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Meta to launch Uber ride-booking via WhatsApp in India

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One of the world’s biggest ride sharing services is partnering up with it the parent company of Facebook to change the way we book our journey

Ride-sharing giant Uber wants to make booking a ride in India as easy as sending a message via WhatsApp.

The US-based company has partnered up with Meta, the recently rebranded parent company of Facebook, to launch a ride booking feature in its WhatsApp service within India.

The integration is set to become the first of its kind for the ride-hailing giant and will allow people to book an Uber ride without having to download the official Uber app.

Everything from user registration and ride-booking to getting a trip receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface.

The service is being rolled out first in the northern city of Lucknow, and will be expanded to other Indian cities soon according an official statement.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip, and to do that we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with,”

said Nandini Maheshwari, senior director of business development for Uber APAC, in the statement.

India is the biggest market for WhatsApp with nearly half a billion users.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Business

Four-day office week for Snapchat employees

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Snapchat is asking workers to return to the office 80% of the time, or the equivalent of four days a week.

They want workers back from the start of next year.

It’s the latest sign of tech employees receiving less flexibility nearly three years after the pandemic took hold.

It also comes amid a wave of cost-cutting in the tech sector.

The company says in a statement: “We believe that being together in person, while retaining flexibility for our team members, will enhance our ability to deliver on our strategic priorities of growing our community, driving revenue growth, and leading in [augmented reality].”

The new policy will take effect at the end of February.

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Twitter quietly cancels COVID misinformation policy

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More big changes at Twitter under the new Elon Musk ownership.

This time, its Twitter’s controversial COVID misinformation policy, which the social platform has quietly canceled.

Twitter said in December 2020 that it would begin to label and remove misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

But Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been a vocal critic of how health officials reacted to the coronavirus pandemic.

Musk has committed to free speech on Twitter, which might explain why the change has now been enacted.

But online safety experts have contended his approach has led to an increase in hate speech, harassment and misinformation on the platform.

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Hospital staff have resorted to using pen and paper following cyber breach

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Vanuatu’s public service remains offline nearly a month after a ransomware attack on the nation’s government.

The ABC reports hospital staff have resorted to using pen and paper, as key infrastructure remains offline.

Senior ministers describing the incident as a “serious breach” of national security.

Cybersecurity staff were told about the attack when government websites became unavailable.

Port Vila’s hospital has also been badly affected, with staff using pen and paper for some medical records.

It’s understood some government employees are using their personal email addresses and hotspots to complete their work.

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