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Snapchat Gets Next Gen Scan Features

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Two years ago, Snapchat introduced Scan to help Snapchatters discover and understand the world around them in the fastest and easiest way possible with its Camera. The company has begun the rollout of the Next Generation Scan features to Snapchat, bringing the Scan button front and center, and adding increased functionality allowing Snapchatters to find fun and helpful experiences in categories including fashion, food, plants, and more. Next-Generation Scan has begun rolling out globally to iOS users. Availability on Android will follow over the next few weeks.

From finding a fun Lens that perfectly expresses your mood, to helping you navigate grocery store aisles, or even your own pantry, Scan and our Camera is a starting point to help Snapchatters express themselves and learn about the world. The scan will now also offer suggestions for different ways to use our Camera, including Camera Shortcuts and unique shopping capabilities. Camera Shortcuts suggest camera modes, Lenses, and soundtracks relevant to what is seen through the Snapchat Camera. Camera Shortcuts has begun rolling out to iOS users globally and will be available to Android users globally by the end of this year.

Shopping with the Snap Camera is behaviour the company is also leaning into with Scan because the company sees it as a trend that’s here to stay. Snap is providing a seamless shopping experience directly from the camera, whether that’s in the moment when you see an outfit you love, or later because you’ve screenshotted it for inspiration.

People love to take screenshots of things they see online and come back to it later, and with Scan, Snap is making that easier than ever. Just tap into your screenshots and use Scan technology to find and buy those outfits with shopping capabilities through Memories. Shopping through Memories is available to 15% of Snapchatters on iOS and is planned to be rolled out to more users in the coming weeks.

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HUAWEI WATCH 3 | 3 Pro Get RTA’s nol Digital Card

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In a move geared towards further integrating advanced and innovative technologies into Dubai’s transport sector, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Huawei Consumer Business Group have announced a landmark partnership to launch the digital nol card on the HUAWEI WATCH 3 | 3 Pro. The announcement follows RTA’s launch of the region’s first digital nol card in collaboration with Huawei last year to support the country’s transition to a cashless society.

Mohammed Al Mudharreb, CEO, Corporate Technology Support Services Sector of RTA, Dubai said, “Users can now access the region’s premier digital nol card through the nol Pay app available on the AppGallery on Huawei Watch 3 | 3 Pro. Consumers can use their HUAWEI Wallet to top up their digital nol cards and pay on the go by simply tapping their smartwatch. This grants customers the opportunity to purchase RTA transport tickets, shops, public parks, museums, and more using digital nol card from their HUAWEI WATCH 3 | 3 Pro. This initiative also aligns with our overall digital transformation strategy to adopt fourth industrial revolution technologies into Dubai’s transport sector.”

Keith Li, Country Head, Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) for the United Arab Emirates, said, “With the UAE pursuing a leading role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, we are proud to be part of the journey. This partnership with RTA allows us to enable technology to users via our latest products, the HUAWEI WATCH 3 | 3 Pro.  By partnering with RTA, we look forward to providing residents and guests of Dubai with seamless smart experiences.”

The payment transactions are supported with HUAWEI Wallet’s world-class security system that ensures consumers’ privacy and data protection. Live demos of the digital nol card are available at the RTA stand at GITEX Global 2021.

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Deezer Now Available on Etisalat Youth Plans

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Deezer and Etisalat are teaming up to bring prepaid and postpaid mobile users music without any limits. Deezer is now offered as part of ‘Etisalat Youth’ plans. Customers between 18-29 who choose one of the Etisalat youth plans can enjoy their favourite tunes worry-free. Customers who opt-in will be able to stream music on Deezer without using their mobile data. Additionally, as a launch promo, they get their first month of Deezer Premium free upon subscription, then it’s charged at AED 18 a month.

Premium subscribers can enjoy 73 million local and international tracks as well as a wide range of channels, compilations, and playlists curated by Deezer’s local editors. It’s also the only audio streaming service where you can find exclusive content from Rotana, the largest record company in the Arab world.

Deezer is the only streaming service with Flow, for a mix of old favorites and new tunes. Flow is your never-ending soundtrack of music that’s completely tailored to your personal tastes. And when you’re tired of music, you can easily switch to the Podcast tab in the app and enjoy all of your favourite shows. Here you’ll also find personalised podcast recommendations and 15 different categories to pick from.

Deezer’s premium features and benefits include:

  • Downloads, so that you can enjoy your favourite tunes and podcasts even when you have no network coverage
  • Lyrics, which lets you look up what a song is saying and sing along wherever you are
  • Songcatcher, our in-app feature that identifies unknown tracks and lets you add songs directly to your personal library.
  • Dark mode gives our users the freedom to switch from their normal light music player to a dark grey background.
  • Curated channels let you explore and discover new music and entertainment content by category and genre. We have over 20 categories of music, news, podcasts, and custom-made content based on location and preference.
  • Daily mixes offer 40 song recommendations inspired by your listening throughout the week.
  • Discovery updated every week, we bring you new music that you’ve never listened to on Deezer, perfectly tailored to your taste. We recommend the tracks based on music favorited on your phone.

“Everyone should have the freedom to enjoy their favourite music without worrying about their data running out. Our partnership with Etisalat makes that a reality for young people in the United Arab Emirates. Deezer is perfectly positioned to be the best audio streaming partner for leading telcos like Etisalat. We have a state-of-the-art platform that listeners love to use over and over again and an agile team that can provide fast and seamless integration for operators. Working with a streaming service like Deezer can help operators reduce churn and grow network usage, especially with young customers,” said Ralph Pighin, Senior Vice President Europe, Africa & Asia at Deezer.

Etisalat customers can subscribe via the USSD code *101*18#, through the My Etisalat app, or via www.etisalat.ae. SWYP users can subscribe through the SWYP app or via USSD to select and subscribe to add-ons.

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Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, and Instagram Are All Offline

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Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp have apparently all gone down in a major outage. The social network and the Facebook-owned platforms all stopped working around 7:30 pm UAE time, today, according to the site Down Detector. The outage affects nearly 7 billion users between the three platforms. Users going to Facebook’s site saw an error page or an onscreen message that said, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

Instagram and WhatsApp are not showing new or updated content. On Instagram, messages including “Couldn’t Refresh Feed” or “5xx Server Error” appeared. “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Facebook communications director Andy Stone tweeted today. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

During Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes, former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen, who worked on Facebook’s civic integrity team, alleged that the company was aware that its platform was used to spread misinformation and violence and that their inaction may have enabled the planning of the January 6 Capitol riot.

“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money,” Haugen said on 60 Minutes. “I’ve seen a bunch of social networks and it was substantially worse at Facebook than anything I’ve seen before.”

In its response to Haugen’s claims, Facebook stated in part, “We’ve invested heavily in people and technology to keep our platform safe and have made fighting misinformation and providing authoritative information a priority. If any research had identified an exact solution to these complex challenges, the tech industry, governments, and society would have solved them a long time ago.”

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