Army develops its own WhatsApp-like messaging service to prevent leaks
The Army has developed an in-house WhatsApp-like messaging application called ‘Secure Application for Internet (SAI)’ for its personnel to prevent “leaking” of any classified information to inimical intelligence agencies. According to an officer, SAI is a simple and secure messaging application, which supports end-to-end secure voice, text and video calling services for Android platforms over the internet. It will be utilised pan-Army to facilitate secure messaging within the service.
Online sales accelerate despite lockdown ending
India’s leading fast moving consumer goods companies such as Nestle, HUL, Parle Products, Amul, Reckitt Benckiser and Marico reported their highest ever online sales in the September quarter, as consumers continued to shop for grocery online despite lockdowns ending. Hindustan Unilever, the barometer for grocery demand in the country, said share of e-commerce to its total sales volume is close to 6% now compared to 3% in 2019, while the country’s largest packaged foods maker Nestle said its ecommerce channels grew by 97% and contributed 4% to its domestic sales. Consumers who began switching to online grocery shopping in peak lockdown months are unlikely to revert to supermarkets anytime soon, because of convenience and continued concerns about going to physical stores. Secondly, there is an entirely new set of consumers and categories which are fuelling online grocery sales.
Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card becomes fastest to cross 1 million milestone
ICICI Bank has issued about 1.4 million Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit cards. In the process, the credit card has become fastest in the country to cross the milestone of 1 million, in less than 20 months of its launch. The credit card offers unique customer benefits like always-on reward which is unlimited, instant issuance of the card for select customers in less than 60 seconds, direct crediting of reward points to Amazon Pay balance and contactless payment feature.
Microsoft + NSDC to train 1 lakh Indian women in digital skills
Microsoft said it has collaborated with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to impart digital skills to more than one lakh underserved women in India over the next 10 months. As part of the collaboration, more than 70 hours of course content will be made available free of cost, covering topics such as digital literacy, enhancing employability, nano entrepreneurship, and communication skills. This initiative is an extension of Microsoft’s partnership with NSDC to provide digital skills to over 1 lakh youth in the country. The (latest) partnership is focused on enhancing women’s workforce participation by equipping underserved young women from rural communities with the skills required to thrive in a digital economy.
Tinder rolls out video calling feature in India
The popular dating App has rolled out a new feature to its users in India that will enable them to video call, when both parties have ‘liked’ each other on the App. “Just like matching, we want to make sure you’re on the same page with video: so Face to Face is enabled on a match-by-match basis. Once the conversation is flowing and you’re ready to show you’re interested in a Face to Face, tap the video icon,” said the company in a press statement. The feature won’t be enabled until both parties have opted in, specified the company. Further, it doesn’t notify either party when it is toggled on. It is said to come with an easy toggle off button as well.
Brands will opt for content over style in 2021
Talkwalker and HubSpot have jointly released a report titled ‘Social Media Trends 2021’. Stating how Covid-19 acted as a catalyst instead of an outcome, the report said that the mentions of the virus increased from nearly zero to around 1.2 billion in today’s time, which has in turn expedited issues, ideas and innovations for brands which may not have happened so soon had it not been for the crisis. Some of the trends are ‘brands will start to reposition themselves dramatically over the coming months, moving away from marketing methodologies, to more cause-driven messaging, The report said that 2021 is expected to be the year brands and social media channels focus on highlighting the truth, and silencing fake news. And empathy and advocacy will be elements that will be integrated within messages and purposes for creator campaigns.