Business

Twitter officially kills third-party app features

Twitter officially kills third-party app features

Business, Internet, social media
Micro-blogging company Twitter has removed support for a number of third-party applications and outdated developer tools. The company said in a blog post it chose to stop supporting a number of third-party applications to focus on improving Twitter for iOS, Android, and its web platform. The company also dropped support for Twitter on Apple Watch and Twitter for Mac, and has replaced its Twitter for Windows App with its new web application. In response third-party applications such as Tweetbot has already removed certain functionality to mitigate the effect of these changes, crippling many of its features. “We feel the best Twitter experience we can provide today is through our owned and operated Twitter for iOS and Android apps, as well as desktop and mobile twitter.com,” said Twit
UN drives for cross-border mobile money transacting

UN drives for cross-border mobile money transacting

Business, Mobile
A United Nations agency and the African Union (AU) are pushing for cross-border mobile money payments to boost electronic trade on the continent. The AU has been piloting the use of a common payment system in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and is scheduled to roll out the same across Africa by the end of this year. The move is intended to facilitate interconnectivity between registered mobile money account owners within Kenya and across the continent, totaling 277 million according to a 2017 report. These represent 140 mobile money schemes across 39 countries. The roll-out of the common payment system will coincide with the commencement of trade under the Continental Free Trade Area expected later this year. The agreement aims to create a single cont...
Uganda to rethink social media tax after backlash

Uganda to rethink social media tax after backlash

Business, Internet, social media
Uganda is reviewing its decision to impose taxes on the use of social media and on money transactions by mobile phone, following a public backlash. The tax means Ugandans will now have to pay 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.05) a day to use popular platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda made the announcement soon after police broke up a protest against the taxes. President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the taxes to boost government revenue and to end "gossip" on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. Critics accused the 75-year-old of trying to stifle dissenting voices. The social media tax targets the use of what are described as Over The Top (OTT) services, which offer "voice and messaging over the internet", according to a previous statement by telecom c...
Amazon beats Walmart to acquire PillPack, an online pharmacy in bid to disrupt pharmaceutical industry

Amazon beats Walmart to acquire PillPack, an online pharmacy in bid to disrupt pharmaceutical industry

Business, Startups, Technology
Amazon has today announced an acquisition that underscores how it also hopes to have a more direct — and more commercial — role in the world of healthcare in the coming years. The company has purchased PillPack, an online pharmacy the lets users buy medications in pre-made doses. This news come only a week after after appointing a CEO for its healthcare joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan. “PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” says Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO of Worldwide Consumer, in a news release. “PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers’ lives, and we want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier. We’re excited to see what we can do together o
M-Pesa Pushing Against Tax Hike on Mobile Money Services in Kenya

M-Pesa Pushing Against Tax Hike on Mobile Money Services in Kenya

Business, Governance
A proposed tax increase on mobile money transfers in Kenya is drawing protests from several services, including M-Pesa. As part of a new tax proposal to raise government revenues, Kenya’s government is pushing to raise duties on mobile cash transfers by 2%. The government expects to net around $270 million in additional revenues and claims the extra income will fund a universal health care program to cover all households by 2022. But Safaricom-owned M-Pesa says the move could take a big toll, as it will “negatively impact mobile-led transfer services and payments” and reverse the gains of financial inclusion by making it more expensive to conduct business transactions and make payments using mobile money services. Since it was launched in 2007, M-Pesa, the largest mobile money