Twitter changes official handle to ‘@X’ as rebranding continues

Twitter changes official handle to '@X' as rebranding continues
Twitter changes official handle to '@X' as rebranding continues

In latest move of its rebranding spree, Elon Musk-owned Twitter has changed its official hand to @X from the original @Twitter.

When someone tries to approach @Twitter handle, a message popped up stating: “This account is no longer active. Follow @x for updates.”

The other official handles of the microblogging site have either given up the “Twitter” name or substituted it with the letter X.

The social media firm’s own handles such as @TwitterSupport, @TwitterDev are now inactive and changed to @Support and @Xdevelopers, with the recently launched X logo as their profile pictures.

However, several regional handles like Twitter Japan and Twitter India are yet to change the names.

On Monday, Twitter launched its new logo, replacing the blue bird on its website “X” as the Elon-Musk owned microblogging site is gearing up to give tough challenge to its rival Meta’s recently launched Threads.

Elon Musk and Twitter CEO, Linda Yaccarino, jointly shared the new logo for the social media platform and they also incorporated in into their Twitter handles.

The logo showcased a white “X” on a black background, bidding adieu to the bird symbol.

You should read this before creating a ‘Threads’ account

You should read this before creating a 'Threads' account
You should read this before creating a 'Threads' account

Users who attempted to remove their accounts on Threads, a new app from Meta, discovered that they were unable to do so unless they delete their Instagram accounts too.

According to a post from Mark Zuckerberg on the app, Threads, Meta’s much awaited take on Twitter, premiered on July 6 and attracted 10 million sign-ups in the first seven hours.

Elon Musk announced temporary implementation of “rate limits,” which placed a limit on the number of posts users could read. Musk cited “extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation” from AI companies as the reason for the measures, which have increased buzz around the new platform.

The internet’s biggest and most entertaining experiment of the day so far has been Threads’ launch; users are writing on the app to learn how it functions, and many have expressed the opinion that users will start to switch from Twitter to its gleaming new competition.

However, according to the Threads Supplemental Privacy Policy and a Help Centre page, some other users have reported that after using the app for a few hours and deciding they didn’t like it, they wanted to delete their accounts. However, they discovered that they couldn’t delete Threads without deleting their Instagram accounts.

Users may erase specific postings or temporarily deactivate their accounts, which prevents other users from seeing their posts until they decide to reactivate their accounts, according to a disclaimer in the app’s help centre. However, users have to delete their Instagram account in order to completely erase the profile and data associated with it.

According to the app’s Supplemental Privacy Policy, “Your Threads profile is part of your Instagram account, and may be deleted at any time by deleting your Instagram account.”

Some users who sought to remove their Threads accounts turned to Twitter, a competitor, to voice their displeasure with the Meta policy.

“We can’t delete our threads account without deleting our ig?? they knew ppl would instantly hate it so they made it a saw trap,” one user remarked in a tweet that has 1.1 million views and 25,000 likes.

Other users have complained that they feel “trapped” or “stuck” in their Threads accounts, and one user who claimed she decided to deactivate her account rather than delete it advised others not to download the application at all.


Twitter plans to charge $20 per month from verified account holders: reports

Twitter plans to charge $20 per month from verified account holders: reports Days after taking over the microblogging site Twitter, Elon Musk announced on Sunday that the verification process of the social media platform will be revamped immediately.

“Whole verification process is being revamped right now”, Musk said in his tweet but he did not shared further details in this regard.

Reports claimed that Twitter is planning the charge for the blue check mark verifying the identity of its account holder.

Users would have to pay $4.99 per month for Twitter Blue subscription or they will lose their “verified” badges if the project is implemented, technology newsletter Platformer reported on Sunday.

The new owner of the social media platform is yet to make a decision in this regard but reports said that it is likely that verification will become a part of Twitter Blue.

Meanwhile, the Verge reported on Sunday that subscription fee for Twitter blue will be hiked to $19.99 per month from $4.99 a month.

The microblogging site introduced its first subscription service, Twitter Blue, in June last year. The new service includes various features including an option to edit tweets.

TikTok removes 113 million videos to protect minors on the platform


TikTok, one of the most famous and used social media applications, made shocking revelations of removing a whopping amount of videos violating its guidelines during a recent report.

The app’s officials reported that more than 113 million videos have been taken down between the pride of April and June of this year in accordance with the company’s quarterly transparency report 2022. Although the number is 113 million, it represents just 1 percent of total videos uploaded during the three-month period.

The report stated that the common reason for removal was the violation of TikTok’s policies around minor safety. Other reasons included illegal activities, regulated goods, adult nudity and sexual activities. The company said it utilizied the automated tools, and human review to sift through content causing violations.

According to multiple media outlets, about 15,351,388 videos were taken down from Pakistan with a proactive removal rate of 98.7 percent, 97.4 percent for removals before 24 hours, and 97.3 percent for takedowns before any views.

For the record, Pakistan ranks second for the largest volume of videos taken down by TikTok. The United States of America topped the list with nearly 18 million videos removed.

For the unversed, TikTok has more than one billion global users, although digital rights experts believe that more transparency is crucial in a market like Pakistan where the app faced four bans between October 2020 and November 2021.

Vibrant, fun and catchy: TikTok’s Ramadan campaign is on a mission to spread kindness with fun

Vibrant, fun and catchy: TikTok's Ramadan campaign is on a mission to spread kindness with fun
Vibrant, fun and catchy: TikTok's Ramadan campaign is on a mission to spread kindness with fun

Vibrant, fun and catchy: TikTok’s Ramadan campaign is on a mission to spread kindness with fun

The holy month of Ramadan bestows blessings and imparts a strong message of kindness and sharing. From Sehar to Iftar, each day feels like a festive occasion where everyone seeks happiness for others and wants to facilitate the people who are observing fast.

TikTok has come up with a unique, fun and innovative idea to promote a sense of kindness among the masses with their new advertisement for Ramadan 2022. The vibrant and eye-catchy campaign features famous drama actress Urwa Hocane, soulful voice singer Bilal Khan, and popular TikTok content creators Romaisa Khan and Aiman Zaman.

@pktiktokofficial Know someone always spreading joy with their acts of kindness? This #MaheRamzan 🌙 let’s #StitchKindness ♬ original sound – TiktokPakistanOfficial

The brisk paced yet entertaining ad begins with Urwa taking viewers to experience the journey of those who selflessly devote their time to those who are fasting. Stitching Urwa’s video, TikTok content creator Romaisa Khan in her video praises Aslam Chacha, who represents the group of people responsible for waking everyone up for Suhoor. The gesture of respect by TikTok for these superhuman alarms was commendable as hardly anyone acknowledges their efforts.

The baton is then passed to singing icon Bilal Khan, who stitches Romaisa’s video with his, where he praises the hardworking public transport drivers’ fraternity for keeping up with their duties while fasting. This appreciation was for thousands of Ghaffar Bhais on duty, tirelessly working to accommodate passengers during the hot climate in Ramadan.

TikTok content creator Aiman Zaman then stitches her video using the in-app feature and appreciates the small restaurants and hotel workers who don’t have enough time to eat after breaking fast as they are busy serving happiness to others during iftar time. Many people like Afzal bhai must have felt heralded by watching TikTok’s Ramazan campaign.

At the end of the ad, Urwa encourages every TikTok user to highlight the unsung heroes around them during Ramadan by using the in-app stitch feature to #StitchKindness and make the longest chain of kindness this Ramazan.

The 30-second clip has actually reflected the vision of the short-video platform, which aims to empower and respect communities and uplift the spirit of people from all social groups. TikTok has used this impressive way to promote the message of kindness, which has undoubtedly made an impact and inspired many youngsters to foster empathy.

Savyour and foodpanda join hands to make food and grocery more affordable for consumers across Pakistan

KARACHI – Savyour, Pakistan’s first cashback app, has partnered with leading food and grocery delivery platform, foodpanda to allow their users across Pakistan to save money in the form of cashback from every order they place. As a fast-growing cashback platform, Savyour provides online shoppers the opportunity to earn cashback on hundreds of local brands across multiple categories.

Through this partnership, Savyour users will be able to maximize their savings by earning cashback on top of ongoing deals, discounts and bank promotions running on foodpanda’s platform. Furthermore, they will gain access to foodpanda’s overall base of over 20,000 restaurants, pandamart, homechefs and shops. The cashback would be applicable on orders that are paid online as well as cash on delivery. foodpanda will benefit by utilizing a local marketing platform which is performance driven, and tap into Savyour’s rapidly growing user base to drive incremental reach.

“At Savyour, our goal is to make commerce more rewarding for consumers as well as merchants. We are working hard to bring quality brands and platforms on Savyour so that we can provide value to our consumers and help them save as they shop in these times of high inflation. By partnering with foodpanda and pandamart, the market leaders of quick commerce, we are offering users the opportunity to save a chunk of their food and grocery bills, which they would have spent anyway. This partnership would also allow Savyour to work with foodpanda to promote not just local eateries, but also home chefs. The possibilities are endless, and we are excited to see where this collaboration takes us!” stated Umair Gadit, CEO and Co-founder, Savyour.

Sharing his thoughts about this partnership, Nauman Sikandar, CEO, foodpanda Pakistan said “It is a very exciting time for e-commerce and q-commerce in Pakistan. There has been a significant shift in consumers’ behaviors and preferences, and we have been constantly evolving to cater to these changes. Partnering with players who share the same values and drive as us is one way we want to accelerate digital growth in the country. We also want to provide online shoppers with more incentives. Under this partnership, we will be working with Savyour to bring the best user experience for both platforms and create growth opportunities for thousands of businesses”.

Haier awarded two awards by Daraz

Haier awarded two awards by Daraz
Haier awarded two awards by Daraz

KARACHI – Daraz is celebrating its three years of success with the brands that made them achieve triple digital growth in the past years.

Haier is proud to achieve two awards. The first award that Haier achieved is for the most searched brand. Haier’s vision is to improve the standards of living throughout Pakistan by offering high-quality products with innovative features aimed directly to make its users’ life easier, enjoyable, and yet affordable.

Moreover, Haier also offers exclusive discounts on Daraz. Therefore, customers are always looking for Haier products and we thank our valuable customers for choosing Haier.

The second award achieved by Haier is for the best exclusive launch of the year for Candy by Haier. Haier continues to make the lives of its customers simpler by introducing the best, environmentally friendly, and innovative products. Haier Brought the Italian brand Candy to Pakistan.

Candy is an Italian domestic appliance maker. Candy, as a brand has always focused on simplifying the daily life of its consumers. It’s efficient in saving energy. It is fashionable, full of strength, and stands out from the competition. Candy always meets the needs of consumers with innovative, easy to use and accessible products.

Haier’s vision is “Inspired living”, and aims to keep on inspiring people with their top-notch technologies and equipment to bring comfort and luxury in their lives.

WhatsApp introduces private and secure calling from the desktop

WhatsApp introduces private and secure calling from the desktop
WhatsApp introduces private and secure calling from the desktop

KARACHI – WhatsApp has announced that private and secure one-to-one voice and video calls are now available on WhatsApp’s desktop app.

As per a blog on WhatsApp’s official website, they stated “Throughout the last year we’ve seen significant increases in people calling one another on WhatsApp, often for long conversations. Last New Year’s Eve, we broke the record for the most calls ever made in a single day with 1.4 billion voice and video calls. With so many people still apart from their loved ones, and adjusting to new ways of working, we want conversations on WhatsApp to feel as close to in-person as possible, regardless of where you are in the world or the tech you’re using.”

Answering on a bigger screen makes it easier to work with colleagues, see your family more clearly on a bigger canvas, or free up your hands to move around a room while talking. To make desktop calling more useful, it has been made sure it works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation, appears in a resizable standalone window on your computer screen, and is set to be always on top so users never lose video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows.

Voice and video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t hear or see them, whether you call from your phone or your computer. The feature is starting with one-to-one calls on the WhatsApp desktop app to make sure users get a reliable and high-quality experience. The feature will be expanding to include group voice and video calls in the future.

You can read more, including how to download the desktop app on Windows PC and Mac here:

Facebook hosts Discover Ramadan 2021 virtually

Facebook hosts Discover Ramadan 2021 virtually
Facebook hosts Discover Ramadan 2021 virtually

KARACHI – Facebook hosted a virtual event for Pakistani businesses to share insights and key findings regarding Ramadan shopper behavior and trends, as these businesses initiate the planning of their respective campaigns. These insights were shared from a report Facebook commissioned from YouGov, to help advertisers gain a better understanding of their target audience.

The event consisted of four sessions altogether:

Discover Ramadan Marketing Insights: Facebook shared six key insights into Ramadan shopper behavior and trends in Pakistan, as well as tips on how Facebook solutions can help businesses uncover growth during this period. The six key insights shared were

Social conscience drives support for local communities. 68% of survey respondents in Pakistan believe brands should find ways of giving back to consumers and the community (especially during the ongoing crisis), whereas 54% become more interested in a brand or product after learning about their business practices.

Unity through technology; mobile empowers family connection. Among the majority of Ramadan observers/shoppers surveyed in Pakistan, 75% agreed that their mobile phone is an important source of entertainment and reflection during the season, and 72% agreed their mobile helped them get things done during spare moments in Ramadan.

Creators offer a new source of credibility. 86% of survey respondents in Pakistan said they follow public figures on social media, and 58% agreed that they follow public figures on social media as a great way to discover new trends.

Demand for safety drives mobile shopping. 59% of survey respondents in Pakistan said they use mobile for Ramadan/Eid shopping because it’s safer than going to a store, and

81% used mobile to research what to buy.

Continuous shopping results in a surprising second shopping peak.

The weeks leading up to Ramadan are traditionally seen as the main shopping moment, but there’s now a surprising second shopping peak. Most shopping happens at the end of Ramadan. Only 18% of survey respondents in Pakistan said that they have completed shopping by the time Ramadan begins, whereas 31% of shoppers said they do most of their shopping during Ramadan month.

Price sensitivity elevates anticipation for mega sales. Shoppers are increasingly priced sensitive and look to Facebook for deals and inspiration. 61% of survey respondents in Pakistan said it’s more difficult to afford products and 71% said they look out for bargains during Ramadan/Eid, while 56% of people said they use Facebook platforms to shop for themselves or others.

Discover Creative Inspiration 

Dial Zero Creative Shop and L’Oreal shared tips and tricks on how brands can level up their creative game for Ramadan campaigns.

Discover New Demand

ADEX360 shared how they are working with fashion retailers like Limelight to create opportunities for discovery across the consumer journey, from inspiration to purchase.

Discover Branded Content 

Content creators Faiza Saleem and Danish Ali shared insights on creating impactful branded content this Ramadan.

The event concluded with a Q&A between the attendees and speakers. The sessions were led by Ali Khurshid Ahmed (Partner Manager, Facebook), Nazia Siddiqui (Group Product Manager, L’oreal Pakistan), Zain Hameed (CEO, ADEX360), Saher Ahmed Khan (Creative Director, Dial Zero), and content creators and social media influencers Faiza Saleem and Danish Ali.

“2020 was a unique year for the world and changed how we navigate through everything including the month of Ramadan, which holds a lot of significance for Muslims around the world. It is a time when people want to connect more with their loved ones, and also take care of the community around them. The spirit of this month teaches us to be mindful and generous in all aspects of life.

We at Facebook felt it is important to derive learnings from last year, to help our brand partners stay ahead, and embrace the full opportunities of this important season. Furthermore, it is also a great time for brands to strengthen their relationship with their customers by highlighting their core values. We are grateful to all our partners for this session who took the time out to join this conversation, and share insights from their own experiences.” stated Jordi Fornies, Director Emerging Markets APAC, Facebook.

“As Facebook’s Authorized Sales Partner in Pakistan, our goal is to ensure advertisers are provided with the best solutions to reach out to their target audience. With Ramadan coming up, Facebook has shared unique insights about shopper behavior and trends observed last year, so that brands can take these into account when planning their upcoming campaigns. The goal is to not just unlock growth, but also bridge the gap and build a meaningful relationship between brands and their customer base.” shared Zameer Qureshi, CEO, Dial Zero.

Netflix’s big 4Q lifts video service above 200M subscribers

Netflix's big 4Q lifts video service above 200M subscribers
Netflix's big 4Q lifts video service above 200M subscribers

SAN RAMON, Calif — Netflix’s video streaming service has surpassed 200 million subscribers for the first time as its expanding line-up of TV series and movies continues to captivate people stuck at home during the ongoing battle against the pandemic.

The subscriber milestone highlighted Netflix’s fourth-quarter results released Tuesday. The service added another 8.5 million subscribers during the October-December period, capping Netflix’s biggest year since its inception as a DVD-by-mail service in 1997. Netflix ended the year with nearly 204 million worldwide subscribers.

The fourth-quarter gains easily topped the projections of the roughly 6 million additional subscribers projected by Netflix’s own management and Wall Street analysts, even as the company began rolling out price increases of 8% to 13% in the U.S. Netflix’s stock surged by more than 12% extended trading after the latest subscriber numbers came out.

After upending the DVD-rental industry, Netflix introduced the then-revolutionary concept of streaming TV shows and films 14 years ago. At that time, its service had a mere 6 million subscribers.

The streaming service began to grow rapidly seven years ago when Netflix started producing its own shows and accelerated a worldwide expansion that now spans more than 190 countries. Since the February 2013 debut of its first original series, “House of Cards,” Netflix has attracted more than 170 million additional subscribers.

Netflix gained another 37 million subscribers last year, a 22% increase from 2019. Its stock fared even better, rising by 67% last year. The Los Gatos, California, company now boasts a market value of more than $220 billion.

For all its success, Netflix still faces challenges in the coming years from bevvy of deep-pocketed rivals, with perhaps the most formidable posed by a more experienced and even larger entertainment company: Walt Disney Co.

After deciding to stop licensing its library to Netflix, Disney introduced its own video streaming service 14 months ago. The service, Disney Plus, has proved far more popular than anyone imagined, accumulating nearly 90 million subscribers in its first year, emboldening the company’s management to predict that it will boast as many as 260 million subscribers at some point in 2024.

“It is super impressive what Disney has done,” Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said in Tuesday video discussion with investors. “It gets us fired up about increasing our membership and increasing our content production.”

To retain and attract subscribers, Netflix already had been spending so much money on original programming that the company usually ends up shovelling out more cash than its video services brings in from its subscribers, although it has remained profitable under the accounting standards allowed in the entertainment industry.

The company earned $542.2 million on revenue of $6.64 billion in the fourth quarter, a relatively thin profit margin.

But Netflix finally stopped burning through cash last year, largely because government restrictions imposed during the pandemic curtailed the production of programming. Netflix posted a positive cash flow of $1.9 billion during 2020, the first time that has the company hasn’t had a negative cash flow for an entire year since 2011.

In another breakthrough, Netflix predicted it will no longer need to raise additional cash from lenders to help finance its original-programming budget. The company said it doesn’t expect to experience the same drain on its cash as it has for most of the past decade, even as it ramps up production of its original programming again and gears up to release at least one original film per week on its service throughout this year.