These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. South African govt orders all country domains to link its COVID-19 awareness website
The South African government has sent a public notice to all South African website owners and operators, on government’s directives to promote the awareness on the global pandemic, especially in South Africa. The government, in the release, ordered all South African (.ZA) domain operators to provide a section (widget) on their website where the government’s awareness website on COVID-19 could be accessed upon a click.
The notice, which was sent on Thursday, March 26, is envisioned to help bring timely updates to the South African citizens and residents. The notice, which has been tagged as a Disaster Management Act, stipulated that a visible link to the COVID-19 website be created. In South Africa, with over 1.2 million domains registered under ‘.co.za’, and with over 900 positive COVID-19 cases; this is the government going forward to push out fact-checked updates on the outbreak.
2. Showmax adds 7 news channels to its video on-demand offering in South Africa
MultiChoice-owned video-on-demand provider, Showmax, has reportedly added seven live news channels on its platform to keep subscribers updated on developments and trends around COVID-19 pandemic. Showmax is doing this to cater for its existing users throughout the South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown.
BBC World News, SABC News and Sky News are among the newly enlisted channels hoped to provide real-time situation reports to the viewing public. Others include CNN, Newzroom Afrika, Al Jazeera and Euronews. According to a complimentary statement from Showmax on the new offering, the company might consider to sustain the channels if the demand makes it worthwhile during the lockdown. This way, these channels could become a permanent feature on the platform
3. Disrupt Africa launches service to link startups to corporate investors
Leading member of African tech publication, Disrupt Africa, has officially launched a new offline service to link corporates, investors and accelerator programmes with African tech startups, the publication reported in a post on Friday, March 27, 2020. The 6 year old digital publication stated that the service would be called “Disrupt Pipeline”.
Co-founder Tom Jackson noted that the publication had built up a “vast database of African tech startups, a contact list that spans the continent, and deep expertise across a number of markets and verticals”. According to him, this was possible because: “Having worked with dozens of corporate entities, investors and accelerators in various ways in the past to help them source startups for various initiatives, the company is now packaging this offering and making it available more widely via its new service – Disrupt Pipeline.” Africans in tech, therefore, look forward to see the new opportunity fly.
4. Cape Town’s Startup Grind takes its Startup Circles Social Friday online
The Cape Town’s Startup Grind this Friday has opted to host its event, the Startup Circles Social Friday, online. During the virtual event, attendees will talk about what they think the world will look like and what they can do to as startups gunning for progress. According to the organisers, participants would be broken into groups where there would be discussions on how to solve some of the current business challenges as well as discuss the opportunities that are now becoming available.
In a bid to cope with the ongoing lockdown, the Startup Circles member-only event would be made accessible to all for free to help. However, the organisers noted that virtual seats would be limited. It is expected that after the session, useful bits from the conversations from participants would be shared with the reading public.
5. WhatsApp records 40% increase in usage due to COVID-19 pandemic
Social messaging platform, Whatsapp, has revealed recording 40% increase in usage as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, as more users go online to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues. Recent survey conducted on more than 25,000 consumers in 30 markets conducted from March 14 to 24, indicates that WhatsApp is the social media app that has experienced the greatest gains due to COVID-19.
According to the survey, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage that grew from an initial 27% bump in the earlier days of the pandemic to 41% in the mid-phase. For countries already in the later phase of the pandemic, WhatsApp usage has jumped by 51%. In Spain, for instance, WhatsApp usage was up 76%. The survey report further revealed that across all messaging platforms, the growth in usage has been the largest in the 18 to 34-year-old age group.
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