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Africa takes to Slideshow

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Facebook has revealed that numerous brands throughout Africa are using Slideshow, a lightweight video ad format, to tell their stories to people who wouldn’t usually watch online videos because of their local bandwidth constraints.

South Africa is one of the top ten emerging markets for usage of this innovative advertising format from Facebook, with momentum also growing in other markets like Brazil, Thailand, Mexico, India, Malaysia, Turkey, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. To date, people from 200 countries have viewed Slideshow advertisements.

Slideshow makes it easy for advertisers to create video ads from still images. All they need to do is upload three to seven still images—they can be from an existing video, a photo shoot or even stock imagery—and choose the length of the slideshow, from 5 to 15 seconds.  In addition to providing users with rich, interactive content—irrespective of the device and internet access medium they use—Slideshow reduces the need for video production time and resources. That means small businesses, too, can use video to engage with their audiences without needing a massive budget, equipping them to drive real business results.

Due to Slideshows being 5X lighter than the average video file, it extends eye-catching ads to people on basic devices or with poor connectivity. It can be used by nearly any African business to accomplish a variety of advertising objectives namely:

·         Build a video easily and quickly: Create videos on Facebook using photos or Facebook’s stock image database

·         Use an eye-catching new format: Use images in succession to capture attention and tell a story with photos

·         Display products or tutorials: Upload product photos or display a tutorial, recipe, or how to using photos

·         Recycle existing creative: Reuse old creative assets in a new and eye catching way

·         Reach people on slow connections: Take your video ad to people on 2G and slow connections

“We aim to make it easy for advertisers to tell rich, compelling brand stories to people, no matter which connection speeds and devices they use to connect with Facebook,” says Nunu Ntshingila, Head of Africa at Facebook. Ntshingila went on to say, “Even in sub-Saharan African countries – where connectivity can be slow and expensive and feature phones are common – people want to engage with more video content on mobile, including ads. Slideshow is easy for advertisers to use and engaging for people.”

Slideshow has already proven its worth in a range of campaigns in Africa. For example, Coca-Cola in Kenya and Nigeria ran a video ad to raise awareness of the new season of its show, Coke Studio Africa.

To extend the reach of the ad to people within its target audience who were on slow connections or features phones, Coca-Cola took high-resolution screenshots from the video, uploaded them in sequence along with some basic text and ran the story as a slideshow on Facebook. And the results were

encouraging: the campaign reached 2 million people—twice their goal—and raised ad awareness by 10 points in Kenya.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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