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Business News

COVID-19: WhatsApp plans to slash forwarded messages beyond 25%

WhatsApp has again reduced the number of contacts that can receive forwarded messages at a time, to curb the sharing of negative information on Coronavirus. 

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Coronavirus outbreak: WhatsApp cuts number of contact users to receive forwarded messages

Again, WhatsApp, social media tool, has reduced the number of contacts that can receive forwarded messages at a time to curb the spread of false information about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

From now, users can only forward messages to one contact at a time, rather than to multiple contacts simultaneously.

The messaging app had previously reduced the number of chats that could receive a message simultaneously, but the latest development is a stricter measure.

The messaging app has often been criticised for playing a role in spreading false information, so in order to prevent the spread of fake information amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, WhatsApp has taken this drastic action.

Part of its previous measures taken to curb the spread had been to introduce a new feature that helps users identify personal messages from forwarded ones. The limitation placed, according to WhatsApp, caused a 25% decline in the number of forwarded messages.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: Nigeria needs $50 billion to survive an impending recession)

In a statement issued by WhatsApp and seen by Nairametrics, it said, “Last year, we introduced users to the concept of messages that have been forwarded many times. These messages are labeled with double arrows to indicate they did not originate from close contact.

“In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on WhatsApp. We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time. As a private messaging service, we’ve taken several steps over the years to help keep conversations intimate.

“For example, we previously set limits on forwarded messages to constrain virality, which led to a 25% decrease in message forwards globally at the time.”

WhatsApp stops service to older phone operating systems  ,Coronavirus outbreak: WhatsApp cuts number of contact users to receive forwarded messages

WhatsApp is left with no choice: It stated that it understood that some messages forwarded to multiple contacts could be beneficial, but the recent spike in the number of forwarded messages recorded had been causing anxiety among users, hence the latest restriction, which should slow things down.

“We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful. In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers.

“However, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation,” it added.

(READ MORE: Villgro Kenya joins list of investors hunting for innovative ideas to fight Covid-19)

WhatsApp said it is working directly with “NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information,” amidst the Coronavirus outbreak.

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Cryptocurrency

PayPal is buying a Crypto security startup for less than $200 million

PayPal is set to outrightly purchase a crypto-security firm, Curv as part of its campaign in building its crypto ecosystem.

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Paypal

PayPal is set to outrightly purchase a crypto-security firm Curv as part of its campaign in building its crypto ecosystem, the company disclosed today.

According to a report credited to CNBC, the deal is estimated to be worth less than $200 million, it’s expected to close before June this year.

The company’s stock price however recorded some selling pressures at the time of writing amid rising U.S Treasury yields and greenback keeping global investors on their toes.

READ: CBN and cryptocurrency ban

The crypto startup about to be acquired by PayPal provides companies with Crypto security technology via the cloud. PayPal revealed that the purchase would help its expansion on supporting crypto.

“The acquisition of Curv is part of our effort to invest in the talent and technology to realize our vision for a more inclusive financial system,” PayPal’s Jose Fernandez da Ponte said in a statement.

In a press statement seen by Nairametrics, Dan Schulman, president, and CEO, PayPal, gave key insights on why the global payment company was going crypto; The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of; financial inclusion and access, efficiency, speed, the resilience of the payments system and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly.

READ: U.S customers can now buy Cryptos with Paypal

“Our global reach, digital payments expertise, two-sided network, and rigorous security and compliance controls provide us with the opportunity, and the responsibility, to help facilitate the understanding, redemption, and inter-operability of these new instruments of exchange,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, “We are eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world to offer our support and to meaningfully contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”

This offering was made possible through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of crypto services and products.

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Corporate Press Releases

Transcorp Hotels launches Aura, an online marketplace for accommodation and experiences

Nigeria’s largest hospitality brand launches a new platform for booking vacation homes, holiday lets, and experiences.

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Dupe Olusola

Africa’s leading hospitality brand Transcorp Hotels Plc. has announced the launch of Aura, a new digital platform through which people can book accommodation, restaurants, and experiences.

The new brand, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.

“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc., Dupe Olusola said.

“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.

The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.

Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”

“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.

Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”

Working with thousands of partners across Nigeria and different cities in Africa, Transcorp Hotels Plc. is building the continent’s largest platform for people-driven hospitality. While travellers enjoy the right selections at the best prices on Aura, hosts can also earn a lot of money by receiving guests in their unoccupied homes and sharing the local culture with them.

For travellers who would rather stay in hotels, Aura also has a great selection of some of the best hotels in every city.

With the launch of Aura, Transcorp Hotels Plc. has further cemented its leadership in the hospitality industry and reinforced its commitment to innovation and superior guest experience across different demographics.

Guests and hosts can sign up at aura.transcorphotels.com to start booking or hosting. The service is currently available in Nigeria only, but the company said plans are already in place to expand to major cities in Africa.

 

Transcorp Hotels Plc is one of Africa’s leading hospitality companies, committed to redefining service standards across the continent while remaining truly and authentically African.

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www.transcorphotels.com

Aura by Transcorp

Aura is Africa’s best platform for connecting travellers with great accommodation, good food, and memorable experiences. The platform is also an avenue for people with unoccupied homes, hotels, restaurants, or different skill sets that may interest others can earn an income by becoming hosts.

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