Let’s talk about April. A month that had it’s fair share of news, humor and unexpected events. From WhatsApp group members beating up their admin, to Facebook Messenger announcing the use of bots , week after week, we always had something to laugh, marvel or brainstorm about.
Welcome to this 3rd issue of our monthly IM round up, join us as we talk about the latest news in the world of Instant Messaging.
WhatsApp made headlines early this month when they announced that they would begin to enable end-to-end encryption on all devices running the app. This announcement came just a couple weeks after the company revealed that they had reached the coveted 1 billion user mark.
End-End encryption is a security mechanism that ensures that messages are not intercepted as they move across the channel.
Meaning, no one can see inside your WhatsApp messages, not criminals, not hackers, not government agencies, not even WhatsApp themselves
Although this was big news in the tech world, many people outside the industry did not understand the technicalities behind it or what implications it would have on their day-to-day communication.
So we came up with this insightful piece to take you through the encryption process and the reasons behind it..
In other 'WhatsApp' news: A group admin in India was beaten up after he deterred members from posting indecent pictures in the group chat. 7 people in total were arrested and booked for the alleged assault .
Lesson: No one will arrest you for leaving a WhatsApp group. But they’ll certainly arrest you if you decide to rough up the admin instead.
Just when you thought WeChat couldn’t get any better, they went on and launched yet another exciting product, WeChat enterprise - which is a work chat app essentially used to handle office communication and team collaboration.
The product which is set to take on Slack, combines most of the features found on the standard WeChat with work oriented features such as “coffee breaks”, receipt buttons and phone bill charging.
Currently it is only accessible to businesses in mainland China but we hope it will be available for use elsewhere in the near future.
Image Courtesy TNW
Tis the season for messaging bots fa la la la la, la la la la.
Pavel Durov founder of Telegram messenger recently announced that the company will be giving away one million dollars to bot developers in the form of grants starting at $25,000 each.
The grants will be awarded based on the how fast the bot works, how innovative it is and how useful other people find it.
“ All you need to do to be considered is create an impressive bot using our Bot API. What do we want in return?Nothing. That's right, just support your creation and make your users happy. “
If you’re a bot developer we recommend you give this a shot. More details about the grant can be found here.
Telegram also launched a second version of their Bot platform. Bot 2.0 . The new platform comes with new features such as URL buttons, location permissions and on-the-fly message editing and many more
In the same spirit of Bots, Facebook Messenger stole the show in this year's F8 conference when it was announced that Messenger will begin to allow for the use and development of bots.
The use of bots, especially in relation to Instant Messaging is not new. Apps like Telegram and WeChat have been using bots for some time and Facebook had been lagging behind in this aspect. But with messenger’s rapidly growing user base, we’re more than glad to see them finally introduce bots onto the platform.
How will they work ?
The bots will be powered by machine learning engine that will allow for automated responses that will be sensitive to a customer’s mood, simply by analysing the context of the conversation.
Minds = Blown. We thought messenger would be an important player but this !! Now holding our breath for Whatsapp https://t.co/FXMfAvAjje— Ongair (@ongair_) April 12, 2016
“The reason we’re so excited about this news is because bots open up a whole new range of possibility in messaging. They allow you to say more, do more and ultimately reach more..”
To read more about this years F8 conference, click here.
On the Ongair front, we're pleased to announce that we recently opened our Southeast Asia HQ in Hong Kong to target the millions of businesses using WeChat and WhatsApp. Read all about it here
Well, that’s it for our April IM round up. If you have any news you think we left out, Let us know in the comment section below and we can have a riveting discussion about it :)
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See you in May.