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Opera Launches Hype, an in-browser Chat Service for Opera Mini Users, in South Africa

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Opera - Investors King

Today, Opera has announced the launch of its dedicated chat service Hype, built into the Opera Mini mobile web browser, in South Africa. With the introduction of Hype, Opera is redefining the concept of mobile browsers, providing users with a personalized, engaging browsing experience that enables seamless chatting, surfing and sharing – without compromising speed or driving increased data consumption.

Browsing and chatting, all in one app

Hype is the first African-inspired chat service built into a mobile browser, allowing users to easily set up an account and start chatting with secure end-to-end encryption right away. This means users can now browse the web, chat with friends, and share self-created memes, stickers and GIFs with other Hype users, all in one app.

Hype was built because younger generations of internet users are expecting more social connectivity from the apps they use on their devices. With this integration, Opera Mini becomes the first major browser in the world to integrate a social component that keeps users connected to the ones that matter the most. This unique and innovative blend is something that no other mobile browser in the Google Play Store offers.

Hype is an original instant messaging service from Opera, designed for the new generation of African internet users to elevate the traditional browsing experience and make it more engaging. With Opera Mini and a Hype account, South Africans can enjoy a browsing and chatting ecosystem tailored to their needs,” said Jørgen Arnesen, EVP Mobile Browsers at Opera. “Hype bridges cultures from Sub-Saharan Africa with mobile technology, as the world’s first African-inspired chat service.

Hype was first launched in 2021 in Kenya as a pilot market, and it is already showing impressive results with more than 400k activations and more than 10k invites to join Hype per day. This launch was one facet of Opera’s emphasis on investing and growing its digital ecosystem in Africa, with the goal of bringing more people online.

Free chatting with Hype

To help familiarize people with the concept of an easy-to-use chatting service built into a browser and as a response to the high cost of data in South Africa, Opera has partnered (https://bit.ly/3gi1suV) with CELL C in South Africa to enable free daily browsing and chatting for those using the service. Users of Opera Mini (https://bit.ly/2TeFhh3) and CELL C can activate the free data anytime by opening the Feedback Bot in Hype, sending “Unlock my free data” in chat, then clicking the link in the reply message. The free 25MB of mobile data per day will be activated when the page is loaded.

Key features

Opera is constantly working on improving the chatting experience. Hype users can now use link previews, GIF support, and the unique built-in meme creator to make chatting with friends even more personal and fun.

The built-in meme creator

Memes are an essential part of internet culture. People not only use existing memes, but also wish to create and spread their own. Now, Opera has introduced the first meme creator built directly into a browser’s messenger! Users can choose memes in Hype chat, then edit them by changing the text and experimenting with fonts, colors and placement – more easily than ever. This comes in handy as users no longer need to copy links from websites and switch between apps to share the memes they want.

GIF support in chat

Hype supports GIFs, and makes choosing them super simple with its search capabilities and scrollable GIF grid. To help users choose the one they want, GIF previews and full screen view are also available.

Link previews

It’s always good to know what’s hiding behind a link we’ve sent or received, which is why Hype comes with the link preview feature. With it, a snapshot preview, website header and description will automatically appear in chat. This function is also available in encrypted chats and on metered networks.

Share online content in a snap

Today, new generations are relying on formats like memes and stickers to express themselves. To make this easier, Hype includes WebSnap, a feature already known from the Opera desktop browser, allowing users to take snapshots from the web. Once a websnap is captured, users can edit it by adding colors, text and emojis, making it fun and entertaining before sharing with others. WebSnap also allows users to smoothly share the link of the original website from which they took their snaps, so users no longer need to switch between apps to share the content they want.

First African inspired chat service in the world

Hype is the first African inspired chat service built into a mobile browser. It offers its users a series of stickers created by African artists such as Musonda Kabwe from South Africa. The sticker packs have been designed to include everyday expressions currently popular in South Africa. This unique offer from Hype stands out from other chat services and gives South Africans the new ways of expressing themselves more accurately when using chat apps.

Hype account setup

To activate the Hype account, users should have an Opera Mini application. Users set up a Hype account by tapping the Hype logo at the bottom of the Opera Mini browser, or through the O menu. Next they choose their name and take a selfie or upload a personalised photo, which will become their profile picture and will be visible for other Hype users. Once this process is completed, users sync Hype with their phone contact list to start chatting with others.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Twitter Recommended Conditions To Lift Suspension Will Be Applicable To Other Social Media Platforms- FG

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Twitter Tip Jar- Investorsking

The Federal Government says the recommended conditions for the lifting of the suspension imposed on the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter will be applicable to all Over-The-Top and other social media platforms in Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday when he featured on a phone-in programme of TV Continental, “This Morning, ’’ monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The minister, who did not disclose the recommendations by the Federal Government ministerial negotiation team to engage with Twitter on the suspension, said its report would be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mohammed, who headed the team, however, reiterated that the engagements with the microblogging and social media platform had been positive and fruitful.

“All I can say is that the recommendations we are going to make will not only be applicable to Twitter but they will be applicable to all OTTs and other social media platforms in Nigeria.

“Today, we are dealing with Twitter, we don’t want a situation where we will be dealing with Facebook tomorrow and Instagram the next day. Our recommendations will be very comprehensive.

“You will recall that during the 61st Independence anniversary celebration, the president said Twitter will return to Nigeria as soon as they meet the conditions of government.

“Even last night, the ministerial team met under my chairmanship and we reviewed the position of things.

“I want to say that we should wait for the committee to officially give its reports to the president but things are looking very positive and rosy.

“After submitting our reports and recommendations to the president, I will be disposed to say what we agreed and what have been met and what has not been met,’’ he said.

NAN reports that following the indefinite suspension of its operations in Nigeria for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, Twitter had written to the president seeking engagement over the suspension.

The president subsequently set up the ministerial team led by Mohammed, with other members including Ministers of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and that of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to dialogue with Twitter over its suspension.

Other members are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami as well as Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige and that of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

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LinkedIn to Shut Down Service in China, Citing ‘Challenging’ Environment

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LinkedIn said on Thursday that it was shutting down its professional networking service in China later this year, citing “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.”

The service, which is owned by Microsoft, said it would offer a new app focused solely on job postings in China. The new app will not have social networking features such as sharing posts and commenting, which have been critical to LinkedIn’s success in the United States and elsewhere.

LinkedIn’s move ends what had been one of the most far-reaching experiments by a foreign social network in China, where the internet is closely controlled by the government. Twitter and Facebook have been blocked in the country for years, and Google pulled out more than a decade ago. China’s internet, which operates behind a system of filters known as the Great Firewall, is heavily censored and has gone in its own direction.

When LinkedIn expanded in China in 2014 with a localized service, it offered a tentative model for other major foreign internet companies looking to tap the country’s huge, lucrative and highly censored market. The company partnered with a well-connected venture capital firm, which it said would help it with government relations.

But to do business in China, LinkedIn also agreed to censor the posts made by its millions of Chinese users in accordance with Chinese laws, something that other American companies were often reluctant or unable to do. Even in 2014, LinkedIn acknowledged the challenge, saying, “LinkedIn strongly supports freedom of expression and fundamentally disagrees with government censorship. At the same time, we also believe that LinkedIn’s absence in China would deny Chinese professionals a means to connect with others.”

Seven years on, it has become apparent the experiment did not work. No major internet platform has followed in LinkedIn’s footsteps. Its business in China struggled as it ran up against major local competitors and a population skeptical about publicly listing valuable contacts.

The operating environment in China has also become more difficult. Since President Xi Jinping took the reins of the Communist Party in 2012, he has repeatedly cracked down on what can be said online. Presiding over the rising power of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator, Mr. Xi turned China’s internet from a place where some sensitive topics were censored to one where critics face arrests for a constantly shifting set of infractions, like jokes at Mr. Xi’s expense.

In March, the regulator rebuked LinkedIn for failing to control political content, three people briefed on the matter said at the time. Officials required LinkedIn to perform a self-evaluation and offer a report. The service was also forced to suspend new sign-ups of users inside China for 30 days.

The site also suffered as the U.S. relationship with China soured, with anger about LinkedIn’s complicity in China’s information controls rising in Washington. In recent months, after LinkedIn stopped displaying the profiles of several activists and journalists in China, American lawmakers criticized the company.

In one letter last month, Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, wrote to Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, demanding to know why it had censored the accounts of three journalists. Mr. Scott called the censorship “gross appeasement and an act of submission to Communist China.”

LinkedIn’s business has also grown, with China contributing minimally. Since Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016, revenue from the business has tripled. Mr. Nadella told investors in July that LinkedIn’s revenue had surpassed $10 billion in annual sales, up 27 percent from the previous year.

LinkedIn declined to comment beyond its announcement.

While Microsoft has tried to build a market in China for more than a decade, it has had only modest success. Last year, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, said the country accounted for less than 2 percent of its revenue.

Microsoft Windows and Office are common in China, but a large number are using pirated copies. The company has tried to overcome the issue, by hosting its software online and by tapping a major Chinese military contractor to help it offer an operating system better trusted by China’s government. Microsoft’s Bing search engine, one of China’s last remaining portals to the global internet, briefly appeared to have been blocked by government censors in 2019, even though the service directed users in China to state media accounts on disputed topics like the Dalai Lama.

It remains unclear precisely what will happen to the millions of Chinese user accounts on LinkedIn. In the past, when foreign internet firms have stopped offering locally censored services, their sites have been quickly blocked by the government.

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How Facebook is Expanding Connectivity to Get 1 Billion People Online

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Today, Facebook has announced new connectivity technologies that will bring the next billion people online and enhance existing infrastructure projects.

Since 2013, Facebook Connectivity  has helped bring more than 500M people online to a faster internet and now aims to enable affordable, high-quality connectivity for the next billion people with emerging technologies.

Commenting on the new connectivity technologies,  Dan Rabinovitsj, VP of Facebook Connectivity said, “ We have seen that economies flourish when there is widely accessible internet for individuals and businesses. In Nigeria, increased broadband connectivity resulted in a 7.8 percent increase in the likelihood of employment for people in areas connected to fiber optic cables. While increased connectivity led to a 19 percent increase in GDP per capita in the Democratic Republic of CongoFacebook Connectivity  works with partners to develop new technologies for access to high speed internet. Today we’re sharing the latest developments on some of these connectivity technologies, which aim to deliver major improvements in internet capacity across the world by sea, land, and air.”

Some of Facebook’s new connectivity technologies include: Investment in improving subsea fiber optic cables and expanding their reach to better connect more people. Facebook and its partners recently launched the first-ever transatlantic, 24 fiber pair subsea cable system which will connect Europe to the U.S. This new cable provides 200 times more capacity than the transatlantic cables of the 2000s and builds on Facebook’s recent news about 2Africa Pearls, the subsea cable which connects Africa, Asia, and Europe and makes the 2Africa cable system the longest in the world, with a capacity to provide connectivity for up to 3 billion people.

Using robotics for faster fibe deployment. We are making fiber deployment significantly more economical through Bombyx, a robot that can climb the medium voltage power lines that already exist in so much of the world, and install fiber onto them. Today, Bombyx is lighter, faster, and more agile than our first generation design. We are also making Bombyx fully autonomous, using machine vision sensors to better navigate around obstacles. Bombyx aims to make the single biggest drop in the cost of terrestrial fiber deployment by combining innovations in the fields of robotics and fiber-optic cable design to increase the amount of terrestrial fiber on land — without  the expense of trenching to lay fiber underground.

Terragraph: Fiber connections through the air- Terragraph, a wireless solution which beams fiber-like connectivity through the air, has already brought high-speed internet to more than 6,500 homes in Anchorage, Alaska and deployment has started in Perth, Australia. We license Terragraph for free to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). To date, these partners have shipped more than 30,000 Terragraph units to more than 100 service providers and system integrators around the world.

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