Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Facebook CEO Mark “The Zuck” Zuckerberg on African tour, might come to…

No, Mr. Zuckerberg is not coming to Zimbabwe. If you do really want him to come here, you could probably start a facebook petition to get his attention! The elusive Facebook CEO is on a mini tour of Africa, having visited Nigeria and is now in Kenya. It is the first time the CEO has […]

Its sir, not dear! social media etiquette for businesses

The concept of businesses interacting with customers via social media is relatively new in Zimbabwe. It’s great that more local businesses and entrepreneurs have decided to increase their social media presence, effectively breaking down previous communication barriers, but there is still much left to be desired. Businesses should understand that having a social media presence […]

Twitter adds features to help you ignore cyber bullies and trolls

Twitter recently introduced new features that allow everyone to filter content and effectively control what we see and who we interact with. The notifications feature allows you to switch off  notifications from people you do not follow. Meaning, if someone you do not follow was to comment, retweet or like a tweet you have posted, […]

WhatsApp opens up to businesses, creates opportunities for targeted campaigns and IM e-commerce for Zimbabwean enterprises

In its statement, WhatsApp highlighted its desire to help its users communicate with businesses. This is supposed to happen through targeted advertising which will be facilitated by “WhatsApp for Business” accounts.

8 things you need to know about WhatsApp’s privacy policy update and that pop-up message it sent you

Since this announcement, there have been some falsehoods (it’s not a government-led cybersecurity initiative) and questions around what this actually means to WhatsApp users and the information that will now be shared with WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook.

WhatsApp to “sell” your phone number to Facebook for advertising

A move long suspected WhatsApp would make after the acquisition by Facebook was to start sharing its data with Facebook so users could be targeted with ads. When it was acquired, both Facebook and WhatsApp however said this would not happen. WhatsApp’s long held negative views on advertising, and strong views on the importance of privacy seemed to be the […]

Facebook Live now available to all Zimbabweans, opens up opportunities of citizen broadcasting

Anyone can now live stream from their account, literally accessing broadcast services (which used to be privileged) to everyone with a smartphone, a Facebook account and an internet connection that’s good enough to go live.

Twitter suspends 360,000 accounts for abusive content, plus how to report tweets and accounts

Twitter has suspended 360,000 accounts for violating its prohibitions on violent threats and promotion of terrorism over the past year. The move is in line with its  public policy that aims to combat any subversive content. According to their official blog statement, daily suspensions have surged by 80% , with a significant rise suspensions occurring after terrorist […]

Olympic Committee Regulated Social Media to protect broadcast revenue, future of live global events in question

image credit: The Rio 2016 Olympics came to an end in a spectacular closing ceremony in the historic Maracana Stadium. The games have been entertaining and full of controversy but aside from it all Brazil seems to have pulled it off. Besides the sporting events, there has been a raging debate on the sidelines toward the impact […]

Zimbabwean government issues more warnings against social media abuse, singles out “diaspora cyber terrorists”

The statements from the Minister follow a string of other warnings against social media abuse issued by the government over the past month and a half. Zimbabwe has experienced an upsurge in online civic engagement and political activism popularised by campaigns like #ThisFlag and #Tajamuka.

Zimbabwean opposition party spokesperson charged for responding to a tweet

Jealousy Mawarire, the spokesperson for Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), an opposition political party, has been charged with contravening section 88(b) of the Postal And Telecommunications Act for a tweet he made in response to the Minister of Higher Education Jonathan Moyo’s attacks on ZPF leader Joice Mujuru.

ICT Minister takes to Twitter to defend proposed social media clampdown as Zimbabweans question proposed cybercrime laws

The Minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwanzira was quizzed about these developments via Twitter by people interested in the government’s plans for social media use as well as the draft cybercrime legislation.

Zimbabwe army commander warns citizens against social media misuse

According to Commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda the Zimbabwe National Army is ready to deal with anyone using electronic means to mobilise people to do anything unlawful.

GetCash to introduce its own WhatsApp alternative called GetChat

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, George Manyere, the director of GetCash and founder of Brainworks Capital (which owns GetCash) highlighted how their team was exploring ways of harnessing locally developed technology to provide solutions that are more affordable for Zimbabweans.

Interview – Supa Mandiwanzira clarifies Zimbabwe’s position on social media regulation, responds to corruption allegations

In a recent interview on local radio station Star FM, Supa Mandiwanzira, Zimbabwe’s minister of ICT spoke about how there wouldn’t be any social media regulation unless the need arose – referencing cases of social media abuse that included revenge porn and the encouragement of civil unrest.

SA based Zimbabwean teams up with South African to create Teta, a zero-rated WhatsApp competitor

The one major point of difference that Teta has over other IM services, including WhatsApp, is that its users can send all types of messages including multimedia (video, pictures) for free as long as they are on Vodacom, the South African mobile network.

Facebook’s Messenger crosses 1 billion user mark, solidifies position as the global app for the future

Facebook recently issued a statement celebrating a major milestone for its instant messaging service, Messenger. It now has 1 billion active users. This was accompanied by a congratulatory message to all Messenger users complete with an interactive emoji. The 1 billion mark is a notable achievement not only because of how staggering that number is but also because it […]

Minister of ICT says Zimbabwean government will consult citizens if need to regulate social media arises

He also pointed out how the government has no intentions of regulating social media but it would consult citizens should the need to do so arise.

Now everyone can apply for a blue badge as Twitter revises process for account verification

Now, Twitter has decided to change that. It announced a new online application process for account verification. Anyone who believes that their account should be verified because of their influence or the potential risk of being impersonated can apply online.

If you can’t access WhatsApp here are 5 great alternatives

Out of the more popular options we’ve listed 5 common IM platforms that are easy to use, provide a somewhat familiar user experience and have core features like VoIP calling and group chat which we are now fond of.

Calls to #FreePastorEvan dominate Zimbabwe’s Twitter

Current trending topics on Zimbabwe’s Twitter are all related to Evan Mawarire, the man behind the #ThisFlag movement which has gained significant momentum since April when it started. Pastor Evan, as he has come to be known, was arrested today apparently for “inciting public violence and disturbing peace”. You can read more about his arrest here, here, […]

Facebook readies Secret Conversations, another feature that will ensure message privacy for Zimbabweans

This feature ensures that message are only accessed by the sender and the intended recipient while preventing third parties, including regulators, the owners of the platform, and the internet providers, from going through the messages .

Just to be clear, your WhatsApp messages can’t be viewed by third parties

Three months ago, WhatsApp introduced End to End encryption (E2EE) a feature which secures all types of messages sent on the platform with a digital lock meaning that only the sender and receiver can open them. Even WhatsApp can’t access these messages.

Here’s the Zimbabwean government’s warning against social media abuse

POTRAZ’s statement echoes the sentiments shared by the Minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwanzira, who has warned Zimbabweans against social media abuse.

Government warns Zimbabweans on use of social media

The Zimbabwean government has warned citizens who use social media to promote civil unrest, despondency and violence that they will be arrested and dealt with.

WhatsApp access restored in Zimbabwe after 4 hour disruption

After a service disruption on several networks in Zimbabwe that lasted for 4 hours WhatsApp is back online. WhatsApp users on Econet, NetOne, TelOne and other internet providers have confirmed that their WhatsApp connectivity was restored around 11:30 AM. During that period people were forced to use VPN access and other tools like Messenger to maintain […]

Your WhatsApp isn’t working? Use Facebook’s Messenger instead

WhatsApp is down. Well, that’s in Zimbabwe at least. This is a major disruption for a lot of people who rely on the internet to communicate. However there are many other options that people can still use to communicate including using VPN access to “unlock” WhatsApp. To be honest, though, that’s probably a bit too complicated […]

Update: WhatsApp not working in Zimbabwe on some networks as government blocks the app

If you’re in Zimbabwe, you’ve probably noticed that you WhatsApp is not working anymore. Several people have contacted us to inform us that their WhatsApp is not sending or receiving messages anymore. We have made some tests ourselves and can confirm that WhatsApp is not working for us too on any of the 3 mobile networks and […]

Beitbridge demos show social media’s struggle for credibility over mainstream news

While it helps one quickly get a sense of what is going on through real-time news and propels the news to travel fast, for the most part I find social media news distorted, full of emotion and inevitably calling for independent verification usually from the same digital traditional media almost each time something serious happens.

Facebook wants to make ad creation easier with its new online Creative Hub

To assist the brands and agencies that use it extensively Facebook is introducing a new online platform called Creative Hub that will help in the development of creative adverts for both Facebook and Instagram.