WhatsApp Now Has 200 Million Monthly Active Users in India

Mobile messaging service WhatsApp on Friday announced that it has 200 million monthly active users in India.

WhatsApp Now Has 200 Million Monthly Active Users in India

In a post on Twitter, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced the statistic, while reiterating that the company now has 1.2 billion monthly active users – a figure revealed to Gadgets 360 last week by WhatsApp Product Manager Randall Sarafa. India has been the biggest market for the instant messaging app since November last year, when it announced it had over 160 million users in India.

Separately, Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp, along with Neeraj Arora, Head of Business, WhatsApp, on Friday visited Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi to interact with the students.

The discussion focused on the ways WhatsApp can contribute to India as it is invested in building a service with high utility for millions of Indians, the company said in a statement.

WhatsApp has been rolling out updates and features to make the app more secure for its users.

The new ‘Status’ feature lets users share photos, GIFs or videos overlaid with drawings, emojis and a caption that will be visible to selected friends for 24 hours, before disappearing.

Users can also see who has viewed their Status update by tapping the eye icon at the bottom of any Status update.

The new feature is now available to all users across the globe on Android, iPhone, and Windows devices.

Ola, Maruti Suzuki Sign MoU to Train 40,000 Aspiring Drivers

The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India has joined hands with taxi aggregator Ola to train aspiring drivers-partners.

Ola, Maruti Suzuki Sign MoU to Train 40,000 Aspiring DriversUnder a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two, the exercise aims to benefit 40,000 individuals/ Ola drivers-partners in safe driving over a period of three years, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said in a statement.

The Maruti Ola Training Program will create entrepreneurship opportunities for aspiring drivers-partners as well as make urban transportation safe, reliable and convenient, it added.

The pilot phase of the initiative will be rolled out in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and NCR. The driving training programme will be gradually rolled out in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Pune.

Commenting on the association, MSI Executive Director, Marketing & Sales R S Kalsi said, “We are glad that through this partnership with Ola, we will be able to expand quality driving training while creating opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.”

He further said, “We target to train 40,000 individuals over 3 years.”

Pranay Jivrajka, Chief Operating Officer, Ola said the partnership falls in line with Ola’s goal of skilling 5 million drivers in the next 5 years and continue to build a conducive ecosystem for them to grow as entrepreneurs.

“We are delighted to work with a trusted Indian brand like Maruti to create a unique solution to skill tens of thousands of aspiring driver-entrepreneurs realize their dreams,” he added.

According to the MoU, Maruti Suzuki would help the individuals/ Ola drivers-partners obtain commercial license and also assist in availing vehicle financing to purchase their own car, after the completion of their course.

Ola will also provide qualified leads of potential drivers-partners to Maruti Suzuki for facilitating them with commercial driving training.

All the aspiring drivers will undergo a 30-day driving training which includes a pre and post assessment tests, to gauge the driving skills of these individuals, the statement added.

MobiKwik Offers Free Bank Account Money Transfer Service

MobiKwik Offers Free Bank Account Money Transfer ServiceSoon after Paytm’s move, MobiKwik has now announced that its users can transfer money from their mobile wallets to any bank account at a zero percent fee. Earlier, the digital wallet company used to charge 4 percent for a non-KYC compliant user and 1 percent fee for a KYC compliant user.

This move comes after PM Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes in the country, leading to a sudden cash shortage and long queues outside banks. This move is aimed to urge merchants to shift to their digital wallet for everyday transactions.

“We support Indian government’s bold currency reform that is a long term move to eliminate black money and corruption in India. However, masses are facing issues in procuring and transacting with cash. To help them overcome this challenge, we have announced 0 percent fee on bank transfers,” co-founder of MobiKwik Bipin Preet Singh said in a statement.
Singh feels that demonetisation will be very beneficial to the digital finance industry. He told Gadgets 360 that he believes that this is a “surgical strike on cash”, and says: “Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 notes will have lost credibility, they will be seen as insecure. If you’re using any kind of big notes, to pay your household help, for cash on delivery, and so on, it will be less trustworthy. As a customer, you will have a strong pull factor against using cash.”
Paytm announced the same move yesterday, however it will levy 1 percent fee for its services. Since the demonetisation announcement, MobiKwik claims to have registered 18 fold growth in transactions.

Periscope integrates with GoPro to bring live streaming to action cameras

Periscope just took its first steps away from the smartphone. The Twitter-owned live-streaming app announced an integration with GoPro that will let users broadcast to their followers from an action camera for the first time. The integration, which currently works on iOS with the GoPro Hero 4 Black and Hero 4 Silver, allows Periscope to recognize a GoPro whenever one is connected to an iPhone. Once connected, the app gives users the option of broadcasting from the camera.

The integration raises interesting possibilities for surfers, skiers, snowboarders, and other athletes, as well as anyone who enjoys filming with a GoPro mounted on a drone. Indeed, the company teased some upcoming broadcasts from the X Games, which begin this week in Aspen, CO. “We’ll have a lot of other really cool content being generated by some athletes there that will really show off the integration.”

Periscope users can toggle the camera back and forth between the iPhone view and the GoPro view, while continuing to see the on-screen chat on their phones. Or, if they’d rather focus entirely on the GoPro, the app offers a new switch that “freezes” the iPhone screen so users can put it in their pocket while continuing to broadcast. The GoPro will still save any video recorded during the broadcast to the camera’s SD card.

The move comes two weeks after Periscope integrated with Twitter, livening up the timeline with real-time broadcasts. GoPro broadcasts are likely to represent a small fraction of streams to start with — for one thing, it doesn’t yet work with Android. But given the newly fresh questions about Twitter’s future this week, it hints at some intriguing new avenues for the Periscope team to explore.

Snapchat appears to be working on a brand new chat interface

Snapchat users are used to deciphering some of the most convoluted interface ideas in the App Store, but their life may get a bit easier in the future. Snapchat appears to be working on a new chat interface, which will make it look a lot more like a traditional messaging app. The new interface was uncovered by the developers behind Snapprefswhile digging through Snapchat’s public code. What they found may not be final — it may not ever even see a proper release — but it’s quite possible that they’ve spotted changes that’ll arrive to Snapchat in the near future.

The new chat interface would make it much easier to send photos or start a video chat with another person. Both of those features are currently available, but you sort of have to stumble upon them — it isn’t readily apparent how to do either. This new interface also adds a way to start voice calls and send stickers, neither of which are currently options inside the app. In this new interface, buttons to do all four of those things appear directly above the keyboard in Snapchat’s chat section.

You can argue that switching over to an interface like this removes some of the charm of Snapchat. Part of the app’s success comes from its original, if often confusing, ideas about how sending and altering photos should work. Its current video chatting interface, for example, is by design one of the most quick and casual ways to start a video chat — it’s just set up in a way that many users could easily miss it. This new interface removes those hurdles in favor of something much more familiar, almost like Facebook Messenger. If Snapchat does choose to switch over to this interface, it might mean giving up a bit of its character, but it would also mean making the app much easier to use.