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WhatsApp India To Do More in Order to Limit Viral Content

A recent WhatsApp research has revealed that 70 per cent of small businesses have built their business on the platform

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The feature will let the user know how many times a message has been forwarded. Pixabay

WhatsApp has taken several measures to limit the spread of misinformation and fake news on its platform in India but there is more to do to fully secure the platform, the company’s India head Abhijit Bose said on Wednesday.

In his first statement after taking over as head of India operations of the Facebook-owned messaging platform early this year, Bose said the company strongly believes that private messaging is fundamental to safety.

“We’re pleased that the recent changes we’ve made to limit viral content and educate users is having an impact. This work is never done – there is more that we can and will do,” noted Bose who is hiring the first full country team outside of California which will be based in Gurugram.

“I am going to be listening closely and learning in the months to come, and I look forward to working with stakeholders here in India on our common safety goals,” added Bose.

With over 200 million monthly active users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market in the world. Globally, the platform has over 1.5 billion users.

Facing flak from the government over dozens of lynching incidents in the country last year which were linked to rumours spread on WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service introduced several new measures, including limiting the number of messages that a user can forward to five and appointing a grievance officer for the country.

Users can set verification to be required immediately upon log-in. Pixabay

“One of the most exciting features we’re building is WhatsApp Payments. Leveraging services from the ‘India Stack’ such as UPI (Unified Payments Interface), we’re making it possible for people to easily transfer money to each other or their favourite merchants,” informed Bose.

WhatsApp Payments, stuck owing to India’s demand to store data locally, has not gone beyond the beta testing it did with nearly one million users last year.

“When opened up to WhatsApp users across India, Payments will accelerate financial inclusion and remove barriers for people who want to actively participate in the new digital economy,” Bose noted.

Also Read- Tea Board Plans to Collect Samples from Tea Factories to Check Quality Standards

A recent WhatsApp research has revealed that 70 per cent of small businesses have built their business on the platform and 77 per cent said they have been able to hire more employees due to growth since joining WhatsApp.

“I’m excited about what the future holds for India and humbled by the potential WhatsApp has to help hundreds of millions of people and businesses across the country connect and prosper,” said Bose. (IANS)

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India Becomes the Second Largest Smartphone Market After China: Report

India surpasses US to become 2nd largest smartphone market

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The Indian smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level. Pixabay

New Delhi: Riding on Chinese brands, the India smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level and this is the latest science and technology news, becoming the second-largest smartphone market after China globally — reaching 158 million shipments in the calender year 2019 with 7 per cent (YoY) growth, a report from Counterpoint Research said on Friday.

While Xiaomi continued to be the top player with 28 per cent market share in the calendar year 2019, Samsung was second with 21 per cent and Vivo at 16 per cent market share, said Counterpoint’s ‘Market Monitor’ service.

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India has now become the second-largest smartphone market after China globally. Pixabay

“Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint.

“Chinese brands share hit a record 72 per cent for the year 2019 as compared to 60 per cent share a year ago.

“This year, we have seen all major Chinese players expanding their footprint in offline and online channels to gain market share. For instance, Xiaomi, realme, and OnePlus have increased their offline points of sale while brands like Vivo have expanded their online reach with Z and U series,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint.

Over the past four years, Xiaomi, Vivo, and OnePlus have grown 15 times, 24 times and 18 per cent, respectively.

“This highlights that OEMs are mature enough to capture next wave of growth and expand their operations in India,” Jain added.

Smartphone
Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent. Pixabay

Samsung shipments remained almost flat (YoY) while it has shown a 5 per cent (YoY) decline in 2019.

“This is for the first time Samsung transitioned to a completely new portfolio targeting different channels (offline with A series and online with M series). However, it needs to double down its efforts to keep the momentum going,” the report noted.

While the smartphone market registered YoY growth, the feature phone market witnessed a steep decline of nearly 42 per cent YoY in 2019 and 38 per cent (YoY) in Q4 2019.

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“This is due to slowdown in the new shipments from Reliance Jio. However, the players such as itel, Lava, Nokia and Micromax registered positive annual
growth despite the overall segment declined showing the untapped potential of the market,” said the report.

In fact, itel emerged as the number one feature phone brand in Q4 2019, followed by Samsung and Lava. (IANS)