Instant messaging application WhatsApp has made a radical update to its app. WhatsApp new Status feature rolled out to its users on Monday.
This Status feature will allow its users to share moments with friends and family throughout their day via photos, videos, and Gifs.
WhatsApp founder and CEO Jan Koum announced that the company reinvented the Status feature which unexpectedly coincides with the app’s 8th birthday which is on February 24th. The new WhatsApp Status updated will be an end to end encrypted too.
Watch the video of the launch of WhatsApp new feature:
This will be something similar to the way people scroll through their Facebook or Instagram newsfeeds. The shared photos, videos and Gif’s will be visible to selected friends for 24 hours before getting disappeared.
Facebook which owned WhatsApp, now represents a bigger shift for WhatsApp than it did for Instagram. Users can watch updates from friends and reply them privately. They can also shoot their imagery with drawings and captions and can send them to the selected contacts they have chosen with persistent privacy settings.
The idea behind this change is to just build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you are up to.
Coming to the analytics, WhatsApp has nearly 1.2 billion active users, and users almost send 60 billion messages per day including 3.3 billion photos, 760 million videos, and 80 million Gifs.
Walmart To Buy Controlling Stakes In Flipkart By Next Week
America’s biggest retail firm Walmart Inc., may buy close to a 51% stake in India’s biggest ecommerce startup Flipkart by the end of next week. Reuters reported, according to two sources close to the matter, Walmart could acquire controlling stakes in Flipkart as early as next week.
The investment talks met a snag when SoftBank was reportedly not ready to sell its shares in the Indian ecommerce firm to Walmart. Currently, the Japan based venture firm owns about one fifth of Flipkart through its Vision Fund. However, sources report the stalemate ended but it is still unclear if SoftBank agreed to sell some of its shares in Flipkart. Sources also revealed, Walmart offered to buy SoftBank shares at a valuation of $12 billion, a price the Japanese tech investor considered to be low. MoneyControl reported Walmart may retain Flipkart’s management team including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kalyan Krishnamurthy. This investment could increase Flipkart’s valuation to about $20 billion, up from $12 billion last year.
India has become ground zero for the ecommerce ecosystem with big global players looking to invest in Indian firms and break into the market. Amazon India has also gone into overdrive in an attempt to emerge as the biggest shareholder of the Indian ecommerce industry which is expected to reach a market capitalization of $ 28 billion by 2020. Flipkart, on the other hand, envisioned as the ‘Amazon of India’ has raised over $6 billion in funding rounds so far and owns India’s largest online fashion retailers Myntra and Jabong.
According to a report by Morgan Stanley, India had up to 60 million online shoppers in 2016, which makes up to only 14% of the internet user base in the country. However, by 2026, these numbers are expected to rise to over 50%. Experts suggest, in the long run, this deal between Walmart and Flipkart could be a win for both the companies. Flipkart could also be the best available option for Walmart to access India’s growing retail market, while Flipkart could leverage Walmart’s enormous funds to battle Amazon. Amazon and Walmart have been bitter competitors in America for over two decades. It will be interesting to see, to say the least, who wins this battle and who wins the war in the Indian ecommerce battleground.
Marissa Mayer Creates Tech Startup Incubator
Marissa Mayer, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Yahoo, is starting a brand new business incubator called Lumi Labs in partnership with long time colleague, Enrique Munoz Torres. According to reports, the new business incubator will aim to focus on consumer media and artificial intelligence.
While the incubator in itself is extremely intriguing, what makes the idea all the more exciting is the fact that Mayers is going back to the roots of her work. It is a homecoming of sorts for her as Mayer has rented out Google’s original office in Palo Alto, California, where she had started her career as a 24 year old Stanford University graduate.
Thinking about what’s next, I returned to my roots, rented the original Google office where I started my career, and founded a lab with my longtime friend and teammate @eamunozt. A bit of info: https://t.co/6A058GJUvp
— marissamayer (@marissamayer) April 18, 2018
This particular Google office has a lot of special things attached to its name. The office was home to online payments company, PayPal, which was started by a host of co founders including Tesla founder, Elon Musk. Marrisa was selected as the 20th employee of Google in the year 1999 and was in fact, the first female engineer to get a job at the largest search engine!
Mayer left the Google office after 13 long years and joined Yahoo in the year 2012 for five long years! Despite being regarded as the Geek Goddess at Google, she failed to revive Yahoo’s stalled business even after trying her best. While not a lot has been revealed about the new business incubator Mayer’s and Torres are working on, the premise in itself looks extremely exciting. With more and more people venturing into the field of artificial intelligence, the fact that Mayer’s business will be combined with consumer media is what will eventually make all the difference!
Amazon Prime Service Crosses 100 Million Subscribers
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, revealed in his annual share holders letter Yesterday that Amazon Prime has now crossed 100 million Prime Members. Amazon revealed its Prime numbers for the first time in the 13 years since its inception!
The number of Prime subscribers for years has been a closely held secret and the focus of much speculation. The figure also confirms that Prime is one of the World’s largest Internet subscriptions and a strong force among online retailers. By revealing the number of subscribers, Amazon has given us a hint at the steep and steady increase of revenue over the years.
The letter from CEO Jeff Bezos is meant to celebrate the eighth year in a row that Amazon ranked number 1 on The American Customer Satisfaction Index. It might also be interesting to note that there has been recent criticism, claiming Amazon employees are being subjected to awful working conditions. According to Bezos, Amazon Prime also saw its best year ever in 2017, with the company shipping over five billion products with Prime and by signing up more new members than in any previous year.
Amazon Prime was launched at a price of Rs. 499, which was later increased to Rs. 999 a year later. The Prime membership in India includes features like access to free one day and two days deliveries, Amazon Prime Video access and Prime Music for free. Prime members also get discounted “Same Day and Morning Delivery” to pin codes in select cities around the Country, including places like Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.
Looking at the massive success of Amazon Prime in India, the company expanded its services to Mexico, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Furthermore, in an attempt to increase its customer base, Amazon has also introduced Business Prime Shipping in the US and Germany.
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