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Whatsapp to Announce Multi-Device Support

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It’s been 8 months now that we’ve been telling you about multi-device support for WhatsApp. In fact, the latter is certainly one of the most anticipated features. As a reminder, it allows you to use messaging on 4 devices simultaneously; without needing to have your smartphone connected to the Internet and scan a QR Code. Last March, the feature becomes available in beta for a handful of users; but we haven’t had much news since.

Today, the wait is over. Indeed, according to information obtained by WABetaInfo, the developers are preparing to roll out the feature to all iOS users by the end of the month. Android users, meanwhile, will have to wait until next month to qualify as well. Also according to WABetaInfo, connecting to your account will then be much faster, while maintaining optimal security against hacking.

Moreover, it would seem that the organization of the messages is also improved; a good news since several conversations will have to be downloaded on the device during the connection. Remember, however, that some features will not be available on all machines. On WhatsApp Web, for example, users will not be able to access the preview of links or stickers.

Nevertheless, this feature will undoubtedly push users to turn back to the app. WhatsApp has indeed indicated that it has recorded an increase in access to the web version of its application since the deployment of the beta.

WhatsApp will receive a new, long-awaited feature by many users – the ability to leave reactions to messages. This tool is already available to participants of the beta testing program in the version of the app for Android smartphones. We know that such reactions are already in use in messaging in many social networks and instant messengers, from Twitter to Telegram.

In particular, reactions like “like”, “laugh”, “surprise” or, for example, “sadness” will be offered. Apparently, reactions with a distinctly negative assessment of posts will not be used; quite in the trend of modern social media, which does not allow you to view the number of dislikes for posts.

You must use the appropriate beta software to test the feature. We know that so far only a limited number of users can participate in the program. The Google Play page for those wishing to become WhatsApp testers currently states: “Thank you for your interest in testing the WhatsApp Messenger app. We have currently reached the maximum number of testers for the WhatsApp Messenger app and have stopped accepting applications.”

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EVLAB Intros UAE’s First Electric Vehicle Marketplace App

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EVLAB, the multi-brand electric vehicle start-up, has made adopting a sustainable lifestyle easier for drivers in the UAE with the launch of the EVLAB App, an all-in-one mobility app to rent, lease and host their EVs in the UAE with phase 2 to include buy and sell electric vehicles (EVs) available in the Middle East. EVLAB’s new one-stop marketplace app addresses a growing desire among consumers in the Middle East to make a switch to sustainable mobility solutions. Electric vehicle sales have seen rapid growth in the region, with an increase of 72 per cent during 2020 alone.

In line with the goals of COP28, EVLAB is committed to reducing CO2 emissions and fostering sustainable mobility in the Middle East, striving to play a pivotal role in catalyzing positive transformation. The new platform supports the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative, which is a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions and make the Emirates the first nation in the MENA region to do so. The app also complements other sustainability initiatives in the country, including the Dubai Green Mobility Strategy 2030, which has resulted in the installation of more than 1,000 public charging stations across the UAE.

The EVLAB App allows eco-conscious drivers to browse a unique collection of electric vehicle brands available in the Middle East and take advantage of EVLAB’s expertise to understand the benefits of electric vehicles and make a seamless transition to sustainable transportation. Drivers can consider short-term rentals, leasing or hosting their electric vehicles through a seamless and hassle-free user journey.

The booking process is straightforward with easy navigation using the rent, lease, host and chat tabs on the homepage. Users can filter options based on brand preferences and features, such as performance and range, to save time and effort in finding an electric vehicle that suits their requirements and budget. All the listed cars and their hosts are vetted to guarantee authenticity and quality of service by the owners. In phase 2, electric vehicle owners can also conveniently sell their vehicles on the platform with guidance from EVLAB’s experts at every step of the way.

“With the accelerated pace of climate change, the adoption and transition to e-mobility is inevitable. At EVLAB, our ongoing goal is to consistently reduce emissions, and we are proud to say that we have successfully saved a cumulative total of 76,174 kilograms of CO2 to date and will further reduce with the EVLAB app. The all-in-one EVLAB App complements our EVLAB website with a broader range of functionality and services to make the eco-mobility journey easier for drivers in the region. The app allows users to rent, lease and host their electric vehicles seamlessly in a safe and trusted marketplace. As battery technology is rapidly evolving, the range of electric vehicles today will become obsolete in two to three years, so this model of renting and leasing becomes more attractive than buying. Consumers will have the additional ease of choosing their preferred electric vehicle based on their budget and lifestyle by selecting from a variety of options, including performance, acceleration, range, and charging times,” said Kevin Chalhoub, CEO and Founder of EVLAB.

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Snapchat Enhances MENA Creator Economy with Incentives and Features

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Snap Inc. is actively contributing to the growth of the creator economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through the introduction of new programs and features aimed at fostering sustainable businesses and audience engagement. Content creators on Snapchat, both established and emerging, are experiencing growth within the platform’s creator ecosystem. In the first quarter of 2023, Snapchat’s user-generated content platform, Spotlight, witnessed a notable 200% year-over-year increase in content viewing time, attracting over 350 million monthly active users.

Snapchat says this success is attributed to its provision of innovative content and revenue-sharing opportunities, transforming the platform into a profitable venture for creators of various levels. The monthly addressable reach of the MENA region on Snapchat continues to expand, with global daily active users increasing by 12% year-over-year to reach 406 million in the third quarter of 2023.

Julie Bogaert, Head of EMEA Talent Partnerships at Snap Inc., emphasises Snapchat’s commitment to supporting creators at every stage of their careers. The platform offers a range of programs and tools across Stories, Spotlight, and Discover, providing creators with the means to turn content creation into a full-time career. Creators value Snapchat for its unique reach, relevance, and revenue-generating capabilities.

Snapchat has introduced new monetisation programs, including the Stories revenue share program for creators with substantial followings and engagement metrics. This program seamlessly integrates ads within creators’ Stories, offering a consistent revenue source. Additionally, Snapchat encourages aspiring creators through the Spotlight reward program, providing increased rewards for top-performing content.

Recognising the importance of amplifying creators’ reach while maintaining authenticity, Snapchat now allows Snapchatters to post Public Stories, expanding their audience while preserving genuine connections. Public Stories provide insights into content performance and Story Replies, enhancing creator-audience engagement.

The expansion of creator content is evident across the platform, with features like Snap Map showcasing Stories and Spotlight Snaps. Creators can now tag locations in Spotlight Snaps, increasing exposure. The ability for Snapchatters to save favourite Stories to profiles enables them to explore new creators and engage more deeply with their preferred content.

Snapchat continues to roll out new tools for creators, providing more control over video replies with Spotlight Replies, the ability to react to and re-share Spotlight Snaps with Remix, and additional features such as adding Linktree to Public Profiles and incorporating sounds into Lenses. Overall, Snapchat remains a dynamic platform that empowers creators to express themselves and build thriving communities.

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Sunbird Temporarily Closes Android iMessage App Citing ‘Security Concerns’

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Sunbird, the app designed to bring iMessage to Android users, has temporarily halted its service due to “security concerns,” as initially reported by 9to5Google. In a communication to its users, Sunbird announced the decision to “pause Sunbird usage for now” while it investigates reports suggesting that its messages lack true end-to-end encryption.

Launched in 2022 with the aim of settling the blue versus green bubble debate, Sunbird has been accessible only to those who join its waitlist, emphasizing various privacy features such as end-to-end encryption, no message data collection, and an absence of ads. Last week, Sunbird joined forces with Nothing, the phone brand owned by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, for the release of Nothing Chats. The Sunbird-powered messaging service was intended to enable owners of the Phone 2 to send texts via iMessage. However, it was swiftly removed from the Google Play Store just one day after its launch.

While Nothing initially cited the need to address “several bugs” in the app, its removal coincided with a post from Texts.blog, revealing potential lapses in end-to-end encryption for messages sent via Sunbird. Android developer Dylan Roussel reached similar conclusions and also discovered that Sunbird stores numerous media files on the cloud service Firebase. This implies that Sunbird’s assertion of not storing data on its servers is only partially accurate, as the company seems to be externally dispatching the information.

Sunbird has yet to provide a statement regarding the app’s closure, but its message to users states, “We will update you when we are ready to proceed.” The app is no longer featured on the Google Play Store, despite being downloadable just last month, as seen in an archived version of the page.

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