Telecommunication companies in Nigeria may block calls made on instant messaging applications like WhatsApp and Skype, in a bid to increase their revenue.

According to The Punch, the telcos are seeking to address their loss on international calls and are looking to raise a revenue of N20trillion. This may lead to subscribers being unable to carry out voice and video calls on WhatsApp, Facebook and some other Over-The-Top (OTT) services.

“It is an aggressive approach to stop further revenue loss to OTT players on international calls, having already lost about N100tn between 2012 and 2017,” a manager at one of the major telecoms companies in the country said. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he added: “If we fail to be pro-active by taking cogent steps now, then there are indications that we may lose between N20tn and N30tn, or so, by the end of 2018.”

The source also revealed that the proliferation of apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger and Viber, was taking a big chunk of the voice revenue of telcos in the country. In reaction to the news, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said: “We don’t have any evidence of that. We do not regulate the Internet.”

“I am not aware of this development but globally, operators and network equipment makers don’t really embrace Skype,” the Managing Director, TechTrends Nigeria, Mr. Kenneth Omeruo, said. “They liken Skype to an individual who takes undue advantage of other people’s generosity without giving anything in return.

“Globally, there is this apprehension among telecoms operators that Skype only steals their customers, while they invest billions of dollars to build, expand and upgrade networks”, he added.

You already get your news, gossip and cat videos from Facebook.

Could you find your next job there too?

Starting this week, Facebook users in the United States and Canada can search and apply for jobs directly from the social-media platform. It's one more way Facebook is trying to expand its reach, particularly among low-wage, hourly workers who may not have profiles on job-search sites such as LinkedIn or Monster.com.

Analysts say the new jobs feature is yet another way the social media site is testing how much privacy its 1.86 billion users are willing to sacrifice for the sake of convenience.

"Facebook is pushing the limits to see what people are willing to do on the site, and jobs is a natural step," said R "Ray" Wang, founder of Constellation Research, a Silicon Valley technology research and advisory firm. "It's an area where people will say, 'Oh, this makes a lot of sense.' Facebook is covering a very important gap."

Social media is increasingly playing a role in job searches. Roughly 14.4 million Americans say they have used social media to find employment, according to a recent survey by ADP. In addition, the survey found, 73 per cent of companies said they had successfully hired employees using social media. Facebook executives said they are also hoping to target users who may not be actively looking for a new job by flagging nearby opportunities in businesses they may frequent or support.

"Two-thirds of job seekers are already employed," Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's vice president of ads and business platform, told Tech Crunch. "They're not spending their days and nights out there canvassing for jobs. They're open to a job if a job comes."

Businesses can post jobs free through their profile pages. Users, meanwhile, can search for nearby listings and quickly apply for jobs by clicking an "Apply now" button. Facebook automatically fills in basic information, such as a user's name, location and photo, into the application, which is sent to the business via Facebook Messenger.

A recent search for Washington-area jobs turned up a doughnut-making position at Duck Donuts in Fairfax, Va., an engineering job at Tenable Network Securities in Columbia, Md., and a part-time bartending gig at Killarney House Irish Restaurant and Pub in Davidson, Md. Blue Feather Music in Arlington, Virginia, meanwhile, was looking for piano, guitar and voice instructors. Pay: $50 per hour.

"I thought this would be a great way to find a big audience," owner Laura Peacock said of the job posting, which went live Thursday morning. "I'm hiring, I need people and they're already all on Facebook."

But not everyone is convinced the plan will work in the long run. Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research in Provo, Utah, says users are likely to be wary of combining their personal profiles with professional pursuits. Although most applicants know potential employers may look through their social media accounts, he said that's different from linking a user's Facebook profile to their job application.

"This is something many people are going to be very uncomfortable with," Dawson said. "Ultimately people are on Facebook to connect with their friends and to watch funny videos. They're not there to apply for jobs."

 

Source: Washington Post

Facebook is challenging developers across the Middle East and Africa to create innovative bots in the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge. This aligns with Facebook’s commitment to promote innovation in the Middle East and Africa by providing developers and start-ups with the tools they need to build, grow, monetize, and measure products and services.

Facebook grew out of a hacker culture and thrives by promoting innovation on new platforms. That's why Facebook is launching the Bots for Messenger Challenge, a contest to recognize and reward developers who are able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger.

Developers, in teams of up to three people, are invited to create bots in three categories: gaming and entertainment; productivity and utility; and social good.

Prizes
Finalist Teams
The 60 finalist teams (10 per category in each region) will win a Gear VR and mobile phone, one hour of Facebook mentorship and tools and services from FbStart, a Facebook program designed to help early stage mobile start-ups build and grow their bots.
All student teams who make it to the finals will win an additional $2,000 (students will be verified against their registration via their government accredited school email accounts).

Runner-Up Teams
For each region, three runner-up teams (one from each category) will win $10,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship.

Winning Teams
For each region, three winning teams (one from each category) will win $20,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship.

Dates

  • Submissions open: 15 February at 09:00 GMT
  • Deadline for entries: 28 April at 11:59:59 GMT
  • Finalists announced (30 teams each in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East/North Africa): 19 May at 09:00 GMT
  • Deadline for entries from finalists: 2 June at 11:59:59 GMT

Winners announced: 19 June at 09:00 GMT (three winners and three runner up teams in the Middle East and North Africa; three winners and three runner up teams in Sub-Saharan Africa)

Facebook is creating an app for television set-top boxes, including Apple's Apple TV.

The world's biggest online social network is also in discussions with media companies to license long-form, TV-quality programming, the Wall Street Journal reported. An app for set-top boxes would bring Facebook closer to live video and video advertisements.

Getting advertisers to buy more video ads is key to Facebook's continued revenue growth as such ads fetch higher rates from advertisers than text or photo-based ads. Live video is also becoming a highly competitive feature on social platforms, with companies competing to stream major sports events and exclusive video components from high-profile events such as the Oscar and Grammy awards shows.

In April, Facebook expanded its live video product, Facebook Live – a potential threat to broadcast television, giving it prominent placement on its app and rolling out features to make it easier for users to search and comment in real-time.

 

- Reuters

  1. Opinions and Analysis

Calender

« May 2017 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31