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TRAI says people reacted to free basics more than net nuetrality

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New Delhi: The launch of a public consultation on the differential pricing of data by a Telecom regulatory authority(TRAI) said on Monday, that a major reaction of people was on Facebook Free Basics rather than on the larger issue of net neutrality.

Of the 2 million or so responses, a large number of these responses were simply ‘I support Free Basics’. I am asking ‘are you in favour or otherwise of otherwise net neutrality’ and ‘should there be a guard’.

“So we wrote back asking them to answer our four questions but we still haven’t got those”., Agneshwar Sen, advisor for the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI), told the media here.

Sen said the intention was everybody should get internet access as they want it.

“With the Free Basics, the only issue is that there is a platform which is deciding for you what you are going to see for free and for what you are going to pay and are they the guys to decide it for you,”.the official said on sidelines of an interactive meeting on electromagnetic field (EMF) radiations emissions from mobile towers.

“What we feel bad in TRAI is that there was an opportunity for so many people to tell us. If 20 lakh people tell me that I don’t want the whole of the internet, I just want, say Mark Zuckerberg, or the govt of India or department of telecom, to tell me what I am going to see or not going to see…fair enough. But if I am going to tell you I don’t want them to stop me then that’s the direction we go,” he added.

Academicians from India’s premier institutes IITs and IISc have slammed Facebook’s Free Basics initiative, terming it “flawed’’ and ‘’misleading’’.

In a joint statement issued in December last year, around 50 faculty members, IITs and IISc denounced the proposal dubbing it a ‘’lethal combination that will lead to total lack of freedom on how Indians can use the internet.’’

Listing three major flaws in the programme, the scientist urged TRAI to ‘’thoroughly reject’’ Facebooks’s ‘’free basics’’ proposal.(IANS)(Image-Independent.co)

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Facebook: WhatsApp Business App Has Over 3mn Users

WhatsApp Business app has over 3mn users: Facebook

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WhatsApp Business app has over 3mn users
WhatsApp Business app has over 3mn users. Pixabay

Over 3 million people are actively using WhatsApp Business app, says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

He said this during the social media giant’s Q1 2018 earnings call, the VentureBeat reported late on Wednesday.

WhatsApp Business, a standalone app separate from the other version of WhatsApp used by 1.5 billion people, was launched in January for Android users in six countries including India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Britain and the US.

WhatsApp Business competes with services like Apple’s Business Chat and RCS messaging for Android and Facebook’s own Messenger Platform, chat apps all built around connecting businesses with customers.

While WhatsApp Business is still being rolled out, conversational commerce through things like payments on Messenger will also be important to the social media giant, the report said.

The Facebook's image.
Facebook. Pixabay

“Over the next five years we’re focused on building out the business ecosystems around our apps like Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger,” Zuckerberg said.

“I think what you’re going to start to see are people interacting with Pages that you follow, Pages on Facebook or Instagram.

“You see content from that Page, and you can click through to a message thread, and then you can either get customer support or complete a transaction or do a follow-on transaction, and that will be very valuable for businesses so we view the payment in that context, not as the goal but as something that’s helping the business and the person succeed at having a transaction or doing what they’re trying to do,” Zuckerberg noted.

Also Read: This creepy app uses WhatsApp data to let users ‘spy’

WhatsApp Business, available on Google Play Store, makes it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for its users to chat with businesses that matter to them.

The new app, which is yet to come on Apple App Store in India, asks for a separate phone number from the one users have for their individual WhatsApp account.  IANS

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