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Facebook Adds Catalogs to WhatsApp – Another Feature to Milk the App’s 1.5 Billion Users



Facebook (NASDAQ: 191,605 FB, 0.62%) seems to want to seriously monetize WhatsApp, the cross-platform VoIP and VoIP service acquired by the tech giant in 2014 for $ 19 billion. In a blog post (read here), the company announced Thursday the new feature of WhatsApp, with which companies can better market their products.

The new WhatsApp tool, called catalog functionality, displays the full range of products and services offered by businesses. Previously, these companies had to send product photos and repeatedly transmit product information to different customers.

Now, however, an enterprise in this digital sector can add information such as price, description, and product code for each item in its catalog. This will increase customer loyalty and focus on continuous chatting, without the need for users to search a company’s dedicated website for product references.

When the users are ready for the transaction, they are automatically redirected to the provider’s website of the specified payment solution.

The catalog feature that marks Facebook’s latest salvo when trading its chat application is now available to companies using the WhatsApp Business App on Android and iPhone in Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, in Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Parts of the world, according to the blog.

Of course, Facebook’s flagship news feed product continues to generate high advertising revenue (read our corresponding coverage here). In its third quarter earnings report, the company announced that its average revenue per user (ARPU) had increased 19 percent to $ 7.19 per year. That equates to $ 17.6 billion of revenue generated by 2.45 billion Facebook users.

Facebook users are more likely to click on ads than users of other social media platforms, which contributes to this phenomenal growth. This improved user interaction is based at least in part on the company’s optimized algorithms, which deliver the right ads to the right people.

Facebook WhatsApp Catalog

Still, it seems that the tech giant is now ready to exploit its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms. In March 2019, Facebook added a purchase feature to Instagram, allowing users to click on a “payment” option for items marked for sale and pay for them in the app.

In addition, the company announced in 2018 that it was beginning to charge businesses sending news about marketing and customer service via WhatsApp fees.

The fees for these messages vary by country and range from 0.5 to 9 cents per message. According to a WhatsApp spokesperson, more than 100 companies now use this paid product, while nearly 5 million use the free WhatsApp service.

All of these developments are part of Facebook’s overall strategy of putting more emphasis on private discussions by increasing the number of robots and augmented reality tools.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the company, these changes are intended to encourage businesses to communicate with consumers through the various messaging services of the technology giant.

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The Justice Department will reportedly investigate Google’s Fitbit acquisition



Reportedly, the US Department of Justice will review Google’s acquisition of wearable device company Fitbit in November and investigate possible concerns about detailed user data that Fitbit would provide to Google.

The New York Post reports that both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, both of whom could investigate the merger, were worried about the merger. However, the Ministry of Justice has already launched an important antitrust investigation against Google and requested documents from the company in September. The agency also announced a comprehensive survey of major technology companies focused on research, social media and some retail services. The FTC was given the power to investigate Facebook and Amazon.

Reuters also confirmed that the Ministry of Justice will take the lead in an investigation.

Numerous privacy and consumer rights groups have asked the government to stop Google’s acquisition of Fitbit. The deal could help Google compete with Apple in the portable computer market. Unlike Apple, however, Google’s core business includes targeted advertising, data mining and services that manage much of our digital life. Purchasing a popular fitness tracking device will expand the data store.

And the antitrust director of the Justice Department Makan Delrahim suggested that data protection concerns could play a role in any investigation. “It would be a serious mistake to believe that privacy issues can never play a role in the cartel analysis,” Delrahim said at a November conference shortly after the acquisition. “Without competition, a dominant company can more easily reduce quality, for example by reducing privacy without losing a significant number of users.”

Google has been authorized to purchase many other companies over the past two decades, although some restrictions have been added. As public criticisms of technological monopolies have increased, the result of this Fitbit review may indicate how seriously the Justice Department actually limits the power of large technology companies – and unlike a larger review, you don’t have to worry about undoing the mergers I already have closed. You may want to delete your Fitbit data just in case.

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Apple’s most expensive Pro Display XDR requires a special, Apple-made cloth to clean it



The latest top-of-the-range Apple display, the XDR Pro Display, is now available. And it’s not cheap, starting at $ 4,999 with an opaque “nano-texture” update for just $ 1,000. However, if you buy this nano-texture update and you never have a spot of dust on it, you shouldn’t think about cleaning it with a little water and a microfibre cloth. Instead, an Apple support document states that it is necessary to clean this nano-texture glass only with a special “dry polishing cloth” supplied with the display and nothing else (via MacRumors).

Apple has not yet explained why the owners of an XDR Pro Display with nanotexture should use a special cloth for another screen cleaner (we asked for it), but it is probably because of how the display is made. “Nano-texture” glass is Apple’s term for its non-reflective matte texture option. According to Apple, the nanoscale nanostructure is etched onto the glass to maintain the contrast on the display despite the matte finish. For some reason, the nanotess is so delicate that it should only be cleaned with a special cloth.

If you lose this polishing cloth, you can’t go directly to Amazon or go to an Apple store and buy a new one – you’ll need to contact the Apple Support Department for a replacement. We asked Apple how much an exchange could cost.

And if you’re worried, Apple has also given specific instructions on how to clean the polishing cloth: hand wash it with dishwashing liquid and water, rinse it and leave it to “air dry” for at least 24 hours. I am sincerely surprised that any detergent will work for the cloth.

The special apple cleaning cloth can be annoying, but at least an apple cleaning cloth is included. You’ll need other essential accessories like a stand (Apple costs $ 999, or you can choose the VESA adapter for $ 199) or a webcam (like the Logitech 4K magnetic webcam for $ 199.99 specially designed for the monitor) pays 4,999 extra dollars included in the basic display.

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Google is under federal investigation for labor practices



Google is currently under investigation by the US National Labor Relations Board, CNBC reported Monday.

The investigation follows the recent layoffs of four former Google employees named Laurence Berland, Paul Duke, Rebecca Rivers and Sophie Waldman. The four former employees were involved in internal activism during their stay at Google and encouraged their colleagues to protest issues such as the company’s plan to create a censored version of its search engine in China, or submit bids for contracts with the Ministry of Defense. If it is determined that Google has fired these employees because of their activism, this could be a violation of federal labor law.

The four employees filed an indictment with the NLRB on December 5 for unfair labor practices. Google has already been investigated by the NLRB, including a recent survey that ended just two months ago. In this September comparison with the agency, Google promised that, among other things, it would give its employees the opportunity to form unions and talk to the press. The December announcement blames Google for violating the terms of this settlement.

According to CNBC, the NLRB’s investigation will focus on whether Google has violated labor laws by firing these activists and whether it has prevented its employees from forming a union. When employees file an indictment with the NLRB, the Agency must initiate an investigation to determine whether to take formal action and file its own complaint. Oakland agency staff will lead the investigation, which is expected to last 90 days.

At The Verge’s request to comment, Google responded with the same statement it has used since the layoffs:

We fired four people who deliberately and repeatedly violated our long-standing privacy policy, including the systematic access and distribution of documents and the work of other employees. No one was fired for expressing concerns or discussing the company’s activities.

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