📱 Facebook is Adding Video and Voice Calls Back to its Main App

07/24/2021

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Facebook is Adding Video and Voice Calls Back to its Main App

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Facebook is bringing video and voice calling service to its flagship social networking service in its latest attempt to fine-tune communication features after turning Messenger into a standalone app in 2014.

During the spin-off, Facebook claimed that the Messenger service needed to have its own app to gain additional features, and indeed, the Messenger app has grown significantly since then.

The social media giant will be testing voice and video call features in several international locations, including the United States.

While video and voice calls are coming back to the Facebook app, text chat will remain exclusive to the Messenger app for now.

Earlier this month, the app was updated with features including end-to-end encryption, QR Code support, and payment links.

Integrating these services will benefit users, allowing them to reach more people and reduce the time needed to download or switch between separate apps.

Indian Fintech Startup Khatabook Raises $100 Million at a Valuation of $600 Million

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Fintech startup Khatabook has closed a $100 million Series C funding. Led by US-based Tribe Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures (MSV), this fund round took its market valuation to $600 million.

Other investors in the Series C funding round included Alkeon Capital, B Capital Group, Sequoia Capital, Unilever Ventures, Tencent, RTP Ventures, and Better Capital.

The funding round also included $10 million of employee shares bought back by the company, giving some early employees a financial bonus. Eligible employees can sell up to 30% of their vested options.

With the fresh funding, Khatabook will focus on financial services disbursement through its software ecosystem.

In its first phase, Khatabook enabled digital transformation by building a tech ecosystem for Indian MSMEs. Now, after its wide acceptance, it aims to digitally enable financial services for small businesses.

Khatabook also plans to accelerate hiring and strengthen its engineering, product, design, analytics, and data science capabilities.

Walmart Launches Delivery Business

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On August 24, Walmart announced the launch of a delivery service called GoLocal. The white-label service will deliver goods from other local retailers to customers.

Walmart said it expects to begin shipping by the end of 2021 and that the delivery fleet would include the latest technologies, such as self-driving vehicles and drones.

The U.S. retailer will offer competitively priced shipping within two hours as well as a two-day delivery option.

Moreover, the deliveries of goods will be handled by a combination of associates, gig workers, and sometimes other delivery companies.

With this strategy, Walmart aims to tap into its ties with local communities, particularly businesses in rural areas that have faced problems implementing their own delivery operations.

The strategy announced by Walmart will pit it against the likes of Uber, DoorDash, among other delivery service providers.

It also comes at a time when Walmart is looking to diversify its sources of revenue generation beyond its core retail business.

Content Publishing Platform Substack to Begin Accepting Bitcoin Payments

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Andreessen Horowitz-backed Substack, a content platform with over 500,000 paying subscribers, will begin to accept Bitcoin as payment for select crypto publications using payment processor OpenNode.

OpenNode, an industry-leading Bitcoin payment processor, said that Substack has integrated their Bitcoin API to offer Bitcoin payments on the online publishing platform.

Readers will have the option to pay using Bitcoin for subscription to select publications, and the publications will retain earnings in Bitcoin.

Initially, the option to pay in Bitcoin will only be available to cryptocurrency publications. Though there are lots of popular crypto newsletters on Substack, the feature is currently live for two crypto newsletters: analyst Willy Woo’s ‘The Bitcoin Forecast’ and Dan Held’s ‘The Held Report.’

With this option, writers will get more flexibility and freedom, allow content creators across the Substack ecosystem to accept Bitcoin payments and retain earnings in Bitcoin or convert to preferred currency.

For faster payment processing, OpenNode will use the Lightning Network; however, users will have an option to make payments “on-chain,” without Lightning.

Around the Web

⭐ Google to show customized Play Store ratings: Google has announced plans to change the way it shows Play Store ratings and reviews for users in different countries and on different devices, making them more useful and relevant to users and developers.

🚀 SpaceX Starlink ships 100,000 terminals to customers: Elon Musk has announced that his SpaceX Starlink project, which aims to provide broadband services globally through a satellite constellation, has shipped 100,000 terminals to customers.

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