In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 3rd May 2020
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70% drop in highly-forwarded messages globally, says WhatsApp
WhatsApp seems to have been successful in adding friction to its platform: the traffic of “highly-forwarded” messages has reduced by 70% globally, ever since Facebook limited the further distribution of such messages to only one contact at a time, the company said in a statement. This was first reported by Business Standard. Read it here
Facebook rolls out video conference platform Messenger Rooms, but is it a safer alternative?
Facebook, on April 24, rolled out its video conference platform called Messenger Rooms, which can accommodate upto 50 people and has no time limit to conferences. The platform — a potential competitor to Zoom — will be built into Facebook’s Messenger service, and people without a Facebook profile will be able to join calls. Read it here
Ireland should consider forcing Facebook, Google to pay for news & media content like Australia has done: PM
Ireland’s head of government Leo Varadkar has suggested that the Irish government consider copying Australia in forcing Facebook and Google to share ad revenue with local media companies, reports Irish News. Read it here
Netflix sued at Delhi HC for web series; lawyers calls suit a ‘publicity stunt’
Netflix has been accused of defaming lawyers in the TV show Hasmukh, where a character goes on a rant against lawyers. The Delhi High Court on April 27 issued notice to Netflix on the petition, filed by advocate Ashutosh Dubey. Read it here
9 lobby groups ask India to delay equalisation levy, allow time for consultation
9 lobbying groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the Asia Internet Coalition, have asked the Indian government to delay expansion of the new equalisation levy, that will impact companies already reeling from the impact of COVID-19. Read it here
All central govt employees must download Aarogya Setu
The government of India has mandated all central government employees to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones “immediately”, according to an office memorandum issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT). Read it here
Aarogya Setu users can now tell govt if they are COVID-19 positive; and know their neighbourhood risk status
Users can now choose to share with the government whether or not their sample has been collected for COVID-19 testing on Aarogya Setu, and if they have tested positive for COVID-19. Read it here
Spotify has even more of an advantage during the pandemic than Netflix. Here’s why.
Digital subscriptions are showing remarkable growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Netflix made twice as many subscribers as it had initially projected in that quarter, and Disney Plus has 50 million subscribers mere months after releasing, of which 8 million are paying for Hotstar in India. Read it here
Lockdown Extension: Aarogya Setu mandatory for all employees & in containment zones
The nation-wide lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended by another 2 weeks from May 4 until May 17, according to a Ministry of Home Affairs order. Aarogya Setu has been made mandatory for all employees, both public and private. The head of the respective organisation will be responsible for ensuring “100% coverage of this app among employees”. Read it here
Reliance will solicit more Facebook-sized investments for Jio Platforms
With crude futures for coming months sometimes going negative due to the COVID-19, this is a surreal time to be in the oil business. But Reliance’s unusual diversification into telecom has given the company a bit of a bright spot. Read it here