Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

WhatsApp Groups are a mess

EVERYONE on the internet is excited about how WhatsApp is finally emerging from its chrysalis and becoming the awesome Monarch butterfly it was meant to be. This was achieved by simply adding Voice calling to its list of features which will help it “disrupt the voice calling industry in much the same way it revolutionized the […]

Zimbabwe ICT Policy, cyber-crime bill are nowhere in sight

It’s been 9 years since the Zimbabwean government made a pledge to come up with legislation to curb cyber crime. Of course, there’s no point in holding on to political pledges really. It’s just that it helps give a clear indication of how long we’ve been kicking an issue around. Now that we are in 2015, what […]

Understanding the Facebook Aunt phenomenon

Back in the days when our grandmothers were little girls and our grandfathers were chasing birds in the bushes, and their fathers abandoned their mothers and answered the siren call of Egoli the city of gold, people used to have family meetings where they would gather and discuss the problems facing the clan and conducted […]

Econet ends Free Twitter promo, bundles it instead with Opera Mini Bundles

We were all expecting some change to the free Twitter from Econet this month, so an announcement regarding the service isn’t surprising. A short while ago, Econet announced (via Twitter, of course) that the Free Twitter promo has come to an end. The freebie has now been incorporated into the Opera Mini Bundles. Free Twitter […]

What’s up with Twitter and its fascination with the Cricket World Cup?

  A shout out to the Zimbabwe Cricket team for their victory over the UAE at the Cricket World Cup. National pride is sweeter these days where one story is retold a million times on the internet. Like a lot of other unlucky cricket fans, I didn’t get a chance to watch the match and […]

ZimboLove Foundation and its social media strategy for a red cause

Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa You still might not know Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but you’ll definitely remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from last year. It was probably the largest internet-driven campaign from 2014 that helped raise funds and a lot of awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease. For a while, the #IceBucketChallenge became a leading […]

Techzim and TBWA Zimbabwe to explore the future of digital media in Zimbabwe

Techzim and TBWA Zimbabwe, will host what’s been billed as “Zimbabwe’s Largest Gathering of Digital Minds”, at a conference and training event called Digital Future. The event will feature thought leading insights from leading digital media professionals from across the world on the 17th and 18th of March 2015 and will be sponsored by NetOne, […]

Podcast: Facts from POTRAZ, the rise of Android, Hypercube’s model & Wangu

In this episode of the Techzim Podcast, we discussed the latest figures on mobile OS share, POTRAZ facts on local telecoms, the rise of Android, the new membership model for Hypercube Hub and the local social network called Wangu. What are your thoughts on these topics? Have you used Wangu? What are your thoughts on […]

Will Wangu takeoff as Zimbabwe’s Facebook or its own social network?

I’ve honestly lost track of the number of social networks that pop up every year. In between all  the suggestions that I get on Facebook (oh the irony..) to sign up for other sites and join other networks, it all just seems like a movement that one-in-a-dozen techies is still building Zuckerburg dreams on. There will […]

Podcast: WhatsApp calls, Twitter via USSD, Muzinda Hub training & EcoCash tariffs

In this edition of the podcast, we discuss trending topics such as the activation of the WhatsApp calls feature, the prospect of Netflix in Zimbabwe, Econet Wireless’ Twitter via USSD service, the Muzinda Hub digital skills programme and the reduction of EoCash tariffs. Hoe disruptive do you think the WhatsApp calls feature will be for mobile network […]

Econet tries out Twitter via USSD

How relevant is Twitter to Zimbabwe? Is the #Twimbo community not growing fast enough? it’s hard to say really, but it would seem that mobile operator Econet is making the biggest effort to get as many of us on the social network as possible. This time it’s through a Twitter via USSD service. We got a […]

WhatsApp calling has started. But only for some users. How will operators react?

So WhatsApp calling has finally arrived. So far however, it’s only showing up for some Android users who have the latest update of the WhatsApp application. “Latest” in this case means so new it’s not available in the Play Store yet. It has to be downloaded off the WhatsApp website here (Version 2.11.508 is the […]

Twitter videos & group chats are here, does this mean the end of Free Twitter?

You can now shoot, edit and share video on Twitter. Capture life's most moving moments from your perspective. — Twitter (@Twitter) January 27, 2015 Nothing lasts forever and the best things in life are free. It’s beyond cliche’ but that doesn’t make it any less true. Especially for Free Twitter. Our run with the […]

Join the chorus of complaints, Facebook and Instagram are down right now(Update)

In case you were wondering, you aren’t the only one experiencing this. Facebook and Instagram are down right now and it’s happened globally. The two social platforms haven’t been accessible for more than half an hour now, something that hasn’t been explained as yet. It’s safe to say that the majority of Zimbabweans are feeling […]

Using WhatsApp Web for business? Here’s something to keep in mind

In case you missed it last week, your friendly neighbourhood application and chat tool, WhatsApp, released a PC based tool. Called WhatsApp Web, it allows you to access the Instant Message (IM) platform from your PC as long as your account stays active and connected. Besides the cheers from the slew of people that can now exhaust […]

Facebook Lite launched in Zimbabwe, SA, Nigeria & 5 other countries

Our first reaction when we read that Facebook has launched a new Facebook Lite Android app, was that this is old news because it exists (or existed) already. So we searched and found this – a simple version of the Facebook website that was trialed and shut down in April 2010 – and this – a Facebook java app […]

Where are we now with LTE in Zimbabwe?

4G/LTE always gets people in telecoms excited, and for good reason. Faster connections and efficient networks are everything. Even though it has been singled out globally as the mobile tech advancement that should come front and centre in a mobile world that will be all about better mobile internet, the uptake of 4G on the local front is […]

Why do “naughty” apps like WhatsApp Plus thrive anyway?

It’s official: WhatsApp is cracking the whip on unofficial third party services that have been riding on its success to give users of the instant messenger a different experience. Last night several users of WhatsApp Plus, a hugely popular modded version of the IM platform, were served with a 24 hour ban for violating terms […]

Have you been banned from WhatsApp? Blame it on WhatsApp Plus

There’s a group of WhatsApp users that have been complaining since yesterday actually. Their favourite instant message has banned them from accessing it. If you have seen this notification it means that you have been using WhatsApp Plus. This is an unofficial version of WhatsApp that accesses WhatsApp servers and comes with a host of […]

The Nokia 215: Will it save Nokia and make Microsoft an African brand?

If you follow tech, missing out on the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) highlights is a bit of a downer. There are a lot of things that come from each edition that push the envelope in the world of consumables without focusing too intensely on mobile tech. There is a lot to digest especially for an expo that comes so early […]

Enough with pathetic government websites, can’t something be done already?

This is going to sound pretty obvious to a lot of people who don’t see anything positive coming from our country but Zimbabwe has a lot of pathetic government websites. Yes, that’s right, I said it. The moment you mention something remotely critical about the government some people get a bit uncomfortable. However I felt I had […]

Just how ready are we for internet dating in Zimbabwe?

Long before social media received a global definition from Mark Zuckerburg’s Harvard dormitory experiment, a lot of people had been experiencing the opportunity of the internet as huge meeting place for potential partners and social connections through online dating. The phenomenon has changed dramatically (to think it used to be email only) to incorporate social media […]

Podcast: Zympay & remittances, Human IPO, P.O BOX Videos and NetOne Airtime

Here is the latest edition of the weekly Techzim Podcast. As we always do, in this episode we touch on the trending topics from the local tech scene. Under discussion was the P.O BOX Videos viral sensation and its use of social media, the departure of Steward Bank CEO, and how it has come in […]

How the P.O BOX videos are exploiting the opportunity of the internet

Creating great content is never easy, especially when you are trying to do it as something more than just a hobby. Your material has to be relevant, fresh and worth the audience or market’s time. When you’ve nailed that, you can then turn to tech to present it to the world for you. Which is what the […]

The 5 gaffes in the 2014 Zimbabwe technology space

Before we do the countdown to the new year and start living through those New Year’s resolutions, we’ve decided to take a look at not only the winners and losers, but also the embarrassing moments from the Zimbabwe technology space that we’ll gladly leave behind this year. Here are just five faux pas from 2014. […]

Five things that will (some we wish won’t) happen in digital media in 2015

2015 will be important as far as digital media is concerned. This year has already set a solid foundation for digital media so 2015 will be the year that we will see more products and traction on already existing digital media products. There are some things that are due to happen like digital migration of […]

Enough with the Econet bundles and promos already, just lower the tariffs please

If 2014 is going to be remembered for anything in broadband services, the bundles sensation has to be one of them. Well, three bundles actually, when you count the Facebook Bundles (Telecel got into those this year), WhatsApp Bundles and the Econet Opera Mini bundles introduced a couple of months ago. We even had internet service provider […]

Special Edition Techzim Podcast: 2014 in review plus our festive season giveaway!

This is a special edition of the Techzim Podcast that marks the end of the year 2014. In this episode we review the successes and failures in tech and what stood out for us locally and internationally in the world of technology. Topics discussed include broadband advances for the year liker the rollout of fibre, gadgets […]

Customer service meets digital through social media

I was recently invited to present a paper on customer service in the digital era at a conference that was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. I focused on how brands can effectively utilise digital tools in the delivery of great customer service. Customer service has emerged as the key differential in the extremely competitive environment […]

Special Edition Podcast: Talking tech and music with Tehn Diamond

One of the features of the second edition of the Startup Weekend Harare was a special “Elevator Pitch”  acapela performance from local Hip Hop artist, Tehn Diamond. This was the same pitch that he went on to perform at Emerging Ideas’ Pitch Night. Tehn has a fascination with technology and startups, and how the internet has […]