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YouTube, WhatsApp and Zoom? What Were UAE Kids Looking For in 2020-2021?

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A new Kaspersky Safe Kids study has revealed what children were interested in during 2020 – 2021. Over the past year, their interest has grown in the categories of ‘software, audio and video’ and ‘e-commerce’, while ‘internet communication media’ and ‘computer games’ have slightly decreased. TikTok, YouTube, and WhatsApp are at the top of the most popular applications. At the same time, TikTok overtook Instagram with almost double the level of popularity.

2020 turned out to be one of the most unusual years for modern children. The pandemic has changed many common life situations across the globe, including education, meeting friends and family, recreation, and entertainment. Kaspersky analyzed anonymized data, such as search queries, the most popular Android applications, and website categories requested voluntarily provided by Kaspersky Safe Kids users, to explore how the interests and needs of children have changed under the new conditions.

The most popular website categories among children in the United Arab Emirates were ‘software, audio, video’ (50%) ‘internet communication media’ (21%), and ‘computer games’ (11%). Among the most popular apps, YouTube leads by a wide margin – the service remains the most popular video streaming service among children around the world. In second place is the messenger WhatsApp, and third is the popular video conferencing application, Zoom. The top list also includes games, such as Brawl Stars, Roblox, Among US, and Minecraft.

Children are very active in listening to and watching music videos on YouTube – its share is 17.35% in searches for music genres and videos. A number of ‘trend’ videos were also visible in the statistics – ‘pop it and simple dimple’ and ‘ASMR’ account for 4.43% of the queries. This year, requests related to the video game maker Gacha Life also stood out in the top ratings of children from all over the world with a share of 4%.

When it comes to music tastes, alongside traditional leaders like K-POP bands BTS and BLACKPINK, singers Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and Travis Scott, another musical genre, like ‘phonk’ became popular. There is also a trend towards ‘creative’ videos – more and more requests for beats, samples, and lessons on creating music in various programs began to appear at the top of the list. At the same time, TikTok remains the main musical trendsetter for children.

Cartoons account for half (50.21%) of all video searches by children around the world. The most popular ones are Lady Bug and Super Cat, Gravity Falls, and Peppa Pig. In second place were various TV shows – the most frequent search in English was The Voice Kids. In movies and TV series, the most popular trailers were Godzilla vs Kong, Zach Snyder’s recent Justice League, and the Disney+ mini-series WandaVision. Netflix also continues to attract the attention of more kids – the most frequent requests via the platform were for Cobra Kai and the now-iconic Stranger Things.

TikTok remains the undisputed leader among children, but at the same time, the perception of the social network has begun to transform. Now it is no longer only a social network for clips and lip syncs, as more educational and creative content has begun to appear on the platform. At the same time, to create TikTok videos, one person has to do the work of the operator, actor, director, and the entire film crew. All this develops skills that can not only be useful for children in the future but could lead them to choose it as a profession.

For video games, those trending the most with children include Minecraft (22.84%), Fortnite (6.73%), Among Us (3.80%), Brawl Stars (6.34%) – which recently captured the attention of children and is very popular – and the much-loved Roblox game (3.82%). At the same time, the most frequently played game in the top 10 for almost all countries is Roblox. Of all the regions, it was children from Kazakhstan who became leaders in visiting sites devoted to computer games – 26.01%. In second place were children from the UK (19.40%). But we see a very different picture in India, where children hardly ever visited sites dedicated to video games from a PC (just 5.08%).

“Modern children grow up with gadgets in their hands from a very young age, so they adapt to the digital space and master new technologies much faster. We see how TikTok has become one of the main trendsetters among children in a short time and continues to keep their attention. At the same time, YouTube hasn’t lost ground and remains the leader in popularity among children, in part due to the huge variety of videos, ranging from ‘let-plays’, documenting the playthrough of a video game, to educational lectures and clips. Understanding and analyzing the interests of children on the internet helps us to pay attention to the issue of safety. By knowing what kind of music, a child listens to, who their favorite bloggers are or what games they play, parents can strengthen their trusted relations with kids. For instance, they could film a TikTok video together. This will also let parents help their kids to protect themselves from potential hazards online,” comments Anna Larkina, web content analysis expert at Kaspersky.

To ensure children have a positive online experience, Kaspersky recommends that parents:

  • Learn more about your children’s interests.
  • Surf and learn together. See where children spend their time online and explore how to best keep them safe.
  • Explain that sensitive information should only be shared via messengers and only with people they know in real life.
  • Consider downloading parental control apps and discuss this topic with your child to explain how such apps work and why they need them to stay safe online.
  • Spend more time communicating with children about online safety measures. Tell your children what must not, under any circumstances, be published on the internet and why.
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UAE Entrepreneurs Launch Private Messaging App

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UAE-based entrepreneurs have launched a private messaging app, which enables users to send voice and written messages that disappear as soon as they are sent, read, and played. “The application called Oh!Message, brings users back to the classical period of simple communications tools, but by using the best privacy-enhancing features, to be the first chat application with this high privacy developed in the ME region by Arab expertise,” said Mohammed Othman and Haian Nayouf, the makers of the app.

With this free app, the sent message will disappear from the sender’s account after 10 seconds if it is read by the recipient or not, and it will also disappear from the recipient’s account after 10 seconds of opening or playing it. The message will be destroyed completely within the application and will not be stored on the app servers. Each written message is limited to 100 characters while the audio message is 10 seconds.

“Oh!Message is end-to-end encrypted but it has also other features that make it the most private app among messaging apps,” said Engineer Mohammed Othman, Co-Founder and Chief of Technology at Oh!Message. “In this app, which is available in Apple and Android stores, the user doesn’t appear online while using it, and his/her location is not tracked.”

“The first period of the app launch is in the UAE, the Gulf region, and Arab countries,” said Haian Nayouf, Co-Founder and Chief of Communications at Oh!Message. “The UAE is the capital for talent, companies, and investments in the areas of digital and technical excellence globally, and this has greatly motivated us to work on this project in UAE, and the app is the first of its kind in the Arab world with these strong privacy features.”

The app is now available for both iOS and Android devices.

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Taiwan’s First International Streaming Platform Called Taiwan+ is Now Live

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Taiwan Plus (Taiwan+), the first English-language international streaming platform of Taiwan, was unveiled by Vice President Lai Ching-te, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, Culture Minister Lee Yung-te, Central News Agency (CNA) Chairman Liu Ka-shiang, Taiwan+ CEO Joanne Tsai, and H.E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins of Embassy of Saint Christopher and Nevis at the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei on Aug. 30.

Targeting an English-speaking audience, Taiwan+ consists of media professionals from the U.S., the U.K, Canada, France, and Australia, as well as local industry professionals, who work collaboratively to deliver the latest news about Taiwan, international affairs, and covers a wide range of topics. The platform also sources stories from Taiwan’s public and private media organizations.

Golden Melody-award-winning singer Sanpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw opened the event with a music performance. Held with COVID-19 prevention measures in place, the event was joined by representatives including Izumi Hiroyasu from Japan, Jordan Reeves from Canada, Andrew Wylegala and Don Shapiro from the U.S., and Henry Chang and Giuseppe Izzo from Europe.

H.E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins of the Embassy of Saint Christopher and Nevis in Taiwan said the international video platform is expected to connect Taiwan with the world. President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her pleasure to join the launch of Taiwan+ with a video message, saying “Taiwan+ is an exciting new initiative to tell Taiwan’s story. Generations of Taiwanese fought to transform this country into a vibrant democracy that protects freedom of speech and expression.”

Premier Su Tseng-chang wished the platform success. He stressed that Taiwan is a democratic and free country guided by the rule of law, and cares about universal values of human rights, freedom of speech, and diversity, noting that this is why many countries are willing to make friends and do business with Taiwan. Vice President Lai said, “I hope that the platform can be the starting point from which the world learns about what Taiwanese people think and want, what Taiwan is doing, and what we can contribute to the world.”

Legislative Speaker, You noted that, with China’s intimidation and political oppression against Taiwan, the establishment of Taiwan+ allows Taiwan to tell its stories to the world through its voices. Taiwan+, a project commissioned by the Ministry of Culture to the CNA, marks an important milestone in the country’s history of mass media, Minister Lee said. He expressed his gratitude to legislators and professionals for making this happen.

“I hope to make this platform a form of expansion, connection, and infinite possibilities, just like how Taiwan incorporates ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity, and introduce Taiwan to the world through dynamic storytelling and news,” said Tsai, a senior media professional with over 25 years of experience in international media outlets, such as NBC/CNBC, National Geographic, and Fox International Channels.

The content of Taiwan+ can be played on the Taiwan Plus app or viewed on its website and social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

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“Selfdrive” Launches Smart Mobility App

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Selfdrive, an entity of Pinewoods Tech Serve, has launched an all-in-one Smart Mobility App. The app is serving as a game-changer for the car rental space offering its users a seamless, reliable, and convenient mechanism to rent a car on demand. The cutting-edge mobile app provides direct access to dealership fleet to its users, allowing them to rent a car by the day, subscribe by the month, or lease a car up to 3 years, offering complete flexibility in booking duration.

The company to date has served over 50k customers and witnessed a 30% MoM growth in customer base in the past six months. The app is built on a proprietary tech foundation concept, Search – Select – Pay, that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to match customers’ profiles with the cars that they would like to drive, making the selection process and renting a car absolutely seamless experience.

This app is available to download on Android and iOS, which offers users the option to select from 65 different car models across 15 different car brands from 45 different locations in the UAE within three hours. Some of the key brands available to rent are Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Renault, Mazda, Infinity, Volkswagen (VW), BMW, and many more.

Speaking about the launch of its app, Soham Shah, CEO, and Co-Founder of Selfdrive said, “As one of the largest car rental service providers in the UAE, we strive to offer exceptional service to our customers every step of the way. We bring together exclusive offers on the app starting from AED 49 per day and AED 999 per month. That’s not all, with the launch of ‘Lease Pro’ in this app, users can now rent a brand new ‘Zero Km’ car under its 12 – 24 – 36 months subscription that would be exclusively registered on demand by the car dealer.”

“The smart mobility platform is a testament of our commitment to curate best deals on cars direct from the dealership, whilst making it possible for anyone to rent a car on demand and get it delivered too. This alleviates the hassle of going through multiple car rental agencies to find the best car models and rates on offer,” added Shah.

The Car rental market accounted for $86 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $131 billion by 2026, projecting a CAGR of about 7% during the forecast period. Selfdrive launched in 2017 is the UAE’s largest car rental tech platform that has crossed 2000 cars on road.

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