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Facebook Finally Launches Messenger Rooms Which Accommodates 50 People And Unlimited Video Calls

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Facebook Finally Launches Messenger Rooms Which Accommodates 50 People And Unlimited Video Calls


The lockdown and quarantine measures implemented in multiple countries meant that people could not commute to work or go outside for social gatherings.  This scenario hugely benefited video calling and conferencing platforms and applications.  Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts and Houseparty have seen a phenomenal spike in daily active users.  Facebook has joined the club by finally upgrading its messenger capabilities.  

Facebook Messenger is a chatting and video calling application developed by Facebook.  Facebook is finally introducing a new feature in messenger named Messenger Rooms.  The free feature will allow Facebook and Messenger users to create group video calls of up to 50 people, contrary to the eight people limit available currently.  The Messenger Room does not require a Facebook account and works similar to the Zoom meeting rooms.  Participants can join the room by clicking on a link.

ALSO READ: Zoom Video Conferencing App Downloads Dethrone Whatsapp And TikTok In India

The rooms do not have any time limit which lets people converse indefinitely.  There are a slew of other features like augmented reality filters, normal filters, virtual masks and a feature to lock the rooms.  Facebook also announced that it is doubling WhatsApp’s video call person limit from four  to eight people as well.  However the Messenger Rooms feature is not immediately available and Facebook will roll the feature out slowly in all the regions it operates.

In a company blog post,Facebook said that 700 million accounts participate in calls everyday between Facebook and WhatsApp.  Once Facebook announced this news, shares of the video calling company Zoom fell down by 5%.

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Google Maps To Introduce A New Feature Named COVID Layer

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Google Maps To Introduce A New Feature Named COVID Layer

The COVID-19 pandemic has literally brought the world to a standstill for almost 3 months.  This is having repercussions on the economies,the mental well being of people and various industrial sectors.  However, with countries deciding to lighten restrictions, businesses are slowly inching back to normalcy and with the travel restrictions becoming easier people are taking the risk to travel.  The pandemic however is showing no signs of slowing down as the worldwide cases hit almost 32 million while the death toll is almost at one million. 

With the number of cases increasing, technology giant Google is introducing a new feature to its Maps called COVID layer.  This feature will show the users important information like the number of COVID-19 cases in an area which will enable a user to make decisions on their travel plans and whether or not to take the trip.  Google will roll out the new feature in its latest update this week on both Android and iOS this week.

Google in its blogpost said users can see the data in Google Maps after opening it and tapping on the layers button on the top right hand corner of the screen and clicking on the COVID-19 info.  This will then show a seven day graphic of new COVID cases per 1,00,000 people for the area in the map at which a user is looking.

ALSO READ: Google Maps Unknown Facts

Google will also add a colour coding feature which will help users to distinguish the density of new cases in an area. Trending case data is visible at the country level for all 220 countries and territories that Google Maps supports, along with state or province, county, and city level data, where available.

The data is going to be gathered from different sources which will include Johns Hopkins University, the New York Times, and Wikipedia.  These sources get their data from the World Health Organisation (WHO,) government health ministries and local hospitals.

 

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William H Gates Sr., The Father Of Bill Gates Passes Away

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William H Gates Sr The Father Of Bill Gates Passes Away,Startup Stories,William H Gates Sr,William H Gates Sr No More,William H Gates Sr Passees,Bill Gates Father Passes Away,Bill Gates Sr,William Henry Gates Sr Passes Away,William H Gates Sr RIP,William H Gates Sr Latest News,Bill Gates Sr Passes Away At 94

Bill Gates shared the news of the demise of his father William H. Gates Sr., in a blog post.  Bill Gates announced the news in a blog post saying his father passed away peacefully on Monday at their family residence in Washington.  William Gates was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is the most likely cause of his death.  

William Gates Sr.,was a well known civic leader, attorney and philanthropist and is also one of the key figures in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  In an obituary the family credited the patriarch with a “deep commitment to social and economic equity,” noting that he was responsible for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s first efforts to improve global health as well as his advocacy for progressive taxation, especially unsuccessful efforts to pass a state income tax on the wealthy in Washington.

Bill Gates mentioned in his blog that his father always had the knack for taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture.  Bill Gates also mentions how his father’s legal advice has helped him a lot and other famous personalities which include Howard Schultz of Starbucks.

Bill said his father wrote him a letter and one of the excerpts from it was “I have cautioned you and others about the overuse of the adjective ‘incredible’ to apply to facts that were short of meeting its high standard. This is a word with huge meaning to be used only in extraordinary settings. What I want to say, here, is simply that the experience of being your father has been… incredible (sic.)”

Bill Gates summed up William H. Gates’ life in the best way possible in his blog post.  Bill said “I know he would not want me to overuse the word, but there is no danger of doing that now.  The experience of being the son of Bill Gates was incredible.  People used to ask my dad if he was the real Bill Gates.  The truth is, he was everything I try to be.  I will miss him every day (sic.)”

We at Startup Stories extend our deepest condolences to the Gates family as they mourn the death of William H. Gates Sr.

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TikTok Ban Paves The Way For YouTube Shorts

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TikTok Ban Paves The Way For YouTube Shorts

Google is the latest entity to take advantage of the Indian Government’s ban of the viral application TikTok.  Google plans to introduce a new feature on YouTube called YouTube Shorts.  The feature for all intents and purposes mimics the same features TikTok used to provide.  The new feature will mimic many of TikTok’s most popular features, allowing users to make and post 15 second videos with built in creative tools encouraging them to add licensed music and more.

The YouTube Shorts is being bundled into the main YouTube app for Indian users, where it will appear with a prominent “create” button.  The videos can also be set to music, thanks to YouTube’s access to a large library of songs that it says will continue to grow over time.  India will be the first country where YouTube Shorts will be launched.  YouTube said “Music for these videos will be available through in-product music picker feature. The picker currently has 100,000s of tracks, and we’re working with music artists, labels, and publishers to make more of their content available to continue expanding our catalogue (sic.)”

TikTok was enjoying an unrivalled popularity in India as it became a means to keep boredom at bay during the nationwide lockdown which was imposed in light of the COVID-19 virus.  TikTok amassed more than 200 million users in India and this is mostly due to the cheap internet plans rolled out by Jio Telecommunications, which made the internet accessible to every person even in the remote corners of India.

ALSO READ: 4 Things To Know About Instagram Reels

However, the Indian government announced that it would ban 59 Chinese applications in which TikTok was one, along with WeChat, Helo, Cam Scanner and many others.  The ban was imposed citing data security and concerns about data being shared with the Chinese Government.  This left a huge void in the instant video sharing space and Facebook was the first to cash in on it by releasing Instagram Reels.  Even Instagram Reels does not have any standalone application but is instead a feature in the Instagram app where it is promoted heavily.

Neither Instagram nor YouTube have tried to clone TikTok’s patented search algorithm and are instead relying on their own discovery algorithms to push content to the users.  As TikTok continues to be banned more and more players will look to cash in on the massive void left by the viral app.  Facebook and Google are the first major players to try to take a chunk of TikTok’s user base.  It will be interesting to see how YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels will perform in the future.

 

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