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Decoded: How the same joke or video floods your WhatsApp account 



New Delhi, Dec 27:  If you are baffled at the speed at which jokes, videos and GIFs reach your WhatsApp account from groups or friends almost at the same time, remember that such posts are being planned and executed by teams sitting in some corner of the country to bombard the maximum number accounts at one go.

With 160 million users in India, the Facebook-owned mobile messaging app has become a top choice among marketers, social influencers and certain groups to reach them via jokes, videos and GIFs whenever there is a breaking news, a major announcement, a tongue-in-cheek celebrity statement or even a festival, say experts.
“WhatsApp is emerging as a highly susceptible channel for propaganda, misinformation, fake news as well as highly influenceable from the targeted marketing message or advertisement perspective, i.e., digital word-of-mouth,” Neil Shah, Research Director (Devices & Ecosystems) at the market research firm Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

In India, WhatsApp has the highest penetration among any “social-centric” web/app platform available on the nearly 260 million active smartphone users.

“Several marketers are leveraging an infantry of smart or influential folks to develop and spread targeted and viral-natured content. I believe the viral messages developed and spread are not by a single source but many individuals and firms working on this behind the scenes,” Shah added.
There are ways to populate the sharing of such viral content but it can be defined in two parts — content and objective.

“While objectives and the purposes could be anything, one can easily relate these with driving mass awareness, creating social buzz, dragging public attention on political or public issues or making fun among friends or sharing memes or news,” Anoop Mishra, one of the nation’s leading social media experts, told IANS.

Social media or digital marketing agencies work behind the content marketing strategies to make stories viral and shareable on WhatsApp.

“Several FMCG companies, major political parties and politicians have their in-house sponsored team of social media warriors to generate and share such content or hashtags on various social media platforms,” Mishra noted.

According to Shah, among several social media platforms, WhatsApp has a clear edge because of its user-friendly approach which has put the platform in a strong (as well as vulnerable position) for flow of both good and bad news or information or any content across the platform.

“Since the degree of separation among different WhatsApp users is theoretically lower, there is a high chance for any information to go viral faster than any other social media platform or even word-of-mouth,” said Shah.

With some 150 million active users in India, Facebook is the second-most used social media platform and can also act as a catalyst for proliferation of viral content due to a broader sharing and a greater engagement with the content.

“However, Facebook is quite curated and controlled via an algorithm according to a person’s social graph and Facebook’s advertising engine and, hence, potentially less viral than Whatsapp,” Shah pointed out.

Facebook’s third property, Instagram, is also quickly rising to become a popular platform from the perspective of social media influencers to drive rich content for marketers and mainly target millennials.


Is there a revenue model in there for those making posts viral? “Absolutely, wherever there is a greater reach and high engagement for any platform, a potential revenue model certainly exists,” Shah stated.

Owing to its “no ads” DNA, WhatsApp has so far been resistant to a direct engagement-driven revenue model. However, with Facebook connecting WhatsApp to its social graph, it unlocks potential for Facebook to work with marketers who, in turn, work with influencers to build a robust value chain.

“Right now with WhatsApp its much more unorganised and influencers are earning directly from the marketers without any Facebook or Whatsapp intervention, unlike the Facebook or Instagram platforms,” Shah told IANS.

According to Mishra, the content is being prepared by digital marketing agencies with some earning prospects.

“But the reality is that more than 80 per cent of the images or videos shared among the WhatsApp groups are downloaded from websites without any personal revenue benefits excepts some blogging sites which are paying their members for posts, comments, likes or to share contentson linked social profiles,” Mishra told IANS.

On August 25, WhatsApp made extensive changes to its privacy policy, announcing it would and could share users’ personal information, including their phone numbers, with its parent company Facebook — a move that drew sharp criticism from privacy activists and the Delhi High Court in India.

The move was touted as the first step towards monetising WhatsApp since Facebook acquired it for $19 billion in 2014.

“Right now, WhatsApp is quite fragmented and unorganised compared to Facebook. We believe this will change fast as Facebook tries to indirectly monetise the power of WhatsApp as a ‘content sharing and targeting’ platform,” Shah added

By Nishant Arora


#WhatsApp  #Features  #WhatsAppFeatures #Facebook  #Instagram


India 7th most targeted nation for Web Application Attacks: Report



Web cyber attack

Bengaluru, Feb 21: Nearly 40 per cent of over 53,000 cyber attacks in India occurred in the financial services sector during 2017, placing it at the seventh spot in the list of targeted countries for Web Application Attacks (WAA), a new report said on Wednesday.

Security incidents like phishing, website intrusions and defacements, virus and ransomware targeted the rapidly growing of the Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI) sector in India, warranting a robust infrastructure and planned roadmap for cybersecurity, said the report from content delivery network services Akamai Technologies.

“A key motive of attackers has always been financial profit. In the past few years, we have seen adversaries move to more direct methods to achieve that goal such as ransomware,” noted Martin McKeay, Senior Security Advocate at Akamai.

“Crypto-mining offers attackers the most direct avenue to monetise efforts by putting money immediately into their cryptowallets,” McKeay added.

The report, titled “Akamai State of the Internet Security Q4 2017,” also stated that the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack frequency in the BFSI sector increased by 50 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017 over the last quarter.

It also placed India seventh in the list of the top source countries for WAA.

“While India maintained the same position in the third quarter last year, it is interesting to note that the attacks sourced have seen a drop of approximately four million in number as compared to last quarter,” the report said.

The newly-released data that analysed more than 7.3 trillion bot requests per month found a sharp increase in the threat of credential abuse, with more than 40 per cent of login attempts being malicious.

This indicates that DDoS attacks remain a consistent threat and the Mirai botnet is still capable of strong bursts of activity.

Akamai’s findings also confirmed that the total number of DDoS attacks last quarter increased 14 per cent from the same time last year.

“The hospitality industry suffered as the biggest target of fraudulent credential attacks, with 82 per cent of their login attempts being from malicious botnets, the report said.

The financial industry saw a sharp increase in the number of DDoS attacks, experiencing 298 DDoS attacks against 37 distinct organisations last quarter.

There was a 31 per cent increase in DDoS attacks sourcing from the US last quarter compared to the same timeframe in 2017, the report said.

With Inputs from IANS

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Google reveals security flaw in Microsoft Edge




San Francisco, Feb 20: Google has made public the details of a medium-level security flaw in Microsoft Edge browser whose patch is still not produced.

The vulnerability was first discovered in November 2017, by the search giant’s Project Zero.

According to Engadget, taking advantage of the flaw, hackers could bypass Microsoft Edge’s existing security measures to inject malicious code into a victim’s computer.

Google, through its Project Zero, notified Microsoft about a bug in November, giving the company the usual 90-day disclosure deadline.

With the three-month deadline over, the team of security analysts employed by Google tasked with finding zero-day vulnerabilities — Project Zero –went public with the details of the security flaw.

The search giant granted a 14-day extension to Microsoft after it said that the problem was complex and it needed more time to fix it.

But, Microsoft even missed the second deadline to produce the patch of the vulnerability. However, given Edge’s small market share, the security issue was unlikely to affect too many people though it is still embarrassing for the company.


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M-tech launches 4G smartphone at Rs 4,499



Mtech foto 3

New Delhi, Feb 19: Domestic mobile manufacturer M-tech on Monday launched a new 4G VoLTE smartphone “Foto 3” at Rs 4,499.

The device comes with 5-inch FVWGA LCD display and is powered by 1.3 GHz quad core processor paired with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage, which is expandable upto 32 GB.

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“With ‘Foto 3’, Internet-savvy users can now avail super-fast data connectivity and superior voice call quality. We are positive that the ‘Foto 3’ will certainly appeal to our customers,” Goutam Kumar Jain, Co-Founder, M-tech Informatics Ltd, said in a statement.

The device runs Android 7.0 Nougat operating system (OS) and houses 2400 mAh Li-Ion battery. It also sports 2+ VGA dual rear camera and a VGA front camera.

The product is available on both online and offline platforms.


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