Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

WhatsApp just released a quote & reply feature but not everyone has it, yet

Another new feature has been added to the insanely popular Instant Messaging platform – WhatsApp. You can now respond directly to any message on any chat thread.

Facebook’s latest features – 360 Photos & video comments – remind us that we need cheap internet

As much as their favourite social network continues to release these cool features and applications, they are still not so easily accessible for most people because of the huge costs associated with internet.

Professionalism & the internet – How Jah Prayzah is outshining every other Zimbabwean artist

In an interview with Jah Prayzah’s manager, Keen Mushapaidze, he explained how the artist’s success can be attributed to professionalism, an integration of offline and online strategies and significant sacrifices in both time and money.

Twitter relaxes character limit, tries to make its service simpler

Good news for everyone who’s felt shackled by Twitter’s need to safeguard brevity through 140 sized wall. The micro blogging service has announced that it will be offering users more than the standard 140 character limit.

WhatsApp, Facebook emerge as kingmakers as social media becomes Zimbabwean political tool

WhatsApp does, however, offer a more interesting case for politics. Besides its huge popularity among Zimbabwean internet users, it also has a host of features that make it a prime tool for political use.

Joining ‪#‎ThisFlag‬? Use this App to Overlay Your FB Profile Picture

By now most of us have seen the pictures and videos online. Using the hashtag ‪#‎ThisFlag‬, hundreds of Zimbabweans led by Pastor Evan Mawire are going online to post videos and pictures in which they carry the national flag. They are including messages that protest against, and challenge politicians, about the dire political and economic conditions prevailing […]

Newsday Zimbabwe activates Facebook Instant Articles, embraces new media realities

Less than a week ago, Newsday, one of Zimbabwe’s leading daily publications started using the feature. This national daily which is owned by Alpha Media Holdings becomes the first major Zimbabwean publication to use Instant Articles ahead of its rivals like the ZSE listed Zimpapers and Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ).

Facebook introduces group calling on Messenger app

Facebook yesterday announced the introduction of group calling on its chatting app, Messenger. Essentially, people in a Facebook chatting group can now have an audio conversation together instead of just typing to each other. The feature is rolling out today and is available on Android as well as iOS.

Zimbabwean Government won’t ban social media but it will penalise those who abuse it

The Zimbabwean government has no intentions of banning social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook, but it will be actively involved in regulating their use by penalising those who abuse such platforms.

Telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, has NOT banned WhatsApp bundles

Every year, we post something drastic for April Fools and this year we decided to go touch something a lot of people clearly love; their WhatsApp Bundles. So we ran with “Local telecoms regulator POTRAZ bans WhatsApp bundles, operators given 7 days to comply“, and as per tradition, at 12 midday we added an update to […]

Chinese style internet censorship coming to Zimbabwe – President Mugabe

A report yesterday in the government owned newspapers The Sunday Mail, says the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, is intent on introducing Chinese style internet restrictions to the country to put a stop the “abuse” of the internet. According to the article, the president was addressing his party supporters at Harare International Airport who had come to welcome […]

WhatsApp scores more points on user feedback, adds font styling, quick reply & solid wallpaper colours features

Looking at its recent 1 billion user milestone and the latest flood of improvements like document sending or group limit adjustments there appears to be a bit of app development wisdom from the WhatsApp team.

WhatsApp adds document sharing feature making email less relevant in an instant world

If you enjoy getting more from WhatsApp than just the chats, videos, audio clips and pictures then you will probably celebrate the latest improvement to the instant messaging platform. Users of WhatsApp for Android and iOS can now send documents.

Impact of social media felt as Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe responds to NMB Bank WhatsApp hoax

The endorsement from the RBZ ought to go a long way in reassuring some of NMB Bank’s depositors, but even with a regulator led endorsement, NMB Bank and the rest of the sector has likely felt the impact of the WhatsApp message, especially since some NMB Bank depositors considered withdrawing their money.

Local financial institution NMB Bank falls prey to WhatsApp hoax

Social media is a double-edged sword. That was pretty clear today when a hoax message circulated on instant messaging platform WhatsApp stating that NMB Bank, a Zimbabwean financial institution was facing curatorship. The text message wasn’t phrased like a formal communication, but just a tip-off from someone with some sort of inside information. To those […]

Facebook opens Instant Articles marking a new era for African publishers

Now that the Instant Articles tool is going to be an option for sharing content with an audience that is already engaged through social media, publishers that have often used Facebook just for promoting content and trying to lure readers to their own platforms can embrace the social network as a primary publisher’s tool.

Zim Hip Hop artist earns over $5,000 in 5 days using WhatsApp & mobile money to sell a single

The rap artist’s latest single, Tongogara, from his upcoming album Morning Glory, is being distributed via WhatsApp for $1 with fans paying for the track via mobile money. So far it has earned the artist over US$5,000 in less than a week.

WhatsApp raises group maximum from 100 to 256 members

The latest on WhatsApp is that it has increased the group maximum from 100 to 256 members. So far it seems the change has only been made to the latest version for Android (Version 2.12.437) which isn’t yet in the Google Play store but can be downloaded from the WhatsApp website.

Econet brings back Free Twitter

After almost a full year since terminating the promotion, local mobile operator Econet Wireless has brought back its free Twitter service. The reintroduction was announced on social media.

Twitter service resumes after more than 2 hours of interruption

Twitter service is back again after an outage that lasted for more than two hours.

Twitter is down – its website and mobile app aren’t accessible

Twitter, the microblogging social network is down. Users around the world haven’t been able to access the social media platform through the mobile application and through its website.

WhatsApp drops $1 annual subscription, promises to also stay away from adverts

An accompanying blog post from WhatsApp also announced the end of the subscription model, pointing out how some subscribers to the service have been excluded from making payments because they do not have the necessary credit and debit card numbers. This sort of challenge is more prevalent in emerging markets where WhatsApp has the majority of its 900 million subscribers.

Why Zimbabwean brands should explore the Instagram opportunity

Instagram is one platform that exemplifies that. Its use of imagery and video to capture moments has helped it create its own separate avenue for expression. As is the case with other social media platforms advertisers and brand specialist have exploited that.

Twitter set to expand its tweet character limit from 140 to 10,000

Thanks to a new feature called “Beyond 140” that Twitter is reportedly building, tweets will be longer, something that appears to be following the route the social media platform took last year to extend the character limit for its Direct Messages.

Here’s how the internet is being used to help fix Harare’s burst pipes & potholes

He is one of the drivers behind an initiative called SMART Harare (SMART stands for Service Monitoring and Report Tracking) which has, through a platform called Harare Municipality Services, dedicated itself to raising awareness on issues to do with city service delivery.

It’s 1 million views & counting for Taps Mugadza’s Hello cover

The cover version of Hello done by Zimbabwean artist taps Mugadza has attracted over 1 million views in two weeks, setting a record for him and every other Zimbabwean artist.

Facebook delivers notifications, goes after Twitter with new app Notify

Facebook, the world’s most popular social network recently launched a notifications app called Notify, which delivers notifications to your phone based on your interests. It bears a resemblance to Twitter. How will this affect the news and media industry?

As Adele’s Hello inspires artists, it highlights strategy for creating a global brand

While the whole world shares Hello, a portion of those listeners and viewers will also tune into artists like Taps. With their talent and the right online presence, this attention can turn into opportunities for even bigger things.

Pinterest more popular than Twitter in Zimbabwe

According to the latest figures from Statcounter Global Stats, as at October 2015, for Zimbabwean internet use, Facebook commands 90.75% of internet traffic directed at social media and Pinterest is the second most popular social media platform with 3.26%, getting a slight lead over Twitter with a 2.82% share of traffic.

Why are programmers going online to watch someone else code?

The concept of live programming is slowly starting to gain traction thanks to a platform called . This is where people log in to watch or stream themselves programming in different languages. There’s a lot of value behind this, but will it survive or die as another geek sensation?