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Facebook Rolls Out Instagram Lite to Sub-Saharan Africa and Other Emerging Markets

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Facebook Rolls Out Instagram Lite to Sub-Saharan Africa and Other Emerging Markets, SiliconNigeria

Facebook has announced the launch of Instagram Lite to Sub-Saharan Africa, a new, lightweight version of the Instagram app for Android that uses less data and works well across all network conditions.

The new version of Instagram Lite for Android is less than 2MB in size, making it fast to install and quick to load. It also has improved speed, performance, and responsiveness. Instagram Lite not only works similarly to the Instagram app for Android, but it allows the Instagram experience to remain fast and reliable for more people, no matter what device, platform and network they use. 

Commenting on the rationale for introducing the app to Sub-Saharan Africa, Engineering Manager for Instagram Lite, Peter Shin said, “Connectivity in the region can be unstable, slow and expensive, making it challenging for people to have a high-quality Instagram experience. Many people were already familiar with the concept of a Lite app after the successful roll-out of Facebook Lite some years ago. We started testing the new version of Instagram Lite when people across the continent started asking for a Lite app for Android. The feedback was very positive and we are excited to launch it across the continent today”. 

“Our team aims to leave no one behind, so today we are very excited to bring Instagram Lite to people in over 170 countries, including the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region,” he added.

Instagram Lite is similar to the core Instagram app experience, though some features are not currently supported, such as Reels creation, Shopping, and IGTV. Instagram Lite is likely to gain appeal to users in locations with limited bandwidth or high data costs, especially in the developing world. 

Instagram Lite is currently rolling out in over 170 countries, and Facebook remains committed to building and improving the app to help everyone in the world connect to the people and things they love. 

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MTN Nigeria Tasks Accountants on IoT as Panacea for Pandemic

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MTN Nigeria Tasks Accountants on IoT as Panacea for Pandemic, SiliconNigeria

MTN Nigeria has urged accountants in Nigeria to embrace Internet of Things (IoT) and go digital even as the profession is challenged by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

The chief transformation officer, MTN Nigeria, Olubayo Adekanmbi said stated this while speaking at the 50th annual Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) conference held from April 5 – 9, 2021 at the Abuja International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.

This year’s event themed “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Boom for the Accounting Profession and Panacea for the Pandemic” hosts over 7,500 local and foreign delegates. The hybrid event (physical and virtual attendance) was streamed to participants who were unable to attend the event physically due to limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Adekanmbi said,  “We at MTN Nigeria are so proud to be identified with this honorable profession and we are glad that we are helping to drive this conversation. This is our way of ensuring that in the wake of the pandemic, practising professionals remain up to date and add value to our nation in a changing world.” 

 Delivering his presentation on the importance of IoT in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,  Adekanmbi stated that “With IoT, things that takes us years in our auditing, asset tracking and efficiency can be fast-tracked and accelerated. IoT allows you to reduce operational costs because you can track anything, everything, everywhere and you can serve your customers readily.”

 “For IoT to work, there are certain things that are critical because it is one device talking to another device. It means that you need an internet that is super powered and that is what broadband does effectively. MTN Nigeria has one of the fastest, accelerated broadband quality in Nigeria. A few months ago, through the honorable minister, we were able to test 5G in Nigeria.

“These are the enabling infrastructure we are already experimenting in Nigeria. Once again, through the honorable minister, we experimented with what is called E-Sim, this means you no longer need a physical sim on your phone, you can virtualize your sim. We can say that Nigeria is on the path to start enjoying the benefits of the possibility of the Fourth Industrial Revolution based on superior policy support we have enjoyed,” he added.

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Nigerian Banks Lift USSD Restriction As MTN Reverts Back To 4.5% Commission

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Nigerian Banks Lift USSD Restriction As MTN Reverts Back To 4.5% Commission, SiliconNigeria
  • Extends Partnership with Fintechs

MTN Nigeria, commercial banks and aggregators have agreed to revert back to the old commission formula for airtime vending on unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) and banking app channels.

The three parties have reverted back to the old 4.5 per cent commission charged for airtime vending through USSD and other banking channels. They reached for each other jugular over an impromptu reduction in the commission rate from 4.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent which too k effect on Thursday April 1, 2021.

At virtual meeting held yesterday by the chief executive officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Karl Toriola; the group CEO of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe who is also the chairman of the Body of Bank CEOs in Nigeria; Group CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje as well as MTN Nigeria’s chief financial officer, Modupe Kadri, they agreed to revert back to status quo ante of 4.5 per cent commission on USSD airtime.

MTN CEO, Toriola and addressed to Wigwe which was a follow-up on the virtual stated that, “In an attempt to resolve the current USSD impasse, given the intervention of our regulators, we hereby agree that the banks revert back to the status quo of 4.5 per cent commission.

“However, the banks and MTN Nigeria Plc shall sit to agree on various options that will result in the costs on 6th of April 2021.” The letter was copied to the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the NCC.

Elaborating further, he said in another statement that “the document was issued by me to the banks on the specific intervention of the CBN Governor and the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy. MTN’s intention has always been geared towards business optimization to the benefit of our customers and indeed the country.

“This is evidenced by the fact that through the USSD imbroglio, we never denied access to our customers. In the current case, customers have been denied access to services by the banks despite having monies in their accounts to purchase those services. MTN will naturally do all it can to minimise customer pain. It is not just about revenue for us.

“The good of our customers influence every decision we take. The CBN Governor’s intervention is in line with our core values. We acceded to his request and that of our Minister. We will continue to live our values that ‘everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, the operator with over 70 million subscribers said it will continue to engage Fintechs to vend airtime. According to Funso Aina, Snr. Manager, External Relations, MTN, the links to access the various alternative platforms include:

1. MTN On Demand is on *904# and also via https://mtnondemand.flutterwave.com;

2. Barter By Flutter Wave is an app that can be downloaded here: http://tosto.re/getbarter;

3. Jumia Pay (app);

4. OPay (app);

5. MTN Xtratime airtime loans (*606#);

6. Carbon (app);

7. Kuda (app);

8. BillsnPay (web https://www.billsnpay.com/. They also have an app);

9. myMTN Web http://mymtn.com.ng;

10. Momo agent *223#

  The Apps can be downloaded from the Playstore and the Appstore.

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WizKid and Burna Boy Emerge Most Streamed Artists on Spotify in Nigeria

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WizKid and Burna Boy Emerge Most Streamed Artists on Spotify in Nigeria, SiliconNigeria

On February 23rd, more than 70 million songs, 2.2 million podcast titles, and over four billion playlists became officially available to Spotify listeners in Nigeria for free.

Spotify launched with a tailored music experience for Africa with more than 100 expertly curated playlists across some of the most popular genres in the continent. But what got the fans listening?

The first 30 days demonstrated how much Nigerian listeners love their home-grown artists. Four out of the top five most-streamed artists are from Nigeria. Topping the list are the country’s beloved superstars:  WizKid, Burna Boy, DaVido, and Rema.  

Local hits are also resonating the most with Nigerian listeners. The most-streamed track in Nigeria over the past month is “Bounce” by Rema, followed by Wizkid and Burna Boy’sGinger” and DaVido and Teni’sFOR YOU”. 

With a strong appetite for local sounds, it comes as no surprise that Hot Hits Naija is one of the top-streamed playlists among users. Spotify’s Africa to the world playlist African Heat comes in second reflecting listeners’ keenness to discover music from all over the continent.  

Podcast listening may be a relatively new trend in Nigeria, but it is fast gaining momentum among Nigerians. In the last month, the most popular podcast on Spotify is “I Said What I Said,” with “Kwality Kontent” coming in second. “TED Talks Daily” came in third, followed by “Articulate One” and “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Ears Edition” in fourth and fifth position respectively.  

Residents of Lagos, Suleja, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Benin City account for the most Spotify streams in Nigeria. 

So how did the first month of Spotify in Nigeria sound?

 Top-streamed artists: 

  1. WizKid
  2. Burna Boy
  3. DaVido
  4. Drake
  5. Rema

Top-streamed songs:

 Rema – Bounce

  1. WizKid feat. Burna Boy – Ginger
  2. DaVido, Teni – FOR YOU
  3. Olamide, Omah Lay – Infinity
  4. DaVido, Focalistic, Virgo Deep – Ke Star – Remix

Most popular playlists:

  1. Hot Hits Naija
  2. African Heat
  3. Today’s Top Hits
  4. RapCaviar
  5. Gbedu

Top podcasts:

  1. I Said What I Said
  2. Kwality Kontent
  3. TED Talks Daily
  4. Articulate One
  5. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Ears Edition

Cities with most streams on Spotify:

  1. Lagos
  2. Suleja
  3. Abuja
  4. Port Harcourt
  5. Benin City
WizKid and Burna Boy Emerge Most Streamed Artists on Spotify in Nigeria, SiliconNigeria

Data based on Spotify user consumption between February 23 and March 22, 2021.

Download the Spotify app via the Android or iOS app store or by heading to www.spotify.com – to embed Spotify into a website – right click on any playlist, go to ‘share’ and copy embed code.

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