Archive for January 2015

A SIM card only for WhatsApp…makers say buy it to use the messaging app for free

This is indeed news for those of you out there who are avid users of messaging app, WhatsApp.

In a 1st, a new SIM card called WhatSim, for a small fee, lets you chat “absolutely free of charge & without any limits” using WhatsApp from almost anywhere in the world. WhatSim connects to more than 400 operators in about 150 countries. It’s developer say from anywhere in the world, it connects to the provider with the best coverage & signal right where the user is. If the user changes location, it automatically searches for a new provider. If a better one is available, it connects by itself without the user even noticing it.

WhatsApp tool

The idea came to an Italian entrepreneur, 38-year-old Manuel Zanella, engineer, founder & CEO of Zeromobile – Italy’s 1st global mobile operator for low-cost roaming, & with the participation of Ennio Doris, Founder & President of Mediolanum Group, they went about implementing it.

In 2011, Manuel had also released ‘i’m Watch’, which he claims was the world’s 1st smartwatch, designed & manufactured by ‘i’m Spa’, a company founded with the support of Ennio.

In a media release announcing the launch of WhatSim, Manuel says: WhatSim is a stroke of genius. That comes from far away…In 2003 I went on my honeymoon to Kenya. I needed to find a cheap way of calling without international roaming & its outrageous costs so I created Zeromobile.

The world has changed once again so I’ve launched WhatSim. In a world where more & more people are traveling, the need to stay in touch with others in a simple & fast way has become essential. Once we would call, then we started sending text messages. Now these are days of WhatsApp. Since 90% of my contacts have WhatsApp, I decided to create a Sim card dedicated specifically to WhatsApp.

We all know how popular WhatsApp is today. A few weeks ago, the CEO of WhatsApp had issued a statement listing his company’s achievements: 700 million active users & 30 billion messages exchanged every day.

WhatsApp is the future of mobile communications. Its only “limit” is the data connection especially when you are traveling because the roaming charges are expensive & you can’t always find Wi Fi everywhere, & it is not always free. As someone who appreciates & uses WhatsApp, I tried to figure out how to get around this problem. That’s why WhatSim is an extraordinary opportunity for WhatsApp, explains Manuel.

Here’s the philosophy guiding WhatSim:

To use WhatsApp, even when traveling, you need a data or Wi Fi connection to chat for free. The most common problem is that the roaming data connection is usually expensive, & also that Wi Fi is not available everywhere, plus it is not always free.

However, Manuel claims, WhatSim allows you to chat with WhatsApp whenever you want.

WhatSim costs €10 & for that amount, & no other cost, you can chat for free all over the world for a year. “To continue chatting free & with no limits for a year, you will always pay €10,”says Manuel. Of course only if you choose to use it. WhatSim has neither fixed costs nor monthly paymentsm & it never expires.

With WhatSim, WhatsApp users lets you exchange not only words, but also multimedia messages, at slightly cheaper rates. To enable sharing photos, videos, voice messages or your location & contacts (which are notified free even without recharging), users need to buy a credit package starting from a minimum charge of €5.

As Manuel explains: The solution we have developed is simple & intuitive. With €5 you get 1000 credits that you can use, for instance, to exchange 50 photos or 10 videos in many countries around the world. There are no limits to sharing your position and contacts. This way we guarantee the utmost transparency. Buying a recharge is quick & easy from our Website.

This card goes even further. WhatsApp subscription fee, starting from the second year of use, will be refunded by WhatSim, on renewal of WhatSim.

Manuel stresses that WhatSim has enormous potential in developing countries where coverage by single operators is not always optimal and where the base cost for communicating with WhatsApp using a conventional SIM could actually be more expensive in some cases. WhatSim’s great innovation is its very low flat rate for an entire year all over the world., he adds.

Image Credit: WhatSim

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Social network Tsu attracts explosive growth but also critics. Here’s why….


Tsu, a social network that pays its users for Content they create & share, is attracting the kind of growth that should make the social media giants sit up & take notice.

Just 74 days after its launch in Oct 2014, Tsu announced that it had crossed 2 million users. It’s not surprising that people would prefer to be paid for something they do for free on other social networks.

But Tsu, as they said during launch, is not trying to build its user base by taking people away from other social networks. On the contrary…..they have offered to help share, promote & monetize Content which people are posting on other social networks.

For example, if you post a video on Youtube, you can then head over to Tsu & try to share it as wide as you can & get paid for this engagement from Tsu. You also benefit by referring more people to Tsu.

This kind of a business model was bound to be a hit, but the surprising thing is not just that it’s attracting large numbers of users but the kind of users signing up.

This model seems to have stuck a chord among artists who are now flocking to Tsu, hoping to get paid for Content which doesn’t earn them anything on other social networks. Artists & music industry bigwigs on Tsu include 50 Cent, Russel Simmons & Timbaland, among others.

The main draw also is that Tsu pays cash to its users instead of virtual currency or points or something like that. The cash is paid from ad revenues, & Tsu keeps only 10%.

Hitting a million users in a couple of months & doubling it to more than 2 million in 2.5 months attracts all kinds of attention – from both advertisers & critics.

Tsu’s advertising platform now offers app install ads on smartphones which has attracted large brands like Taco Bell & Pandora, & also Twitter.

This attracted a detailed look from TechCrunch about how Tsu is getting past Apple’s ban on “incentivized” app installs.

Paying or rewarding people to download apps causes the app to start climbing on the App Store’s Top Charts. That in turn attracts a flood of new downloads & buzz that makes the app in question an overnight success. Apple has banned this ability to buy your way into overnight app stardom, so to speak.

But developers can list app install ads on Tsu. Users are technically being paid for creating content & attracting users to it, & not for the app install ads shown next to the content.

It’s a bit of a murky area, but the TechCrunch article notes that people on Tsu are more likely to click on ads because they know they’re helping generate ad revenues which will eventually reach them as payment for the content & activity they generate.

But the kicker is the massive adoption of Tsu’s own app, which shows more than half a million downloads on Google Play. Their iOS app is listed at No. 185 by App Annie in the social networking category.

New York, NY-based Tsu was founded in July 2013 by Drew Ginsburg, Sebastian Sobczak, Thibault Boullenger & Jonathan Lewin. The company has raised $7 million in venture funding.

Image Credit: Tsu

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