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Facebook Launches 2021 Edition of “My Digital World” Across Sub-Saharan Africa to Meet Digital Literacy Needs

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Today, Facebook announced the launch of the 2021 edition of “My Digital World“. Originally launched in June 2020, ‘My Digital World is a digital literacy program which is accessible across Sub-Saharan Africa  and designed to provide young people and the general public with the skills needed to navigate digital spaces safely and responsibly. 

The 2021 edition of “My Digital World” is now accessible on the new website that hosts new updated content that is relevant to today’s realities.

The program provides educators and trainers with training and resources to reach young people across Sub-Saharan Africa, equipping them with information and skills to help them thrive in an increasingly complex and digitally connected world.

“Through My Digital World, Facebook is reaching learners across the region and shaping the Sub-Saharan digital community for the better,” Phil Oduor, Policy Programs Manager for Economic Impact and Digital Literacy at Facebook said, “Designed for young people aged 13 – 18 years in high-tech and low-tech communities, the content has adaptable step-by-step instructions to fit their needs and learning environment. The lessons help participants learn tangible skills such as protecting personal information, identifying reputable sources, understanding misinformation themes, and recognizing healthy online relationships.”

‘My Digital World’ lessons are divided across six content pillars:

●      Introduction to Digital Learning: Demonstrating to learners what the internet is, identifying information that can be shared over the internet, determining various methods for accessing information online, and identifying the benefits, roles, and responsibilities of digital citizenship.

●      Digital Foundations: Teaching learners how to leverage tools to protect their digital devices and their personal information online, as well as that of others.

●      Digital Wellness: Supporting learners’ ability to engage with others (both individuals and the larger collective) online in empathic and positive ways, protect their physical and mental health, and explore their identities.

●      Digital Engagement: Helping learners develop executive functioning, critical thinking, and the skills needed to evaluate and share media and information online, as well as engage with different cultures and contexts.

●      Digital Empowerment: Helping learners use technology and social media to create positive change and better opportunities for themselves, their communities, and the world.

●      Digital Opportunities: Preparing learners to create the next wave of technology and succeed in their careers and pathways.

Over the years, Facebook has trained thousands of African youths through existing digital literacy programs across Sub saharan Africa such as ‘Safe Online with Facebook’ in Nigeria, ‘Ilizwe Lam’ in South Africa and ‘eZibo’ in Zambia.  With the program also successfully implemented in Ethiopia, Côte D’Ivoire, Kenya and Senegal,  “My Digital World” will, this year, be launched in Ghana, in partnership with Junior Achievement Ghana.

All content is available and can be accessed for free, the program will be available in English, French, Kiswahili, and Amharic.

‘My Digital World’ partnered with organizations across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop the learning modules and resources in the curriculum. 

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Meta and Microsoft Announce New Partnership

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Meta, the company which was formerly known as Facebook, announced on Wednesday 10th November a new partnership with Microsoft, allowing customers to integrate Meta’s Workplace social network software with Microsoft Teams.

Meta’s Workplace is a communication tool that helps to connect workers within a company, whether they work remotely or on-site. It uses features like group, live video broadcast, and live chat to connect workers to one another across the entire organization. Teams is however focused on communication between workers and their direct colleagues, i.e. those with which they directly work, on a project or smaller-scale task.

This integration gives customers access to Workplace content inside the Teams app, and also gives users access to view Teams video meetings inside the Workplace app. It is a direct partnership that brings both platforms closer, albeit not necessarily into one singular app.

This partnership brings two rivals in the communication software market together, to make either party stronger. As mentioned above, both platforms are similar but do not have a full overlap as they both focus on different types of organizational communication.

Meta’s Workplace head, Ujjwal Singh told CNBC that the integration had been requested by customers (who must have seen the potential of such a partnership) like Accenture and Vodafone. Singh went ahead to explain that customers will use the complementary features of both platforms, instead of using competing features. Singh stated that the partnership was mainly for customers that make use of both platforms.

CNBC reports that Meta stands to gain the most from the partnership, as its Workplace service drags far behind competitors when speaking about users. Workplace announced in May that it had reached 7 million paid subscribers, while in stark contrast, Microsoft announced in July that Teams had 250 million monthly active users. The staggering difference in numbers proves that Meta’s Workplace stands to gain the most from partnering with a widely-used platform like Teams, with the hope that the platform will attract even more customers.

This would not be Workplace’s first partnership with Microsoft, as it has previously integrated with software like Office 365 and OneDrive. However, it has no integration with Yammer, which is Microsoft’s social network software that even competes with Meta more directly than any other software. In comparison to Workplace, Yammer has tens of millions of users per month with the number of users doubling year after year.

This would give Microsoft Teams the opportunity to maintain the partnership with Workplace using slightly different software, while also directly competing with Workplace using very similar software.

Ujjwal Singh touted that both products were great, strong products coming together to provide an even better experience for the user.

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Meta Launches Business Coach Tool on WhatsApp to Help SMBs in Africa Grow Online

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Today, Meta announced the launch of Facebook Business Coach, an innovative and easily-accessible way for owners of small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya and other English speaking countries to learn more about how to grow their business online with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The Facebook Business Coach available on WhatsApp, is a free-to-use, low data cost educational chatbot tool that users can interact with in a simple, conversational and convenient way. SMBs have access to automated, self-paced lessons that teach them how to establish a presence in today’s ever-evolving digital economy.

As a free curriculum platform, it features step-by-step courses and tutorials as well as helpful infographics, videos, and audio clips. Learning material is recommended based on the user’s needs and queries, with an option to navigate the curriculum via the menu. While the WhatsApp bot provides SMBs with an easy way to quickly learn the basics, users can also access more in-depth  training and get officially certified with Meta Blueprint courses online.

The content was created to assist business owners with multiple queries – from how to create attention-grabbing business pages on Facebook and Instagram, to how to use Messenger and WhatsApp to communicate effectively with clients.

Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director Meta Africa, commented: “In today’s social-media-driven environment, information on building your brand on online platforms can be crucial in what sets a small business apart and drives success. At Meta, we’re passionate about empowering SMBs in Africa with the skills they need to succeed online. We know that they are the backbone of the African economy and the drivers for economic growth. We hope the Facebook Business Coach will be their partner along this journey, providing training they need through their mobile phones.”

The Facebook Business Coach educational tool on WhatsApp is available to any individual, representing one of the ways Meta provides opportunities for education and business growth through its platforms.

Visit this link to start talking to the Facebook Business coach on WhatsApp. 

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Facebook Introduces Meta, Brings all Apps, Technologies Under One Brand Name

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Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta, to bring all the company’s apps and technologies under one new company brand. Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.

The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world.

According to Zuckerberg, Meta will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company. Mark shared more about this vision in a founder’s letter.

“I’m proud of what we’ve built so far, and I’m excited about what comes next — as we move beyond what’s possible today, beyond the constraints of screens, beyond the limits of distance and physics, and towards a future where everyone can be present with each other, create new opportunities and experience new things. It is a future that is beyond any one company and that will be made by all of us.” – Mark Zuckerberg

“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and identity on what we’re building toward.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Alongside its vision for the metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg also shared more about the progress the company is making today with some of the foundational elements across its AR & VR technologies.

  • VR news: VR is at an inflection point led by the release of Quest 2. Games are booming, VR is getting more social, fitness is becoming a hot vertical, and we’re building out more ways VR can be used as a work device. And, we continue to invest in the developer community to help them build and monetize their applications through new tools and features.
  • Augmented Reality newsAs VR hits an inflection point, we’re investing in the core technology and work needed to bring fully-featured AR glasses to market. While we work on the hardware to make AR glasses, we’re cultivating the content, capabilities, and communities that can enrich Facebook experiences today and illuminate the path to AR glasses ahead.

Facebook’s annual Connect conference brings together augmented and virtual reality developers, content creators, marketers, and others to celebrate the industry’s momentum and growth. This year’s virtual event explored what experiences in the metaverse could feel like over the next decade — from social connection, to entertainment, gaming, fitness, work, education and commerce. We also announced new tools to help people build for the metaverse, including Presence Platform, which will enable new mixed reality experiences on Quest 2, and a $150-million investment in immersive learning to train the next generation of creators.

You can watch the full Connect keynote and learn more about how the metaverse will unlock new opportunities here.

You can also learn more about the company’s work over the past several months to develop the Meta brand on its design blog.

Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.

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