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Taxing times for smartphone adoption in Africa

CAPE TOWN--The cost of smartphones in Africa remains a barrier to bringing more people online in many countries even though unit prices have come down, in large part due to the high taxes levied on devices by some governments.

Africa's operators welcome OTT players as opportunity to grow

CAPE TOWN--Over the top (OTT) players are here to stay and present an opportunity for mobile operators to acquire users and drive network usage.

Facebook to launch Internet.org in Kenya

CAPE TOWN--Facebook revealed that it will launch the Internet.org app in Kenya later this week, marking the third country in Africa to get free access to basic Internet services via the Facebook-led initiative.

Facebook's Zuckerberg explains why users were forced to download separate Messenger app

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that the social networking giant forced users of its main mobile application to download a separate Messenger app for messaging because it felt that apps should do one thing well and users could be better served by having a standalone messaging app that performed that function well.

WhatsApp delays launch of voice calling service to Q1 of 2015

HALF MOON BAY, Calif.--WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said the over-the-top messaging app intends to launch voice calling services in the first quarter of 2015. The company, which Facebook recently finished acquiring, had initially planned to launch calling in the second quarter of 2014.

Yahoo generated $200M in mobile ad revenue in Q3, aims for growth

Yahoo is starting to generate money from its mobile business after years of lagging behind larger competitors like Google and Facebook. However, the company still has a ways to go before it can claim significant success in mobile advertising and apps.

Control of online video advertising begins to take precedence for OTT players

Over-the-top providers are apparently taking into their own hands the growth of online video advertising, with Ooyala as the latest to acquire an advertising services platform. The provider announced this week that it had entered an agreement to buy Videoplaza, which offers premium video ad serving platforms and programmatic trading to companies in the Asia-Pacific and Europe regions. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

What app developers should do with Facebook's 'like button'

It might have been more surprising if, instead of offering app developers access to its "like" button, Facebook had provided an API for the "poke" button. A poke could mean a sort of "hello," or it could be a sort of teasing provocation. This may be exactly the spirit with which developers should think about deploying the actual "like" button into their apps and mobile games.

Facebook won't monetize WhatsApp now, but Snapchat is planning to debut ads

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the social networking company does not have any near-term plans to make money off of WhatsApp, the mobile messaging platform it recently acquired.  However, another popular messaging app, Snapchat, does plan to make money by launching ads.

Ello's success may be the playbook app developers should follow

Like thousands of others over the past two weeks, I submitted my e-mail address to request an invite. I'm still waiting. I periodically wonder when, and if, I will be accepted. When, and if, I finally do, I know I'll probably immediately log in and spend considerable time exploring everything about it.