10 Strategies for a Successful e-Commerce Business

The e-commerce business has seen a tremendous amount of growth in the past few years and, it’s going to continue the upward trajectory for many more years to come. Whether you are running your own e-commerce business or you wish to have one, it won’t be successful without the right strategies.

We will discuss ten strategies that you should follow to make your e-commerce business a successful one.

Now, before going any further, don’t forget to start with the basics and have a look at the history and types of e-commerce business. Let’s come down to the significant part.

Successful e-Commerce Business

Don’t rush the start

Most of the people commit one of the biggest mistakes in the initial stage itself. It takes just a few clicks to launch the website but, do you have the content ready? By content, we mean stuff like SEO, marketing strategy, social media, paid advertising, etc. Please remember, delaying is much better than having a poor website. You can’t afford to lose customers and leave a wrong impression on them.

It’s okay to purchase the domain name and, display a message like Coming Soon rather than rushing right into it.

Be fair to your Users

If someone asks us the most prominent demerit of e-commerce, it would unquestionably be the inability to touch, sense, smell, or see the product before buying. While there’s no solution to this, you have to be fair to your customers.

Always try to offer appropriate pricing, descriptions about the product for better understanding, smooth delivery, easy-returns, user-friendly website, and so on.

Test everything

Whether you own a full-fledged business or you have just started it, don’t forget testing. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and, check out for the loopholes. Always do the A/B Testing.

Work closely with Social Media

Anyone who’s having e-commerce and is missing out on social media, they are in huge loss. Ditching ocial media isn’t a good idea. Almost the world is right now sitting on social platforms and, nothing can be more beneficial than targeting them right there.

Trust us when we say that it is the heartbeat of your business. The best part? You have ample of platforms available where you can market your business.

Make it Mobile Friendly

The gadgets are going compact every day and, understandably, the future will be more dependent on mobile phones. Hence, your website needs to be mobile friendly. If you don’t have this in your mind while building up your business, you would be washed out entirely in the next three to five years.

SEO is your best buddy

E-commerce is going to rise rapidly in the coming years which means the competition is going to intensify. All the e-commerce businesses would try to elbow each other and, you have to stay on top of your SEO to rank better. Your content is of no use when no one is reading it. Makes sense, right?

Think it of as a large business

Think big and do big! Even if your business is just a start-up, think of it as a successful one. Don’t take it as a hobby utterly because it’s not earning you millions. Think of it as a full-fledged business and plan accordingly with utmost responsibility.

Know your Target Audience

While e-commerce provides you with the benefit of targeting the audience worldwide but, you have to understand them closely. Analyse their needs, nature, shopping habits, and trends.

Make Check-out easy

Most of the people tend to leave the website if the check-out isn’t smooth. Try to keep the whole process hassle-free and time-saving for them. Else, they would abandon their cart and, go on a search for the same product on your competitor websites.

Make your customers your brand ambassadors

Who wouldn’t love to be the brand ambassador? Stay in touch with your customers and don’t just leave them. Ask for their reviews through polls and, tag them in your posts. Ask them to send in their pictures with your products and, you can showcase it on your social media handles. They would definitely feel loved.

These were a few steps and strategies that you need to consider while having an e-commerce business. Apart from this, you can always take help from a reliable digital marketing company that would be obliged to work with you. Never hesitate to take help from someone who knows better and, understands your business needs closely.

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Best DTH Provider After New Trai Mandate: Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, D2h or Sun Direct?

Highlights
  • D2h raced ahead of other providers in the migration process, but its consumers are still facing a lot of issues
  • Sun Direct, Tata Sky and Dish TV did away with additional slab NCF charges to attract more customers.

The new direction regarding the prices in the TV industry passed by Trai last year took the DTH industry by storm. All the DTH and cable service providers were rushing to migrate their subscribers to the new packs and prices. However, to the relief of the users, Trai extended the deadline for the implementation thus providing them more time to make the switch. This migration process also revealed a lot of loopholes in the system and the subscribers got a chance to do a reality check about their DTH service providers. While some subscribers complained about channels being missing, others were troubled by crashing websites. It is pretty evident that a lot of subscribers might also change their service provider in the same period. In case you are in a similar situation and wondering what each of the DTH providers is offering, here is our quick take.

Tata Sky

Tata Sky is easily one of the biggest DTH service provider in the country. After the Trai mandate though, the operator was slow to list the new channel packs and pricing. However, it is safe to say that Tata Sky has done a commendable job of introducing a smooth migration process for the subscribers. After the mandate, Tata Sky has launched tons of HD and SD packs for the subscribers in regional languages as well. There are also Mini-packs in the portfolio and combined with the straightforward app and website based migration process Tata Sky has managed to stay on top of the preference list of a lot of subscribers. The operator also remains ahead of other operators by boasting as many as 65 exclusive channels.

D2h

Notably, D2h was the first operator to respond after the Trai mandate came out back in October. The operator was also quick to start the migration process ahead of others and hoped for subscriber addition to its existing base in the interim. Later the operator introduced many combo plans and topped them up with add-on packs in SD and HD and many packs in regional languages as well. Recently, D2h has also put out information about additional connections as well, noting that subscribers can avail them by only paying Rs 50 as flat NCF.

However, D2h subscribers have faced and are still facing a lot of issues related to various channels. In fact, most of the consumers are still not able to reach the company’s toll-free number for clarifying their doubts.

Dish TV is also offering similar combo packs to the consumers since it’s the one who operates D2h.

Airtel Digital TV

Bharti Airtel’s DTH wing also boasts of an impressive subscriber base of more than 15 million in the country. The operator, after the Trai mandate, introduced many channel packs for its subscribers. To ease up the process in a better way, Airtel Digital TV also made it possible for the subscribers to select their new channels via the Set-Top Box only. The operator also launched lots of regional channel packs, but as of late Trai has put Airtel Digital TV in crosshair after some subscribers of Airtel Digital lodged their grievance about missing channels and black screens although the problem was quickly resolved soon after.

Sun Direct

Sun Direct is a prominent DTH provider in the south, and it is safe to say that although the provider does not boast of a widespread network in the North, it has established a solid stronghold in South India. Further, the move of completely doing away with additional slab NCF charges made Sun Direct an attractive choice for a lot of subscribers. Following in the lines of other DTH providers, Sun Direct has launched new channel packs, regional channel and add-on packs in HD, SD.

Verdict

After weeks of noticing the happenings in the DTH industry, we have noted that in terms of the number of channels and number of channel packs, ease of migration and customer service Tata Sky is the DTH provider which has managed to satisfy the subscribers to a large extent. The provider had also launched a similar offer as Sun Direct by doing away with NCF on select channels. With that being said, it is also worth noting that as the days pass DTH providers are easing into the migration process, and the move to the new Trai plans along with the customer service can be expected to improve for all DTH companies in the coming weeks. Do let us know what you experienced with your DTH provider in the comments section below.

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Finding the Right B2C E-Commerce Suite for Your Business

By John P. Mello Jr.
Feb 16, 2019 5:00 AM PT

This story was originally published on the E-Commerce Times on Nov. 27, 2018, and is brought to you today as part of our Best of ECT News series.

Digital transformation has become a prime focus for retailers these days. In order to grow, brick-and-mortar stores realize they must use their digital touchpoints to enhance their customers’ in-store experiences.

Online retailers recognize they need to separate themselves from the pack through faster and more informative shopping experiences. And omnichannel sellers and brands are aware they need to provide their customers with a seamless, cross-channel experience.

To meet the exigencies of digital transformation, retailers have been turning to business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce suites to automate their merchandising, streamline operations, and boost the impact of their business teams on the experience of their customers.

However, choosing such a platform can be difficult.

“It’s a very competitive space. Differentiation is challenging,” said Thad Peterson, a senior analyst with the Aite Group, a global research and advisory firm based in Boston.

“It’s a maturing market, but some aspects of it are growing faster than the market as a whole,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “The home mobile side is growing more quickly — and in the developing world, it’s growing much, much more quickly.”

Level of Involvement

How much the business should be involved in the technical implementation and operation of the platform is one of the first questions a commerce platform shopper should consider, Gartner analyst Mike Lowndes suggested in a research note on digital commerce platform architecture. Gartner, a research and advisory company, is based in Stamford, Connecticut.

“If the business will be less involved, then a more packaged or single-vendor solution may be appropriate,” he wrote. “However, if IT organizations are to be involved in more than governance, leaders need to understand the high-level approaches available to make the best decision for the business.”

When examining a new digital commerce venture or replacing a legacy platform, organizations often search first for a digital commerce platform vendor before considering the impact of the vendor’s product architecture on their business and future needs, Lowndes wrote.

“Alternatively, this decision is placed in the hands of a development partner or system integrator on behalf of the business,” he added, “sometimes with unforeseen consequences to flexibility, future-proofing and fit for purpose.”

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

When shopping for a B2C e-commerce suite, the size of the purchaser is an important consideration.

“If you’re a sophisticated e-commerce provider with an IT group that does a lot of your Web development, then you don’t need a turnkey solution. You just need good cloud-based functionality and a good, secure platform that’s flexible so you can do what you need to do,” Aite Group’s Peterson explained.

“If you’re a small organization, you may need Web services, Web design and a lot of other things,” he continued. “If you’re smaller, you’re ceding more control to the provider. If you’re larger, you’re keeping more control to yourself.”

A recent Forrester Wave report on B2C commerce suites notes, for example, that SAP Commerce Cloud is a suite suitable only for organizations with deep technical skills or a strong partnership with a system integrator.

“SAP commerce cloud is a best ft for companies looking for an industrial-strength full-function commerce platform in wide use across several industry verticals,” the report points out.

IBM’s Watson Commerce is another suite that requires technical chops to deploy, and IBM is also in the process of modernizing the solution’s architecture.

“IBM is a good fit for large enterprises with the budget, resources, and willingness to bet on the company’s ability to execute on its modern platform vision. Less mature organizations will likely find this suite too cumbersome,” Forrester concludes.

Important Considerations

At the start of the shopping process for a B2C suite, an organization has to evaluate what it sells. Is my product complex or is it simple?

“There are solutions that are better for selling simple products than complex products,” said Gartner Vice President Penny Gillespie.

Where a product is being sold is another important consideration.

“Some platforms do better selling locally and regionally than globally,” Gillespie told the E-Commerce Times.

For example, in Forrester’s report notes that Digital River’s commerce suite is a good fit for companies looking to expand globally and to outsource the transactional overhead of doing business internationally.

Forrester offers three general recommendations when shopping for a B2C suite:

  1. Make sure the suite contains the core set of features that drive a customer’s online experience — including search, personalization and promotions, and the analytics to tie those three elements together. The ability to target content and products with consumer incentives across the consumer’s shopping journey is essential to giving the consumer a differentiated shopping experience.
  2. Make sure the suite is agile enough to give business users the tools they need to rapidly change content. Business users need a 360-degree view of their customers, along with a promotions and campaign engine they can control, so they can attract customers and induce them to make purchases.
  3. Make sure the suite incorporates operational efficiencies that reduce costs and provide an upgrade process that requires little regression testing and no recoding. A containerized approach to upgrades that manages versions and automates scaling is critical to simplifying the upgrade cycle, as is the use of an abstracted API layer to isolate the commerce runtime from store customizations.

To Transform or to Optimize?

When purchasing a B2C suite, a buyer should understand the difference between a solution that’s going to optimize an organization’s performance and one that can transform it. A transformational solution is one prepared to deal with the future of e-commerce.

Just a scant six years ago, optimization was the driving force behind digital commerce investments, but that isn’t the case anymore, Gartner research shows.

“In 2012, customers were investing in digital commerce for cost savings. In 2017, it was about transformation and delivering great customer experiences,” Gillespie said.

“When I think about delivering a great customer experience, I think about delivering a personalized customer experience,” she continued. “And when I think about delivering a personalized customer experience, I think of content being relevant, my process being easy and seamless, and content that resonates with me.”

One characteristic of transformation is putting commerce in context. For example, the app for a furniture store will be able to show a consumer how a piece of furniture will look in a home, or a clothing store app will display how an item will look on the consumer.

Another characteristic is shifting from being reactive to a consumer’s wants to being proactive or anticipatory of them.

“Today, 99.99 percent of all transactions are initiated by customers,” Gillespie explained. “In the future, we’re going to see more and more transactions by merchants or suppliers based on what they know about the customer.”

Draw a Road Map

Commerce platform shoppers should create a road map for digital commerce and manage technologies based on the digital commerce technology ecosystem, Gillespie recommends.

“This will lead to a complete digital commerce solution, maximizing the value of both the commerce platform and the corresponding digital commerce ecosystem applications,” she said. “Organizations underestimate the requirements of a digital commerce solution. As a result, they deploy incomplete solutions that impede their journey to success.”

It’s important to scrutinize an IT vendor’s digital commerce platforms to ensure they match the road map and requirements, Gillespie advised, and to identify requirements delivered natively. “This can reduce unplanned spending on additional technology and lower integration costs.”

Develop a Short List

Commerce suites need to provide customers with more than just access to a company’s goods, observed Hayward, California-based Charles King, a principal analyst with Pund-IT, a technology advisory firm.

“It also needs to highlight and reinforce a company’s brand and go-to-market strategy,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“Customization, search, personalization and support for company promotions are all critical parts of that process,” King added. “I’d also add that mobile transaction support and optimization is a critical issue for many, if not most, retailers — especially those in consumer markets.”

After performing its initial analysis, suite shoppers will need to create short list of prospects. When making that list, “first and foremost, invest time and effort in determining what your own organization hopes to accomplish with online commerce, along with developing realistic budgets and timelines,” King recommended.

“Then take a long and close look at primary vendors, along with whatever strategic partners — banks, hosted service providers, designers and such — are working behind the scenes,” he continued. “That includes examining a vendor’s existing sites, and arranging discussions with those customers.”

If a suite shopper operates in a particular industry, platform providers that focus on that industry should be good candidates for a short list of finalists.

“You need to understand your vertical,” said Aite Group’s Peterson, “and identify players with expertise in that vertical, so you don’t have to explain to them what you’re doing or adapt their technology to what you’re doing.”

Keep Your Eyes on the Target

As a shopper works down the list of candidates for a suite deployment, sales pitches can start to fog the shopper’s focus, but it’s crucial to keep what needs to be accomplished front and center, King advised.

However, “companies also need to determine how flexible or willing to compromise they can be on specific points,” he added.

“Realistically, it will be difficult to find a commerce vendor that’s a perfect 100 percent fit for your situation,” King continued, “but considering and remaining focused on your organization’s core requirements will go a long way to determining which B2C partners are worthy of serious consideration.”


John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reporter
since 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, the
Boston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and Government
Security News
. Email John.

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GTPL Hathway Added 11,000 Broadband Subscribers During Q3 FY19

Highlights
  • In broadband, the company added 350,000 Home Passes in the third quarter
  • The expenses of the company went up by 4% and were pegged at Rs 236.6 crore

GTPL Hathway has released its Q3 FY19 earnings report. The cable and broadband service provider revealed that its consolidated EBITDA for the quarter ending on December 31 has declined by 8% to Rs 83.3 crore against Rs 90.2 crore in the trailing quarter. The company’s margins also took a dip as they fell by 2.4% down to 26% from the previous quarter’s 28.4%. The net profit of the company, however, saw a rise by 17% QoQ (Quarter on Quarter) and it stood at Rs 19.7 crore instead of the previous Rs 16.8 crore. The consolidated revenue of the company, was however pretty stagnant as it only saw an increase of 1% and rested at Rs 319.9 crore as opposed to the previous Rs 317.4 crore. Cable TV subscriptions for Hathway also grew at the same rate and reached Rs 179.8 crore. Broadband and Placement revenue both went up by 1% and rested at 36.2 crore and Rs 71.2 crore respectively.

Rise in Pay Channel Costs for GTPL Hathway

Talking about the expenditure, the company highlighted that the expenses went up by 4% and were pegged at Rs 236.6 crore. Pay channel cost also went up in the same ratio, and it came out to be Rs 137.7 crore. The standalone profit of the company increased by 33% to Rs 13.5 crore. EBITDA also dropped by 6% stood at Rs 53.7 crore. The revenue was stagnant, and it stood at Rs 208 crore as against 205.2 crores. Expenditure also rose by 4%, and it rested at Rs 154.2 crore.

It is worth noting that in the given period, i.e. the third quarter of the FY, GTPL sold 300,000 set-top boxes (STBs) thus marking the total number of seeded STBs at 9.50 million. The subscriber addition reported by GTPL was 200,000 Active STB subscribers during the said period, making the active STB subscriber count touch eight million. The company has also added 170,000 digital paying subscribers during the quarter thus pegging the total digitally paying subscriber count to 7.45 million. In broadband, the company added 350,000 Home Passes in the third quarter thus pushing the total count of home passes to 2.15 million. Approximately 11,000 broadband subscribers came onboard with GTPL during Q3. The ARPU for broadband subscribers was Rs 430.

GTPL MD Expecting for Better Transparency After New Trai Order

GTPL Hathway MD Anirudhasinhji Jadeja said about the performance of the company, “In an environment of uncertainty, GTPL Hathway has continued to post steady performance. Our first 9-month revenue and PAT are up by 14% and 10% respectively; reflecting the inherent strength of the company’s offerings and quality customer service. The new tariff order has put customers at the centre of the business; providing them with the freedom to make their own choices. As India’s one of the leading MSOs, we expect higher monetisation across the phases and better transparency as a direct fall out of the new order.”

It is also worth noting that during the third quarter, GTPL was announced as the Project Implementation Agency (PIA) of Package B for implementation of BharatNet Phase – II, a project in the state of Gujarat by Gujarat Fibre Grid Network Limited (GFGNL). As part of this work, GTPL will connect 3,767 GPs (Gram Panchayat, Package B, Saurashtra region) by means of end-to-end Optic Fibre Cable and digital infrastructure at Centralised network operations centre of Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

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BSNL Revises Rs 98 Prepaid Plan, Now Offers 2GB Daily Data and Eros Now Subscription

Highlights
  • Alongside increasing the daily data benefit, BSNL reduced the validity of Rs 98 plan by two days
  • BSNL now has four plans that come with free Eros Now subscription

After reducing the validity of two voice-only prepaid plans of Rs 99 and Rs 319, BSNL has now revised its Rs 98 data-only prepaid STV which is valid across the country. Well, this revision has both good and bad moves from BSNL as the telco has increased the data benefit, and at the same time reduced the validity of the plan by two days. Furthermore, the Rs 98 Data STV now comes with Eros Now subscription for 28 days. For the unaware, BSNL partnered with Eros Now to offer free content with some of its prepaid plans. At the moment, the telco is providing Eros Now subscription with only the newly launched Rs 78 prepaid plan, and now, it has added the Rs 98 plan to the list. Additionally, BSNL’s other prepaid plans of Rs 333 and Rs 444 also come with Eros Now subscription.

BSNL Rs 98 Prepaid Plan Receives a Revision: What it Offers?

To recall, BSNL used to offer 1.5GB data per day for 26 days with the Rs 98 prepaid plan. However, after the revision, the plan comes with 2GB daily data benefit, and once the FUP limit completes, data speeds will be reduced to 80 Kbps. Earlier, the plan did not offer any after FUP data, so it’s a welcome move by BSNL. Sadly, BSNL has reduced the validity of the prepaid plan by two days and it now offers benefits for 24 days from the date of recharge.

Lastly, the plan now ships with free Eros Now subscription for the validity period. To make use of the subscription, you’ll have to head over to Eros Now app and login with your BSNL prepaid plan which is recharged with the Rs 98 plan.

BSNL Prepaid STVs of Rs 333 and Rs 444 Now Offer Eros Now Membership

Alongside revising the Rs 98 data-only STV, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited also added Eros Now benefit to the Rs 333 and Rs 444 prepaid plans. These two plans are available for a long time, but now, they ship with Eros Now subscription for the validity period. The Rs 333 Prepaid STV which is also known as BSNL Triple ACE plan offers unlimited voice calling, 3GB data per day and Eros Now membership for 45 days. On the flip side, the Rs 444 or BSNL Chaukka plan provides unlimited voice calling, 4GB data per day and Eros Now subscription for 60 days from the date of recharge.

Except for the addition of Eros Now membership, BSNL did not make any changes to the benefits of both the plans. These new changes from BSNL are already valid across the 20 telecom circles where the telco has its services.

BSNL Revises Rs 99 and Rs 319 Voice-Only Prepaid Plans

In recent times, BSNL has made a habit of reducing the validity of its popular prepaid plans. Earlier this month, it reduced the validity of Rs 99 and Rs 319 voice-only prepaid plans which disappointed many users out there. Both the Rs 99 and Rs 319 plans offer unlimited voice calling benefit to any network across the country. They now come with a validity of 24 and 84 days respectively. Earlier, BSNL offered the same plans with 26 and 90 days validity.

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Tata Sky Regional Offerings Get a Boost With 13 New HD Add-On and Mini Packs

Highlights
  • The Tata Sky add-on packs start at the price of Rs 7
  • In other news, Trai has extended the deadline for tariff implementation to March 31

Tata Sky, the prominent DTH provider has introduced a new stream of HD add-on packs thus lengthening its list with more add-on packs in its portfolio. Notably, the add-on packs listed on their website start at the price of Rs 5. Tata Sky is calling these new plans as mini-packs, and previously there were a total of 21 SD and HD add-on packs present on the Tata Sky website. On Friday this week, Tata Sky introduced 13 new Mini packs thus furthering its list. However, subscribers should note that some of the add-on packs and further, the difference between the SD and HD packs might be a little bit confusing. For example, there is a Cricket Hindi HD pack priced at Rs 42 and a standard Cricket Hindi pack which also costs Rs 42. Thus it is imperative to take care while selecting the channels as the list grows on.

Tata Sky New HD Add-On Packs Across Regional Languages

Unlike its other add-on pack releases, where Tata Sky launched a mixture of HD and SD Mini packs, this time Tata Sky merely has introduced 13 new add-on HD packs. Now, another thing to note is that none of the channels in the newly introduced list are in the lower price range and they are priced anywhere from around Rs 60 to Rs 200 and above. These new add-on packs include the Tamil Regional HD pack for Rs 164, Tamil Mini HD Pack for Rs 81, Telugu Regional and Mini HD pack for Rs 216 and Rs 90 respectively. Similarly, these packs are available in the Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali and they all come in the pair of full Regional HD pack or Mini HD pack. In addition to all these regional language add-on plans, there is also a new English Movies HD Mini pack of Rs 162 which ships 12 channels.

In its previous launch of the add-on packs, Tata Sky had introduced Mini packs across other genres as well. These packs include the Cricket Hindi HD (Rs 42), Cricket English HD (Rs 44), Music HD (Rs 11), Knowledge and Lifestyle Mini HD (Rs 53), Knowledge and Lifestyle HD (Rs 83), English Entertainment HD (Rs 87), English Movies Mini HD (Rs 76), Kids Mini HD (Rs 45) and Kids HD (Rs 53). Some of the other SD mini packs by Tata Sky include Hindi News (Rs 5), Cricket Hindi (Rs 42), Cricket English (Rs 44), Music (Rs 7), Knowledge & Lifestyle Mini (Rs 21), Knowledge & Lifestyle (Rs 34), English News (Rs 23).

Trai Extends Deadline for New Tariff Implementation

In a related development, Trai has introduced a new extension to its tariff implementation deadline announcing that subscribers who have not yet chosen their channel packs can do so before March 31. Previously, the date of implementation was February 1, 2019. This extension gives more time to the subscribers to select their channels and also to the DTH operators and cable operators to help subscribers migrate to the new Trai based plans.

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Even years later, Twitter doesn’t delete your direct messages

When does “delete” really mean delete? Not always, or even at all, if you’re Twitter.

Twitter retains direct messages for years, including messages you and others have deleted, but also data sent to and from accounts that have been deactivated and suspended, according to security researcher Karan Saini.

Saini found years-old messages in a file from an archive of his data obtained through the website from accounts that were no longer on Twitter. He also reported a similar bug, found a year earlier but not disclosed until now, that allowed him to use a since-deprecated API to retrieve direct messages even after a message was deleted from both the sender and the recipient — though, the bug wasn’t able to retrieve messages from suspended accounts.

Saini told TechCrunch that he had “concerns” that the data was retained by Twitter for so long.

Direct messages once let users “unsend” messages from someone else’s inbox, simply by deleting it from their own. Twitter changed this years ago, and now only allows a user to delete messages from their account. “Others in the conversation will still be able to see direct messages or conversations that you have deleted,” Twitter says in a help page. Twitter also says in its privacy policy that anyone wanting to leave the service can have their account “deactivated and then deleted.” After a 30-day grace period, the account disappears, along with its data.

But, in our tests, we could recover direct messages from years ago — including old messages that had since been lost to suspended or deleted accounts. By downloading your account’s data, it’s possible to download all of the data Twitter stores on you.

A conversation, dated March 2016, with a suspended Twitter account was still retrievable today (Image: TechCrunch)

Saini says this is a “functional bug” rather than a security flaw, but argued that the bug allows anyone a “clear bypass” of Twitter mechanisms to prevent accessed to suspended or deactivated accounts.

But it’s also a privacy matter, and a reminder that “delete” doesn’t mean delete — especially with your direct messages. That can open up users, particularly high-risk accounts like journalist and activists, to government data demands that call for data from years earlier.

That’s despite Twitter’s claim that once an account has been deactivated, there is “a very brief period in which we may be able to access account information, including tweets,” to law enforcement.

A Twitter spokesperson said the company was “looking into this further to ensure we have considered the entire scope of the issue.”

Retaining direct messages for years may put the company in a legal grey area ground amid Europe’s new data protection laws, which allows users to demand that a company deletes their data.

Neil Brown, a telecoms, tech and internet lawyer at U.K. law firm Decoded Legal, said there’s “no formality at all” to how a user can ask for their data to be deleted. Any request from a user to delete their data that’s directly communicated to the company “is a valid exercise” of a user’s rights, he said.

Companies can be fined up to four percent of their annual turnover for violating GDPR rules.

“A delete button is perhaps a different matter, as it is not obvious that ‘delete’ means the same as ‘exercise my right of erasure’,” said Brown. Given that there’s no case law yet under the new General Data Protection Regulation regime, it will be up to the courts to decide, he said.

When asked if Twitter thinks that consent to retain direct messages is withdrawn when a message or account is deleted, Twitter’s spokesperson had “nothing further” to add.

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Ways in which Technology has Revolutionized Water Treatment Solutions

Having water that is clean is essential for life. However, the level of such water is gradually decreasing as time goes on. The growth of global population combined with the changes in climate is threatening to reduce clean water that is drinkable. People are in utmost need of a revolution which technologies are trying to provide. New ideas are being implemented to ensure that pure water is made available in more amounts to the public.

The way ahead

In order to address the challenge of making clean and safe drinking water available for people, organizations are looking forward to methods of increasing productivity, enhancing customer satisfaction and optimizing costs. Several technology companies have started innovating ideas for receiving, monitoring and utilizing the water sources. With the help of fresh advanced technologies, you can recycle, trace, store and apply water to more inventive and renewable sources.

water treatment

How has technology revolutionized water treatment solutions?

Here are four ways by which technology is revolutionizing water treatment systems:

  1. Slingshot: The systems of water purification have seen advancements of great kind over all the years. Among those is the Slingshot. The device is known to have Stirling engine which powers it. It is powered by a fuel source which is combustible. Any water source can be converted into safe water for drinking using the Slingshot. Distillation by vapour compression is employed in the device, making it easier for the treatment of seawater, sewage or even the chemical waste. It can also run on dung of cow as the main fuel source and has no requirement of any filters. Water of around 250000 liters can be produced by the Slingshot every year which makes it a practical water source for several people.
  2. Filter for fine particle: The device with filter for fine particle can be used for processing wide varieties of water which have high solid counts in them. It provides an efficient means for the treatment of wastewater in most of the industries like the beverage and food industry, along with the textile and laundry industry. You can filter the water in a way which can make it reusable in the industry of paper and pulp or can also be utilized for the treatment of industrial wastewater.
  3. Aquavus technology: Aquavus technology has been introduced which uses the system to purify and desalinate the ocean water by the use of ultrasound waves. One single unit of the system can be utilized to treat water of around 800 gallons each day. The technology uses powerful ultrasound to explode certain particles in the water that are of a size lesser than that of ten microns. Due to the explosion, the particles get evaporated, that results in pure water production. It is a quite fast method and may be used for collecting water from oceans to make them clean enough to use by the human beings.
  4. Water pollutants to be eaten by micro-organisms: As companies continuously look for ways to treat waste water so that they can be utilized by everyone, using technology, the all new system of Euglena BioFiltration was introduced. It uses Euglena for cleaning waste water. The ability of Euglena of absorbing the pollutants in water like phosphates and lead, which prove harmful to bodies of humans, is used to its best extent. The same method is used by the system. Algae is introduced into the water and it is deceived into absorbing heavy metals, minerals and pollutants from the environment surrounding it. Then, the biomass of euglena from the respective system is used for creating fertilizer food and biofuel.

Benefits of revolutionizing technology

Owing to the advanced technologies, the course of change has begun already. Here is how:

  1. Start-ups tackling water issues: People have started becoming interested in technologies over the increasing concern of water shortage, warming climate and droughts. Such innovations are encouraged and organized in the industry in order to raise much awareness about such threatening issues. Start-ups are creating efficient, cheap filters along with purifiers for tackling troubles of water.
  2. Water purification using nanotechnology: Cheap systems of filtration have been made before, but nanotechnology had the capability of removing chemical components such as arsenic and lead from water. It has many levels to block the contaminants. The trapping ions given out by nanoparticles constitutes its chemical filter.
  3. Controllers of irrigation: Irrigation controllers work with wireless communication and systems of automatic sprinkling. They provide solutions regarding irrigation for developers, businesses, homes and builders. The information is sent to the connected controller wirelessly. Watering schedules are made to match the water needs of plants by using landscaping conditions and local weather in order to figure the amount of water necessary.
  4. Desalination: The technology of desalination is becoming increasingly efficient. It has also become more important due to the growing security issues of water. Several arid places have moved towards desalination of ocean water for water source. The previous technology was judged critically due to the costs it ensued along with endangerment to the aquatic life. Around 15 projects already have been talked about.
  5. High-technology filtration: Scientists are getting creative with the methods of filtration and water purification to secure the future of this planet’s water. New ways are being invented to convert different items into water that may be used for various purposes. The technology has a digester which is anaerobic. It takes waste to produce energy, which is combined with the system of reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, for creating water by-product. The so created water can also be used to feedback the livestock as drinkable water due to its high filtration.

Water is deemed to be the ultimate life elixir. Apart from being essential to the public health, agricultural and energy production also depends highly on pure water. It has become critical to go about reaching a solution in economical ways through technology. Many different approaches have also come into light as the dreadful results of the lack of water come into the picture. The upcoming technologies are being implied and tested to fulfill the hour’s need by revolutionizing water treatment solutions.

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