Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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WhatsApp improving group chats with ‘group of groups’ called Communities

WhatApp is just an instant messaging app but it feels like much more in Zimbabwe. We use it for way more than just that. It is an e-commerce platform, news and other content distribution channel, dating app, customer service channel and more to us. The problem with using a product/service for something it wasn’t meant […]

Right now it is easy to track you through WhatsApp, that is being rectified

Love or hate it, if you’re reading this, you probably use WhatsApp as your main chat app. The masses decided and there will be no convincing the over 2 billion users to switch allegiances. So, since we’re stuck with Zuckerberg’s app, it’s refreshing to see the improvements being made. By now we all know that […]

Please uninstall FM WhatsApp right now, and consider ditching GB WhatsApp too

I know the WhatsApp situation sucks. The official application is adequate, rocking a pleasing design with a beautiful dark mode. However, the fact remains that the official app is often slow to add exciting features – for example, to this day the disappearing messages feature is severely limited. I do not know why the WhatsApp […]

You may soon be able to hit pause while recording a WhatsApp voice note

The feature that I am sure many have been waiting for has finally hit the WhatsApp beta program. According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is working on allowing you to pause while you are recording a voice note. The pause function in beta seems to be available only to a select few testers on iOS. However, if […]

Meta launches tool to help African SMEs grow their businesses on WhatsApp, Facebook & Instagram

Meta (formerly known as Facebook) has announced the launch of Facebook Business Coach, an innovative and easily-accessible way for owners of small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya and other English speaking countries to learn more about how to grow their business online with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.  The Facebook Business Coach available on WhatsApp, is […]

Want to delete a message you sent a year ago? WhatsApp working on it

This is one of the things that annoys me about WhatsApp. They take too long to give us some of the nifty little peace of mind features we want. They were late to give us the ability to delete the messages we had already sent. And when they did allow us to ‘Delete for everyone,’ […]

WhatsApp testing business directory (yellow pages). This will be a big deal.

The younger amongst us will have no idea what ‘yellow pages’ means. Let’s get everyone on the same page first. The telephone directory For those of us who grew up in the 90s, there was a magical book called the telephone directory. This book had the landline number of every single person in the country, […]

Find contact details for any local business on WhatsApp via Wire Business Directory

A local business consultancy firm called Qurious Consulting Pvt Ltd is looking to end the time-honoured tradition of bothering your friends and loved ones in the event that you need a plumber, mechanic or any other service. The company launched Wire, a business directory chatbot on WhatsApp that registers and catalogues local businesses and operators […]

WhatsApp is testing end-to-end encrypted chat backups

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has announced in a blog post that it is planning to give its users the option to protect their chats using end-to-end encryption. What this essentially means is that the same technology that protects your chats from being read by anyone other than the sender or receiver will now be available […]

WhatsApp is finally working on turning voice notes into text

WhatsApp is finally working on voice note transcriptions according to a report by WABetaInfo. This is a welcome development because although you can technically do this via a third-party app, it’s usually a faff. An example of just how tedious it can be is if you’ve ever used an app called Transcribe. To turn voice […]

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 […]

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 […]

WhatsApp in a big u-turn, you are no longer required to accept its controversial new terms

This year Facebook-owned chat app WhatsApp started on a very controversial note. In a storm of their own making, they issued, out of the blue, a terse demand asking users to agree to new draconian terms of service. That was unusual enough, what was even more unusual was the threat that those who wouldn’t agree […]

Soon you will be able to appeal your ban from within WhatsApp

It has never happened to me but from time to time WhatsApp hands out a ban for perceived violations of its terms and services. Usually, it’s something that just happens and those punished really have no idea what prompted the ban. Even worse, until now it was not easy to appeal this ban or even […]

WhatsApp is finally getting message reactions

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app so it’s hard not to always wonder if it’s really the best messaging app when it comes to features. Often in, my book at least, it falls short in comparison to apps such as Instagram, Discord and even Telegram. One feature that it sorely needs is multi-device […]

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 […]

WhatsApp is finally coming to iPads thanks to multidevice support

According to the esteemed source of all things WhatsApp-WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is finally coming to iPads. If you are an Android user like me it’s hard to contain the shock. It seems incomprehensible but it’s true, currently, the only way to run WhatsApp on an iPad is via the WhatsApp web. This means you will need […]

WhatsApp is being restricted in Zambia amid elections

According to NetBlocks, multiple internet providers in Zambia have been throttling WhatsApp today as the country heads to the polls for the presidential and parliamentary elections. ⚠️ Confirmed: WhatsApp messaging app restricted in #Zambia on election day; real-time network data show loss of service on multiple internet providers as polls get under way, corroborating widespread […]

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 […]

Archived WhatsApp chats will now remain in the dark, where they belong

I am pretty sure I am preaching to the choir here but anyway over the last day or so I have noticed that WhatsApp archived chats are no longer popping up in my inbox even if a new message comes in. This is something that I didn’t pay too much mind to until I started […]

Govt officials with US ties were targeted by NSO’s Pegasus spyware according to WhatsApp

Israeli group NSO has been the talk of the town over the last week or so and for good reason. The company’s software Pegasus was reported to have been used to target devices used by activists and journalists the world over. Last week The Washington Post released details showing that the software was used to […]

WhatsApp now lets you join group calls while they are in progress

WhatsApp has started rolling out a feature that allows you to join group calls while they are in progress. It’s kind of like what you can do with conferencing software like Zoom or Google Meet. So now you don’t have to be added to a WhatsApp call and you can flit in and out as […]

Zimbabwe versus South African WhatsApp data bundles

WhatsApp data bundles are a practice I don’t agree with, however, no matter what I think they are a part of our lives. One thing I have noticed though is that whenever I am in a group with ordinary non-tech Zimbabweans in South Africa, the South African based people there seem to always whine about […]

WhatsApp multi-device is now in beta, we are getting closer

One frustration that I have with WhatsApp (and I think I am not alone in this) is how you need to have your phone connected to the network in order to use the desktop or web app. Sometimes my phone would be out of power or might be having connectivity issues even though the same […]

How payment solutions are revolutionising WhatsApp and enhancing customer experience

The modern customer expects the process of engaging with a brand to be simple and easy. It is a long-accepted norm that the only way to achieve the level of service that delivers this convenience today is through digital channels. For this reason, organisations understand that they need to move with innovation in order to […]

This upcoming WhatsApp update will please media fanatics

One thing that annoys me about WhatsApp is how it automatically crunches or compresses the images and videos you send. What you send is not necessarily what the person on the other end will get. In casual environments that’s not a big deal, compressing images means that they can be transmitted faster, WhatsApp gets to […]

Hotbox the WhatsApp chatbot that replaced Duta is now at 300K users

The was once a WhatsApp service called Duta that shut up shop on WhatsApp in late 2019. This service was particularly useful because you could get sports news and many other updates through it. When it went away it left a void in the market that needed filling and up stepped Hotbox which has been […]

Smart KaMbudzi phones can now make WhatsApp voice calls

If you are not from Zimbabwe then the title might be a little confusing. What we term here as a KaMbudzi are those very simple phones that allow you to make calls, SMSes and other basic functions. The smart version of the KaMbudzi are feature phones that can onboard apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and […]