of India’s leading music streaming services. This partnership places Hungama Music on the world’s third-largest app distribution platform with more than 540 million monthly active users globally, and a vast customer base in the UAE.
With the new extension of the Hungama Music app Huawei users will have access to yet another streaming music option to choose from within the AppGallery entertainment category. They can access to over 12 million songs, music videos, and podcasts in 20+ languages from the biggest Indian and international labels from the convenience of their mobile devices. Moreover, Hungama Music’s association with Mazzika Group, a leading Arabic music production and distribution company provides users with an extensive library featuring more than 10,000 tracks from local artists.
Siddhartha Roy, COO, Hungama Digital Media, said: “We are excited to strengthen our partnership with Huawei and expand the availability of our platform on AppGallery in the Middle East region. As a platform, we have always believed in building a robust distribution network that allows us to reach users across geographies and device ecosystems. We are certain that Huawei device users in the region will appreciate Hungama Music for its large and diverse library of Indian and international songs, music videos, and podcasts.”
Lu Geng, Vice President Middle East and Africa, Huawei Global Partnerships & Eco-Development said: “We are delighted to partner with Hungama Music by offering users here in the UAE an additional music service platform to choose from. At AppGallery we are committed to provide users with a wide range of high-quality and innovative apps that meet their demands. Moreover, we continue to empower the next generation of local developers can benefit from listing apps on AppGallery.”
AppGallery has concentrated its efforts on working with developers on both local and global scales to bring the most relevant apps to users, boosting the number of developers working with the platform and delivering more choices to consumers worldwide. The latest partnership with Hungama Music shows Huawei’s added value and continual support to developers on penetrating additional markets. The Hungama Music apps have been integrated within the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) Core allowing apps to be integrated across different devices, delivering more convenience and a smoother consumer experience.
You Can Now Join In-Progress Group Calls on WhatsApp
WhatsApp group calls are about to behave more like Zoom calls and other more free-form chats. The company has started rolling out the ability to join group calls in progress, rather than having to be there and stay when the call starts. You can drop in and out at will as long as you were invited at the beginning.
There’s also a call information screen to show who’s participating in, and invited to a chat. Also, don’t worry if you have to hit “ignore” for a call — the door will still be open if you want to join later.
“Today we’re introducing the ability to join a group call, even after it’s started. Joinable calls reduce the burden of answering a group call as it starts, and brings the spontaneity and ease of in-person conversations to group calling on WhatsApp,” the platform said in a blog post.
To join a missed group call, all you need to do is to open the “Calls” tab, and if the call is ongoing, tap the call you would like to join in. You will then see the call info screen. From the call menu, tap “Join”. The feature also has a new call info screen with it, which lets users see who is on the call, along with invited users who haven’t joined yet. Group video calling on WhatsApp currently allows up to eight participants.
The addition is a recognition that Zoom and other more flexible video chat services are still popular even as the pandemic, hopefully, winds down. WhatsApp is also acknowledging that some people have always had different video chat habits — this could make the service more appealing if you’ve always left a video chat running so that friends could pop in when they have a moment.
Udrive Car Rental Service Now Available at Dubai Festival City
Dubai Festival City, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate’s fully integrated destination and part of Al-Futtaim Group have partnered with Udrive, the car-sharing provider providing pay-per-minute car rental services. With the plan of extending to further locations in the destination and being available to the entire community, the affordable service will cater to Festival Tower tenants and customers in the first phase.
Unlike traditional car rental services in the UAE, Udrive does not require you to book ahead of time and provides the best driving experience with no hassles of monthly fees, deposits, or other financial commitments. Their extensive fleets of cars are always available 24/7 to ensure you never have to worry about anything but driving. The ride covers fuel, parking, insurance making it the service of choice.
Commenting on the partnership, Samer Zabian, Director, Residential & Commercial Property at Dubai Festival City said, “Keeping the convenience of our residents, tenants, customers, and community members is our top priority. Dubai Festival City’s partnership with Udrive is a testament to the group’s vision of enriching people’s lives each and every day. Our goal is to be at the forefront of our customers’ minds and making the commute to our destination hassle-free. We are excited to welcome Udrive to Dubai Festival City and aim to spread the service across other areas in the destination.’’
“Udrive is focused on providing the most convenient commuting solutions to people across the UAE. The partnership with Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate for Dubai Festival City is key to offering more easily accessible parking locations for our shared customers. We are excited about the opportunity this provides and thankful to Al-Futtaim for their commitment to both customer bases,” said Nicholas Watson, Managing Director of Udrive.
Customers can book a drive by simply downloading the Udrive app from the Google Play Store for Android users or IOS Store for iPhone users. Once you have registered, select the car of your choice, complete your booking and enjoy the ride.
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