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Facebook to Roll Out “Public Switch Telephone Network” Feature Soon

Now go live on Facebook without phone or an account

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Facebook
Facebook is allowing non-users watch live streams from mobile devices too which was until now only available on desktop. Pixabay

As demand for live video increases during COVID-19 lockdown, Facebook is allowing non-users watch live streams from mobile devices too which was until now only available on desktop. This is a technology news.

The feature is already available to Android users and will be rolling out to iOS “in the coming weeks,” reports Engadget.

Facebook Live is also working on an “audio only” mode.
The social media giant is experiencing a massive surge in usage of its apps as billions of people stay home.

Facebook
Facebook is also adding new options like ‘Public Switch Telephone Network’, that would allow people to listen in on a livestream via a toll free number. Pixabay

Seventy per cent more people are using group video calls and are spending more time than usual watching Instagram Live amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

Also Read- Current Pandemic Set to Hit Financial Performance in Q1 2020: Twitter

The social media giant is also adding new options like ‘Public Switch Telephone Network’, that would allow people to listen in on a livestream via a toll free number.

In a bid to manage unprecedented load on Internet infrastructure as more people stay home during the lockdown, FB and Instagram on Tuesday announced to lower video quality in India as well as Latin America. (IANS)

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FDCI to go Live for Hosting ‘Phygital’ Fashion Week

Phygital happens to be a combination of a physical and digital event

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Fashion
FDCI presents ELLE FIRST CUT in 2018. Wikimedia Commons

The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) took to Instagram to post a teaser that says “FDCI goes digital Indias First Ever Digital Fashion Week”. The event is set to be a ‘phygital one, which is a combination of a physical and digital event according to Lifestyle news.

Confirming the announcement, Sunil Sethi, Chairman, FDCI told IANSlife: “Right now, we have no choice but to invent the wheel and press the restart button. In the lockdown, we are left with doing nothing. Work from home does not apply to us. We had put this on trial and realised we can do it. We have got nods from the designers, the board and the buyers. At the moment, this is what will bring back the excitement and business. We have announced this seeing the mood of the public.”

He added: “We are working for the fashion designers, buyers and the infrastructure that has supported us like the models, makeup artistes. Instead of an on-ground fashion week, we will do it within our office, at Taj Palace or hire a place. We can digitally create a set and we can ask live models to come in. We can then record it and show it the next day or after all five days are done. It will be ‘phygitical’ — on ground (physical) and digital.”

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The dates of the digital fashion week have yet to be finalized. (Representational Image). Pixabay

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However, the dates of the digital fashion week have yet to be finalized; most of the designers would like this to happen in August, informs the Council’s chairman. End July-August is usually when the FDCI hosts its Annual Couture Week.

Earlier this month, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks also announced that they will be held in a digital format. The Indian Federation for Fashion Development’s (IFFD) India Runway Week last year was held on Instagram, which saw 35 designers showcase their collections digitally. (IANS)

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Lockdown Diaries: Online Sales of Gardening Products Shoot Up

Online sales of gardening products hint at home-gardening bloom in lockdown

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Many Indians have turned into gardeners during lockdown. Pixabay

By Siddhi Jain

Two months of lockdown has turned many Indians into avid gardeners. As people explore their green side by growing a variety of plants, sales of gardening products on an e-commerce site seem to have shot up notably in this period.

As per Snapdeal, the overall sale in the gardening category for mid-March and mid-May 2020 is more than double the sale in the same time-frame last year.

“Over the last two months, users have bought seeds to grow a range of vegetables including brinjals, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, chilli, coriander etc. Seeds of everyday-use items like lemon and tomato were the most searched for seeds on Snapdeal. Combo vegetable seeds pack with multiple varieties of seeds priced under Rs 300 was another popular pick amongst Snapdeal shoppers,” the online marketplace told IANSlife.

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People have bought a variety of seeds amid lockdown. Pixabay

What made it to e-carts and search bars?

As kitchen gardens blossomed, so did a collective desire to build immunity against the novel Coronavirus.

Since late April, Moringa (drumstick) seeds remained high in demand for immunity-boosting properties.

For those looking at summer flowers, Roses, Zinnia, Petunia and Marigold have been a top pick, since they grow well in summers.

Enthusiastic gardeners also bought a range of supplies including garden tool kits comprising trowels (‘khurpi’), clippers and weeding forks, green net to save plants from birds, spraying can, and seedling trays, Snapdeal shared.

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Many enthusiastic gardeners also bought a range of supplies including garden tool kits. Pixabay

Apart from greening lawns and balconies, people also bought indoor plants like money plant, areca palm, rubber plant, and fiddle-leaf fig. Succulents were also widely searched and liked but seldom bought due to its high maintenance nature and difficulty to survive Indian weather conditions, the e-commerce platform said.

When it came to pots, plastic pots in a variety of shapes, colour and sizes were in high demand and the popular price range of these were Rs 50-250. Most users bought multi-packs of 4-12 pots. Traditional terracotta pots were also searched for but were not available due to difficulty in transporting the same. Grow bags which are a cheaper alternative to pots were a hit too, Snapdeal said.

“Gardening is a fun and relaxing way to get in touch with nature. In the lockdown period, we saw increased interest from our shoppers in this category, as they spent more time at home. From the nature of buying, we can infer that users are attempting to grow everyday use fruits and vegetables at home. Our sellers also received queries for bulk supplies from those users who intend to grow organic produce for regular commercial sale. Seeing the demand, we have onboarded new sellers in this category to ramp up supplies,” a Snapdeal spokesperson told IANSlife.

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Regional demand

Seaweed solution bottles were popular gardening picks among the metro audiences to save the trouble of keeping packets of compost. The non-metro audience, on the contrary, continued to buy compost. Cocopeat, which can absorb water for longer than normal soil, was widely bought in north India to beat the sun.

Shoppers from Tier 2 cities bought most of the gardening supplies. Most orders came from Bhopal, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Dehradun, Gurgaon, Jamnagar, Lucknow, Mysore, Ranchi and Raipur.

Orders for some of these items were placed mostly when deliveries of these products were prohibited and are now being delivered post the lockdown restrictions being removed, the brand said. (IANS)

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Social Media: A Boon Amid Lockdown

Social media has proved itself a boon, be it dealing with a crisis or emergency and sometimes even saving a life

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social media
Social media has proved its worth in these times. Pixabay

BY PUJA GUPTA

There have been several incidents when social media has proved itself a boon; be it dealing with a crisis or emergency and sometimes even saving a life. There are various groups and communities formed on different platforms that work as a support system of communities.

‘My Pincode’ is one such group on Facebook that was launched by the NGO Social Media Matters in April when the entire country was confined in their houses. It is about local groups on Facebook to virtually connect, communicate, collaborate and create a support system for each other in their respective pincode areas. These groups bring together users, community leaders, subject matter experts, resource points and organizations at a very hyper-local level to provide immediate support, relief, and share critical information.

Blood donation, ration supply, repair work, daily essential information, government advisories are the highlights of My Pincode as these demands top the charts across posts made by users. Partners like Sarvahitey, Akshay Patra Foundation, Blood Bank were fundamental in their roles to look into all the requests and take immediate action.

Shantanu Garg, who lives in West Delhi, posted on the group requesting for a blood donor on behalf of a friend. Within a few hours, moderators of the group who tagged all volunteers and other admins and started reaching out to other blood donor agencies were able to arrange the required amount of blood. There have also been other instances of such donor requests. Sajal Bhateja’s request for urgent requirement of blood on South Delhi Group was also addressed in two hours.

Social Media
There are various groups and communities formed on different platforms that work as a support system of communities. Pixabay

Other topics that are being discussed on the groups are:

Which is the nearest clinic I can visit?

Where can I get emergency help?

What does the situation look like right now on the roads?

What are the queues like at the shops?

How much longer will supplies last?

Are courier services working in the area?

Which are the nearest Government and Private Testing Centres?

Can I visit the police stations?

Are postal services working in the area?

How do I obtain a curfew pass?

What is the situation at the hospitals?

Are there any blood donor requests?

In an attempt to bring together communities from 170 hotspots of India across 17 states (as identified by the Central Government of India in April 15, 2020) and crowdsource help, open groups have been formed and are being managed by moderators and group admins, trained by the NGO. It will be further extended to 32 states and union territories.

Social media
Social media groups bring together users, community leaders, subject matter experts, resource points, and organizations at a very hyper-local level to provide immediate support. Pixabay

Each state has a moderator and several admins who have been moderating the discussions and letting users connect with each other for essential and verified information as to keep fake profiles/information away.

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Every day the lead moderators sift through all the groups to look for any inappropriate content that is posted/approved/queried. As soon as users post on the group, the network of admins gets activated and they look into the prime information or request made by the user. Once that is identified, the request is verified and then the network gets activated to resolve the request. (IANS)