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TC Roundup: Facebook to beef up messenger mobile app

Facebook to beef up messenger mobile app: Facebook Inc. unveiled plans on Wednesday to beef up its Messenger mobile application to allow users to book reservations, track online orders and send custom videos, a push to make the app a tool for commerce. (The Wall Street Journal)

LinkedIn takes on traditional news outlets for ad bucks: Social media companies are evolving fast. Gone are the days of just chatting to friends and uploading photos; now, in bid to capture ad dollars from traditional publishers, tech giants want to offer everything from payment services, music streaming – and even news. (CNBC)

WhatsApp co-founder: Voice calling coming to iOS in a 'couple weeks': Voice calling on WhatsApp will be coming to iOS in a "couple weeks," said WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton today.

At Facebook's F8 developers' conference here today, Acton, speaking on a panel with Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger and head of Facebook Messenger David Marcus, said that WhatsApp has spent the last year refining and iterating voice calling before launching it on Android. To date it has not been available for iOS, but he said it would be coming in a couple weeks. (Venture Beat)

Apple plans China IPhone trade-in program with Foxconn: Apple Inc. plans to introduce a trade-in program for iPhones in China, people familiar with the effort said, after a similar program bolstered sales in the U.S.

Consumers will be able to take older iPhones to Apple stores in China for credit against the company's products as soon as March 31, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren't public. Foxconn Technology Group will buy and re-sell the phones as part of the program, one of the people said. Natalie Kerris, an Apple representative, didn't respond to a request for comment. Foxconn declined to comment. (Bloomberg)

Startup wants to disrupt the informal labour market in Pakistan using tech: The vast majority of Pakistan's labor market is informal, unstructured, and highly unregulated. Figures from the government suggest that approximately 73.8 percent of its labor force work in an informal setting, which is problematic as it reduces taxation and lowers standards for employee welfare and benefits. Alarmingly, it also creates more traction for the black economy.

In the presence of a thriving informal environment, it is difficult to properly ascertain statistics on unemployment, consumption, income levels and growth. This may result in an undermining of official economic policies and drive away much-needed foreign investment. (Tech in Asia)

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