WhatsApp is working on the Assign chats to linked devices feature for WhatsApp business users. A few days back the platform announced that the company was developing the ability to hide phone numbers from specific business accounts.
According to the reports this time again the company is working to develop one more useful feature for business users. WhatsApp is one of the most popular social networking services used by millions of people globally.
Being an in-demand app the platform regularly keeps upgrading itself to enhance its user’s experience on the platform. Check out what new the platform offers you this time.
WhatsApp working on Assign chats to linked devices feature
Four months back the leading WhatsApp news portal WABetaInfo released an article on an announcement made by WhatsApp for businesses. In the article, the reliable news source reported about a new optional subscription plan called WhatsApp Premium for WhatsApp business users.
The report mentioned that this new plan would let the business account holders use many extra features. You will be able to create your own customized business link and link 10 devices to your account. This will also let large businesses manage their chats from any specific device.
According to the report, this is why the company is working on the Assign chat to linked device feature. WABetaInfo has also released a screenshot of this under-development feature. In the screenshot, you can see that when any business user enables this feature, a tooltip will appear to notify the user about it.
Moreover, the feature will also show the list of all your linked devices when you assign any chat to a specific device. This will help you select the device to which you want to assign the specific chat. After you select your preferred device, the assigned chats will show up there.
This will help the user of that device know which conversations they need to manage. As per the report the company has not kept this new business feature as a part of the subscription plan. All business users can use it for free.
However, the report also mentions that as this feature is only for business accounts, standard WhatsApp account users won’t get it. The report further adds that the released screenshot is of WhatsApp beta for iOS. The company is also developing the ability to Assign chats to linked devices to feature for WhatsApp beta Android and beta Desktop too.
As mentioned earlier this feature is currently under development process and it is currently not available for testing. As there are any further details available you will see a new post on our website. For all up-to-date information on the latest developments stay tuned with us.
Windows 7 and 8 users will need to update or lose OneDrive access
Millions of Windows users could lose access to their online cloud storage within weeks as Microsoft looks to encourage upgrading to the latest software.
The tech giant has warned that the OneDrive app will stop syncing with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 on March 1, 2022, meaning users only have a few weeks to upgrade to a newer version or possibly lose access to their files.
Despite Windows 7 and 8 being initially released nearly a decade ago, the two operating systems still see millions of users, meaning many will need to get updating soon.
Annual tech trade show CES 2020 has seen the introduction of a variety of new smartphones, so we’ve put together a list of the best we’ve seen at the world’s biggest tech show.
Some of these phones are real handsets you’ll be able to buy soon and get your hands on; others are concept devices that show off what the future of phones might look like.
We’ve made a list of the six best phones we saw at CES 2020, and we’ll run you through them all below. Some are 5G-ready, some are foldable and others are just new iterations of existing series of devices.
The technology ecosystem in Nigeria has failed so far to deliver the number of multi-million dollar exits that we have seen in other emerging markets like India and Brazil. Many solutions fail to reach scale.
This is probably due to a whole number of factors. But according to CB Insights, the number one reason why start-ups fail is ‘no market need for the product’. In other words, there was no customer/not enough customers.
This article will be taking a deep dive into the successes and failures of the ecosystem whilst trying to understand the market size/characteristics in Nigeria.
Who is the market?
Lets explore some statistical facts about the local market which may give an indication as to the different characteristics of the markets we need to be innovating for:
1. According to the World Bank there are almost 200m citizens in Nigeria.
This should mean a thriving market for consumer products. However, even established companies like Proctor & Gamble and PZ Cussons with their multi-million dollar market research teams, focus groups & decades global experience, seem to have misunderstood this market as this video explains.
According to the research presented, the number one concern from the average Nigerian consumer is price.
2. According to the NDIC, 98% of Nigerians have less than N500,000 ($1,250) in their accounts. And of course you have to consider the fact that the poorest Nigerians are unbanked.
Anything you are selling to the average Nigerian is competing with food.
On average nearly 60% of a Nigerians income is spent on food. But this average is spread across all segments including the rich. So we can assume that most Nigerians are spending 80%-90% of their income on food.
In the North-East of Nigeria, 121% of income is spent on food.
3. In India, there are almost 60,000 millionaires in Mumbai city alone.
This is important because it gives us an indication of the amount of wealth (and therefore spending power in the high end segment) in each of these cities.
4. Over half of card transactions occur in Lagos State according to Interswitch
5. A total of 15.2 million passengers passed through Nigerian airports in 2018, another pointer to the size of the Nigerian middle class. Compared to the 341 million passengers, that passed through Indian airports during the same period.
6. Size of the economy in Nigeria is about $400bn vs the state of California at $3tr
7. The biggest companies on the American stock exchange are companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon. They sell Internet search services, cloud storage services, e-commerce services. They continue to launch new ventures that specialize in advanced robotics and artificial intelligence.
The biggest company on the Nigerian stock exchange sells salt/sugar/pasta and cement. In the next two years, he will be launching a petrol company. Not artificially intelligent petrol, not 3-d printed petrol. The ordinary type that JD. Rockefeller was selling 100 yrs ago. There seems to be a marked difference in terms of market needs/what people will pay for. Alhaji understands the market and therefore continues to win.
Tech companies that have scaled successfully in Nigeria to $1b include MTN (a cell phone company) and Interswitch (A payments provider).
Notable non-tech companies that have achieved this scale include companies like Dufil foods (Instant noodles) and Chivita (A cheap juice drink aimed at poorer Nigerians).
To scale in Nigeria products need to be affordable, accessible and acceptable as I described in my article, how to make $1bn in Nigeria.
8. Nigeria is one of only 8 ‘World Bank red zones’. These are the only countries on the planet where GDP per capita (an indicator of individual share of wealth) has fallen steadily over the past 20 years.
So how can tech start-ups analyze, understand and categorize the market, so that we don’t make the same mistakes that the blue chips (referenced in the Coronation Research video above) made over the previous decade?
This article from Indian entrepreneur Sajith Pai, provides some insights. He divides in India into four mini India’s; India I, India II and India III.
India I is the upper class earning $9k per annum( N3.5m yearly ).They number about 110m (roughly 25% of airport passengers) and there are many tech start ups designed to cater to them.
They have to be super-targeted. He calls the start ups that cater to the super rich segment of India I , ‘avocado start ups’.
This article from Livemint, tries to analyse why so many Indian start ups are focused on this super rich segment, that is virtually non-existent in Nigeria.
It quotes Satyen Kothari an entrepreneur who started a mass market payment service, which he recently had to spin off into a wealth management tool for the rich, as saying:
“If you look at discretionary income, where people are able to spend beyond basic needs, that is only with 50–100 million customers. The per capita income of the rest of the country is too low to support discretionary spends. If one wants to build a business in India that makes sense and has hopes of being profitable you need to have customers who pay for convenience”
He goes on to say something very instructive for Nigerian tech innovators and investors:
“You may want to build mass market businesses,but pretty soon you realize that the unit economics become prohibitive. India doesn’t have the spending power or infrastructure or ecosystem yet to support profitable businesses on the internet for the masses”
However, these start-ups often find themselves looking for growth beyond this segment and that’s where it gets tricky.
India II is the regular working class Indian. The equivalent of the middle class Nigerian.They have jobs. A proportion own smart phones. They number about, 104m in India.
Few start-ups in India have been able to move from serving India I clients to India II clients as India II clients are significantly poorer. In Nigeria, tech companies like whataspp and facebook have been able to service them; however, I am not sure whether they have been able to profit from them.
India III are what we call in Nigeria ‘the masses’ . The bulk of the Nigerian population is poor, semi-literate, analogue & can only afford very basic needs.
The Addressable Market
Uday Marepalli shares some useful market insights that we should all consider when trying to figure out what the addressable market is for a particular product.
The most interesting statement that he makes that that:
There is a massive difference between people coming online and transacting online
He also goes on to point out that of the India’s top 41 private consumer Internet companies, only one generated a profit in the fiscal year ended March 2016.
In 2016, 60 million people shopped online in India; 14% of the total internet user base.
Nigeria also has the additional problem of data costs. The cost of 1GB in Nigeria is roughly $2.78, compared to $0.26/GB India. So internet is over five times as expensive in Nigeria compared to India which makes a huge difference for poorer customers.
Vikram’s tweet looks at various data points to try to establish a rough idea of the addressable market for a B2C business in India, which he estimates as circa 50m.
India is not our mate in terms of market size, in any of the three customer segments
To make things more difficult.
India has FAR more rich people. But Nigeria has more extremely poor people.
It is estimated that there are about 110m Indians (India I) with income above $9000 per year. This demographic makes up the bulk of the market for Indian tech products, its responsible for the large exits and the rapidly scaling products.
However, according to Mckinsey & Co, only 2m people in Nigeria have purchasing power and annual incomes over $10,000.
This means the size of Nigeria I is 2m compared to India I’s 110m!!!
Products aimed solely at Nigeria I ,would almost certainly fail to scale, unless they are super-targeted.
So we are left with Nigeria II & Nigeria III.
Nigeria II probably number about 80–92m. The start-ups of the mobility mafia; uber, bolt, gokada; to some extent, Jumia, Konga primarily target the bottom half of Nigeria I and the top half of the Nigeria II market in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities (Warri/Ibadan/Kano/Calabar/Abeokuta).Many struggle as this segment is large, but more fragmented that I.
Also Nigeria I&II, sometimes want different things, so its very difficult to serve them simultaneously.
A Nigeria I client would complain about the type of cars used on Uber for example. But obviously there are not enough people in Nigeria I to justify an Uber black service. However, Uber even at its low price point and with the ‘low’ standard of cars used, still remains a luxury for people in Nigeria II.
My Igbo brother and blueberry shopping partner Emeka Okoye said this in an article for Quartz ‘E-commerce did not come up in Nigeria because there was an opportunity, it came up became it was hot globally”
According to the World Poverty Clock there are over 90m people living in extreme poverty, they live on less than $2 per day and make up the bulk of Nigeria III. They can’t afford food, have limited access to clean water and education and don’t own smart phones.
There are services like GTB *737 that serve all segments to some extent. E-banking income at GTB, according the the last report was up N9.59bn in 2018.
However, surprisingly First Bank still takes more total deposits than GTB on a yearly basis. Nigerian banks function by taking as many deposits as possible them investing them in risk free assets like government treasuries.
The physical infrastructure; bank branches that First Bank has in the most remote parts of Nigeria are still providing the bank with an massive advantage. This is despite the fact that GTB’s product offers more of an advantage in terms of speed and convenience.
So what can innovators, dreamers and investors glean from these insights?
6 things to think about when innovating for scale in the Nigerian market
A lot of Nigerian techies complain that the quality of advice local investors/mentors give is terrible. They prefer the often unrealistic advice that the Silicon Valley investors who have never stepped foot in Africa give them.
The truth is most silicon valley investors have never invested in businesses outside the state of California. Many of them are deceiving you, not out of malice, but because they don’t realise the huge leg up a mature democracy with lots of cash to spend on research (Oga Donald Trump just invested $1.5bn in Quantum Computing), strong institutions, great infrastructure, security, freedom and the largest consumer class on the planet give them.
JP Morgan, an American bank holds more in assets than the entire GDP of Africa. The state of California itself with just about 30m citizens has a larger economy, than all 54 countries in Africa with their different languages, cultures, currencies, trade barriers and security issues, combined.
That means a tech company that scales in California is operating in a larger economy than a tech company that has scaled to every single country in Africa.
We cannot compare ourselves to America in terms of the size of the economy they have to work with or the exact way their tech ecosystem runs. In fact as you have seen from this article, even Indians (yes the place you have been calling ‘ordinary’ India) are NOT our mates. They have a much larger consumer class, better infrastructure and are way ahead in terms of skills/talent.
This tech ecosystem in Africa will develop, with some learning from India, maybe even some from America,but largely due to to our own home grown skills, our big dreamers, our entrepreneurial ingenuity and most importantly DEEP understanding of our market.
That’s all I have for you today. Remain blessed. Selah.
A Nigerian Startup, After-time Innovations founded by Onos Afo Temienor OAT, has taken quite an innovative step towards addressing the security situation in the Nation. by building Anti-Kidnap Luggage Boxes that comes with a touchscreen controller, inbuilt woofer music player, Location Tracker and remote CCTV surveillance all built into the Luggage Box. Making a gadget with features that seemed to have popped right out of a Bond movie.
The location of an eyeBOX can be tracked to wherever it is in Nigeria, even in the remotest locations, and it can also function without internet access. The eyeBOX also comes with a CCTV camera that streams live coverage of events through-out your journey to a host device linked to the eyeBOX. The Host device can be a phone or a tablet where the iBOX tracking app is already installed, usually the smartphone of a family member, next of kin or spouse.
Mr. OAT also said he and his team have almost completed a Smart-Belt and other mini gadgets, that would link the eyeBOX to its owner to keep on tracking even if the owner is separated from the eyeBOX, say in a case of banditry or kidnap
The designer of the eyeBOX Who is also the founder of the startup : Aftertime Innovations says he created the gadget to address multiple issues National and Global, 1.Security and Banditry issues, 2. Un-employment, and 3. Pollution”:thats why we chose recycling our plastic” he says. Aftertime Innovations is launching a factory soon that will employ anything from 50 to 100 workers and produce 100s of eyeBOXes monthly. He said with the right funding he intends to launch a giga-factory that could employ tens of 1000s of workers, and manufacture eyeBOXes for global export.
The company, in a blog post on Tuesday, warned of two “critical” vulnerabilities that rival the previous “BlueKeep” crisis. As with that bug, the new issues are described as “wormable,” meaning hackers could use them to spread malware from one machine to another without any interaction from the user.
Microsoft said, so far, it has no evidence that the vulnerabilities were known to any third parties. “It is important that affected systems are patched as quickly as possible because of the elevated risks associated with wormable vulnerabilities like these,” said Simon Pope, Microsoft’s director of Incident Response. “Customers who have automatic updates enabled are automatically protected by these fixes.”
GET YOUR ANDROID TV BOX TO TURN YOUR TV INTO SMART TV
If you don’t have automatic updates enabled, you can search for the patch by typing “Windows Update” in the search bar from the system’s start menu search bar.
The vulnerabilities are only present in Windows 10, which runs on more than 800 million devices today. Older systems, such as Windows XP, are not affected.
The comparisons to BlueKeep underscore how serious Microsoft is taking these security flaws. That flaw was deemed so serious that the National Security Agency got involved to warn people to update their systems.
The tech world has over the years seen an improvement in applications and codes created for use in a world that has more than ever accepted the reality brought by this phenomenon.
5G, a new generation of mobile radio communications, where the millimeter-wave spectrum is harnessed for faster data speed comes under the spotlight as researchers and industry players disagree on its effect on human lives.
With the switch from 4G to 5G communication network already taking place in some countries, researchers are calling on the world health organization to classify mobile communications as a category one cancer-causing substance, a stand industry players disagree with.
A world bank study in 2011 said: “over the last few years, there has been mounting concern about the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by wireless communication devices”. Similarly, a 2018 NTP report concluded that “exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) may have caused tumors in the skin and lungs of male mice and malignant lymphomas in female mice”. The report added that for CDMA-modulated RFR “exposure to RFR may have caused tumors in the liver of male mice and malignant lymphomas in female mice”.
However, despite these findings, industry players believe the switch to 5G mobile communication network comes with little or no increase in the exposure levels of RFR to humans and animals.
Jane Egerton-Idehen, a telecoms expert, said “between 5g, 4g, 3g we haven’t changed the power levels. Maybe we have changed the spectrum or the bands at which we are transmitting, we haven’t changed the power level”.
“Once you increase the power, then, of course, you are transmitting at a higher frequency and that becomes problematic. But if you haven’t changed the power level, you only changed the frequencies, I don’t see how that health effect will come to play”, she said.
Speaking on changes that the mobile communication sector will witness when the switch takes place, a 5G Networks expert, Kwame Opoku, posited that “averagely, we have had about a 100 megabytes per second with 4G. In Africa, it’s a bit low, but globally it is about 100. Even with 4G, we have not fully achieved it’s full potential
“5G is promising 1.4 gigabytes of internet upload and download speed. What this means is that if you are downloading a 1gigabyte movie, you’ll download it in one second” stressing that “that is absolutely unheard of”.
He further maintains that the switch to 5G “will shift the entire global economy into a very different trajectory because of the internet of things”.
With the internet of things, smart homes and even cities becoming en vogue, other issues are being thrown up. for example, how secure can one operate within this space? A cybersecurity expert, Kunle Oloruntimehin, says standards set by globally recognized online security organizations must be strictly adhered to for safety.
“Bodies like the 3GPP have put together standards to drive security around 5G. The GSM operators, GSM vendors, and device manufacturers are aligning to these different security frameworks to make sure it does work” he added.
Though Nigeria cannot boast of fully implementing the 4G networks at the moment, it may one day and also move to the 5G afterward. Hopefully, before then there will be a definitive agreement on how much danger the 5G poses.
Facebook is changing the name of Instagram and WhatsApp
Sources claim both apps will be re-branded by Facebook
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
Facebook confirmed that it’s changing the name of its two most popular apps, Instagram and WhatsApp, to better disclose its ownership of the apps. Soon, Instagram will be known as “Instagram from Facebook” while WhatsApp will become “WhatsApp from Facebook.”
The re-branding effort was discovered on Friday by journalists at The Information and was then confirmed by representatives of Facebook.
“We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” a spokesperson told The Information. Sources told the publication that they were recently notified of the changes and appear to be coming as a result of antitrust regulators scrutinizing the company’s holdings.
According to those sources, the app’s name will stay the same on the home screen of your phone and tablet, however their names will change in the App Store for people first downloading them – a move the company has previously made with its virtual reality-focused sub-division, Oculus.
Was the writing on the (Facebook) Wall?
A number of outlets are pointing out that this re-branding effort has been a long time coming – in fact, blogger Jane Manchun Wong tweeted about it back in March, just a few months after the founders of the company resigned citing a decreasing lack of autonomy.
While it’s unclear if the move is a government mandate from the FTC – an entity that, according to The Wall Street Journal, was investigating Facebook’s acquisition of the companies in a potential antitrust case – it appears to be connected.
Admittedly, Facebook doesn’t stand much to gain by putting its name on the apps: It’s already a household name, and one that has become associated with privacy scandals. Putting Facebook’s name on its two most popular apps certainly won’t make those apps any more popular than they are already and could possibly cause users to be more wary about the security and privacy of those apps.
Facebook has yet to say when the changes will go into effect, however, we’ll continue to monitor the situation as it develops.