New app attempts to bring 15 chat platforms together
‘Beeper’, a new universal chat app, aims to give users access to 15 different chat platforms in one place.
The project, previously known as NovaChat, aims to integrate the world’s most popular messaging services like WhatsApp, Slack, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger into one interface, so all communications can be done without switching between them. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is its inclusion of Apple’s iMessage. Beeper’s creators have said it allows iMessage to work on Android, Windows, and Linux, but admits it’s “using some trickery” to do so.
The short-term aim is to make it easier to chat to people across different apps. However, the long-term aim is to get everyone using the app itself to chat with friends and colleagues, rather than as a bridge between services.
The app is offered as a paid subscription service with a $10 monthly fee. Check out all its features at the website here.
Tight brand budgets keep down UK ad spend
Unsurprisingly, companies are spending less on ads at the minute. 2020 Q4 marketing budgets were down -24%, according to the latest Bellwether report from IPA.
Only 16.4% of firms reported an increase in available funds, with a whopping 40.4% reporting a decline.
It’s mainly due to the pandemic, of course. The events sector was worst hit, with 62.9% of firms reporting a decrease. Only the online sector reported an increase.
There’s still hope though, with 12% of firms expecting to have more marketing budget in 2021/22.
Google to leave Australia?
Following the Australian government’s announcement that they’re looking to introduce a law to make big tech giants share royalties with news publishers, Google has threatened to remove its search engine from the country.
Google Australia said the proposed regulations are "unworkable", and should it become law, it would give them “no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia.”
Australia’s PM, Scott Morrison, has hit back, saying that lawmakers would not yield to "threats.
Google is facing global pressure to pay for news content. After several months of talks between Google France and France’s Alliance de la Presse d’Information Generale, Google will now pay French publishers for news through negotiations for individual licenses.
Amazon offers to assist Biden in COVID-19 vaccine rollout
Amazon have offered their assistance to the Biden administration to meet their goal of completing 100 million coronavirus vaccinations within 100 days in the US.
Amazon’s worldwide operations leader, Dave Clark, wrote a letter to the administration stating, “we are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts.”
Amazon’s main offering of assistance is to provide vaccinations through their own facilities. They claim to already have “an agreement in place” with a health care provider to administer vaccinations on their own sites, as well as providing technology and communications resources to help the administration.
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