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Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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Attention Spaces creators: Twitter now supporting select Spaces financially

Twitter has launched a Twitter Spaces Spark Program which will initially be a three-month accelerator program that is “designed to discover and reward great Spaces on Twitter with financial, technical, and marketing support.” As all social media platforms have realised, if there is no compelling content, there won’t be any users. It is sad to […]


What was really going on with the WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram outage?

When it rains, it pours. Facebook is still in the midst of dealing with a PR nightmare caused by a whistleblower. Now, mere days later, the big three platforms all suffer an outage. Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were down for hours worldwide yesterday.  The outage affected even Oculus, which is Facebook’s virtual reality platform. Also […]


Facebook, Instagram back up, WhatsApp still unstable

The three Facebook owned platforms were down for about six hours on Monday the 4th of October. The team working on a fix managed to mostly patch it up just before midnight. In our testing Facebook seems to be working normally now. The fix was gradual as in the first minutes of the site loading […]


Facebook outage cost Mark Zuckerberg US$5.9 Billion – Forbes

Facebook and its family of apps, WhatsApp and Instagram have been down for nearly 5 hours and that outage has cost the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg US$5.9 billion according to Forbes. This decline has meant that Zuckerberg’s estimated fortune is now at US$117 billion, meaning he has slipped to being the sixth richest person on […]


Facebook’s hours-long outage caused by “network issues”

It’s been hours since Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram went down, and aside from the communications that acknowledged the outage we finally have some word on what’s happening according to Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer, Mike Schroepfer *Sincere* apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now. We are experiencing networking issues and teams […]


WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram are all down

Facebook’s family of applications, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook itself are all down. According to Down Detector, the outage started at 5 pm with users reporting that couldn’t connect to the server, send messages or publish posts. It’s unclear what could be causing the outage. But in the Zimbabwean context, it’s yet another argument for more […]


Nigeria’s govt will lift the Twitter ban if certain conditions are met

Back in June, Nigeria’s government suspended Twitter in the country “indefinitely” after a controversial tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari’s was deleted. The tweet threatened to punish secessionists which goes against Twitter’s terms of service. “Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during […]


Facebook releases research on Instagram’s effect on teen mental health

After facing backlash from a Wall Street Journal report that exposed the effect of Instagram’s effect on the mental health of teens, Facebook has released two slide decks from its internal research on the matter on its blog. The information drop was also done ahead of Facebook’s Global Head of Safety, Antigone Davis’ appearance in […]


RBZ names illegal forex dealers and exposes their private information

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) Financial Intelligence Unit has identified individuals who have been using mobile phone lines and social media for illegal forex dealings (dealers) and money laundering. The full statement by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on this issue reads as follows: The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has identified individuals listed hereunder […]


Facebook halts the development of Instagram for kids in the wake of damaging leaks

Facebook has been battling a series of damaging revelations made by the Wall Street Journal and picked up on by other major publications around the world for the past few weeks. Most of these revelations are backed by a series of leaked internal documents in possession of the Journal. When I wrote about the issue, […]


TikTok hits 1 billion monthly users milestone

After surviving a Trump Administration onslaught that threatened to end the platform’s existence in North America, TikTok has announced that it has reached the 1 billion users a month milestone. “At TikTok, our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. Today, we’re celebrating that mission and our global TikTok community. More than 1 billion […]


Leaked documents show how Facebook doesn’t care about its users

Before I begin I must confess that these days I am finding it harder and harder to like Facebook. Every time when I am about to forgive them for something untoward we learn of another thing then another and another. The only conclusion I can reach is that Facebook really is a company that doesn’t […]


Jah Prayzah at 1 million Facebook followers, swimming in money?

I don’t think Jah Prayzah needs an introduction now. There are a million reasons why should know him by now. The musician is uber popular now. I mean, how can one have 1 million Facebook followers in a nation of about 15 million. That’s close to 7% of the population. That’s even more impressive when […]


A report shows Facebook can read your WhatsApp messages

One of WhatsApp’s most touted features is end-to-end encryption. It is often claimed that WhatsApp messages are encrypted at the source and only decrypted once they reach their destination and that Facebook themselves cannot see what you and the person on the other end are talking about. This has put Facebook at odds with various […]


Twitter is testing Communities, its version of Facebook Groups or Subreddits

Twitter is trying so hard to become like all the other social media platforms. Earlier this year the company tried out “Fleets” which were a cleverly named version of Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp statuses. That endeavour went nowhere as Fleets were shut down on August 3rd. However, the other trend that Twitter hopped on that […]


WhatsApp may soon allow you to hide your last seen from individual contacts

WhatsApp has provided us with a few ways to mask our activity on the app. If you don’t want people to see that you have opened their message then you can simply disable the blue checkmark. Some prefer not to have their statuses viewed by certain contacts (for a range of reasons) and the app […]


Selling on social media? Don’t frustrate customers, display your prices

To say Zimbabweans have responded well to the pressures of the pandemic would be an understatement. The adoption of online stores, sellers peddling their wares on social media and WhatsApp are fantastic examples of how adaptable Zimbos are. On top of that, we have seen a number of new e-commerce marketplaces that have sprung up […]


EU slaps WhatsApp with a multi-million dollar fine for violating GDPR

Facebook-owned chat app, WhatsApp has been asked by the Irish Data Protection Commission to pay a fine of €225m or roughly US$193 million for violating the provisions of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. It’s kind of hard not to feel like this was long overdue given how Facebook and WhatsApp have been mishandling […]


Telegram now allows you to live stream to an unlimited audience

Every time Telegram updates their chat app I am always reminded of the VHS-Betamax and Linux-Windows debates. Sometimes the most popular app or piece of software, in this case, WhatsApp, is not always the best app. Unlike WhatsApp Telegram is transitioning to become more than just a chat app into a fully-featured social network and […]


OnlyFans does a somersault says it will no longer ban sexually explicit content

About five days ago, OnlyFans the revolutionary creator site revealed something shocking – they would be banning sexually explicit content from their platform. This was due to intense pressure from their payment processors who were being moralistic. We thought that was the end of the story. Now OnlyFans has made another turn-they are no longer […]


IPEC says Lobola Assurance is not registered with them

The Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) has issued a statement over a Lobola Assurance banner that is doing rounds on social media especially WhatsApp. The banner claims to be from a company that calls itself Lobola Assurance and shows various packages which start from US$1.99 per month up to $19.99 per month. There was a […]


In a series of tweets, ZACC tries to distance itself from “catch and release”

Over the past two or so decades Zimbabwe has consistently ranked low when it comes to corruption, ease of doing business and corporate governance issues. The government and the organisation tasked with reversing this trend the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) have often been blamed by the wider public for failing to tackle this issue. […]


Copyright holders go after Telegram over piracy

A lot of people agree that Telegram is the Betamax of chat apps while WhatsApp is the VHS. It’s better in a number of ways despite it being about half as popular as its more ubiquitous and widely accepted green-themed rival. One popular use for Telegram these days is to share and download TV Shows […]


OnlyFans, in a massive u-turn, will now prohibit some adult content

While Netflix was one of the major beneficiaries of the ongoing global pandemic, it was not the only one. OnlyFans, a platform that allows creators to charge and get paid for exclusive content, saw an explosion in creators as well as normal paying users. Creators now stand at over half a million and the company […]


YouTube Community news channels rise up to fill the gap left by ZBC

Recently I have noticed a rise in community news focused YouTube channels. Channels such as Drewmas Media and Karanganda TV are rising in prominence and filling a void left by ZTV which continues to operate as a solitary channel. These channels are certainly not as popular as most entertainment channels on YouTube but they are […]


Social media networks should copy TikTok’s new notification model

Social media sites can be entertaining, useful for work and downright exhilarating but like any other drug, they can be exhaustive and addictive. For most of us our phones, tablets and laptops are an extension of ourselves. We cannot live without them, put them down or ignore them. That can be very unhealthy and TikTok […]


Here’s how much data you are using in Twitter Spaces

Twitter’s Spaces, a competitor to the once very exclusive Clubhouse has really taken off worldwide. The platform is very popular as a way of having conversations with a wide audience (depending on your following) about a range of topics. Zimbabweans have jumped on the Twitter Spaces with notable figures like Hopewell Chin’ono regularly hosting conversations. […]


The Messi effect: PSG social media gets millions of new followers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Lionel Messi has parted ways with Barcelona and has found himself in Paris playing for PSG (Paris Saint Germain). Now we can wax lyrical about how Barcelona absolutely botched this, I mean how do you lose one of the greatest players to ever lace up like this?! Anyway, […]


WhatsApp’s “view once” messages are better than nothing

For the past few months, I have been complaining about the way WhatsApp implements its disappearing messages feature. Recently they updated the options you have and now you can send and receive “view once” WhatsApp messages. The feature is kind of self-explanatory. You can choose to send a message that can only be viewed once […]


Telegram video calls can now have 1000 viewers

Telegram has thrown out a doozy with its latest update because 1000 people can now participate in a group video call. Now this is obviously to outdo perennial competitor WhatsApp, which recently allowed people to join video calls akin to what we can already do on a conferencing software like Zoom. However, WhatsApp only allows […]