Truecaller has announced that it will be launching Truecaller Ads Manager, a self-serving platform for its ads, and soon be enabling advertisers to launch six-second videos on its platform.

Truecaller Ads Manager will open its unique ad inventory to small and medium businesses. The platform will enable small and medium sized businesses to manage their ad campaigns running on Truecaller’s ad platform proactively, enabling scale to reach a larger audience in a personalized manner.

As video consumption drives mobile usage in India, the move will allow marketers and advertisers to achieve top-of-the mind recall and increased brand awareness. The six-second video ads will further help them drive purchase intent and deliver contextually relevant messages to their audiences.

Truecaller Ads has grown as a platform with over 300 per cent the past 12-months, and has recorded 200 million impressions on its ads, in India alone. Following this growth, the move further strengthens Truecaller’s commitment towards inherently engaging their users with their partners.

Commenting on the launch, Ted Nelson, Chief Commercial Officer, Truecaller said

We are excited to launch Truecaller Ads Manager as it will give small & medium sized businesses an easy way to utilize our unique ad platform. With this launch, we aim to fast track programmatic advertising in India. Also, with the consumption of video content across entertainment and media soaring in India, this is a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their brand to their consumers by leveraging video content to reach their audiences.

Having launched many updates earlier this year, Truecaller is expanding its frontiers to add more value to the lives of its customers and partners.

Kruzr, positioned as the world’s first technology powered smart driving assistant launches their operations in the United States and United Kingdom, to address the problem of increasing number of deaths and accidents resulting from mobile phone usage while driving. Kruzr, a startup promoted by co-founders Pallav Singh and Dinesh Fatehpuria was conceptualized and designed on the principle of ‘safety first’ when it comes to driving.

The launch comes after several months of ground research and development to understand and address the requirements of the region. Following the success of their launch in India, the founders have decided to tap these markets considering the immense potential where the per capita adoption of cars is extremely high.

The smart app that leverages multiple technologies including pattern recognition, machine learning, natural language processing etc activates when one starts driving. The app then automatically manages incoming calls and messages to the owner [driver] with the personalized bot interacting and alerting inbound callers that one is driving at the moment and hence can leave a message for deferred attention.

Pallav Singh, Cofounder, Kruzr added

The per capita adoption of cars in the United States alone averages close to 800 as opposed to India which is around 167. This large adoption coupled with the heightened awareness of driving safety in these markets provides ample opportunity for a product like Kruzr. Team Kruzr have also taken into account the high speeds in which cars are driven in the West, increasing the probability of accidents and collateral damage.

[L-R] Pallav Singh, Co-Founder& CEO, Dinesh-Fatehpuria, Co-Founder& CTO – Kruzr

According to a recent report in the US with regards to driving and accidents:

  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
  • Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
  • 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
  • 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.

How Kruzr works

Kruzr is a free mobile app, which can be downloaded by anyone on to their smart phones. It is the ideal driving assistant, always with you and protecting you on every trip short or long. Kruzr has been meticulously designed and requires zero effort from drivers. Once it is set up, Kruzr runs in the background and kicks in when driving is detected. It detects driving within 30 seconds and activates automatically. The smart app then handles all calls and messages and only allows the important communication to filter through. Only those calls that pass the ‘Extremely Important’ muster will reach and alert the driver immediately.

On receiving an important call, the driver is advised to slow down and park the car to be safe. Important message notifications are buzzed and displayed only when one stops, like at a signal. In this scenario, reading and replying to even important messages becomes totally safe and harmless even during a trip.

A light and easy to use application, Kruzr helps cut down distractions by more than 95%, thereby reducing road accidents and fatalities as a direct fall out. Currently the app is free for everyone to download and use.

Kruzr : Enhancements in future releases

The Kruzr team is also currently working on developing other new age technologies to further enhance the capabilities of mobile devices with an aim to ensure better safety on roads. These include complete voice interface and automatic crash detection. Voice interface will ensure that the driver never needs to look at the phone or take his hands off the steering wheel to get anything done on the phone. With automatic crash detection, the app will automatically detect accidents and we will ensure medical help reaches the accident site ASAP.

Kruzr for Android can be downloaded from here, iOS version is coming soon…

Building upon its core proposition of being a complete communication platform, Truecaller will be rolling out two new features – Number Scanner and Fast Track numbers with its upcoming Android release 8.45 in the coming week.

  • Number Scanner – Now you will be able to use the Truecaller app to scan a number directly from business cards, websites, street signs, shop fronts or anywhere you need to quickly lookup a number or store it to your contacts. This will enable users to have the proper resources to receive relevant information quickly, digitally and in their surrounding physical environment.
  • Scan & Pay – Users in India will also be able to scan a number and pay directly using Truecaller Pay – this is a more convenient way of making quick payments as opposed to scanning QR codes. You could be out­ for lunch with a friend, in a store, or even looking to pay bills – this will be beneficial to our users who are always on the go and lessens the need to carry cash or cards.
  • You can now send or request money, recharge, or even Flash Message any contact from your native phone book.

Truecaller has also launched Fast Track numbers, a service which integrates toll-free numbers for emergency services like police, fire, medical care, women’s helpline, roadside assistance, as well as essential categories like banks, couriers, airlines, railways, and insurance, all integrated directly into the app, accessible by the user without an internet connection.

These also include extremely useful ‘Bank Balance Check’ numbers that enable a user to check their bank balance via a return SMS from their respective bank via a missed call service. Located in the search bar, the in-built contacts will help users make phone calls at critical moments with a single tap.

Commenting on the feature set expansion, Narayan Babu, Director of Product & Engineering at Truecaller said

As a product made by the community and for the community, our commitment to our users is to constantly add features that enable them to stay ahead of the curve. These new features make Truecaller even more relevant in the real world.  When you see an important phone number, you can directly pull it into your phone with Truecaller and use it, in seconds, to connect or make a payment. Also, during critical moments you can reach out to the right company, person or service with a single tap with Fast track numbers.

*Currently, Fast Track numbers will only be available in India.

With the festive season all set to begin, Intex Technologies, in its continued efforts to provide consumers additional features and convenience, has partnered with Times Internet Limited [TIL] for Databack offers. Adding to its varied range of Digital Services, Intex with this tie-up further strengthens its portfolio to enhance user experience.

With Intex Databack services, one can save 2G, 3G and 4G mobile data that is spent using apps and is given back to users, which allows them to save up to 500 MB mobile data every month.

Other additional features that the partnership offers are Spin & Win 3G/4G where users can win up to 50 MB of data as a daily bonus from Spin the wheel. Along with this, Data Monitor provides users a way to tap which app uses the maximum data and track their usage of each app on a real-time basis. This enables users to assess their data requirements more aptly. Additionally, another feature, namely Data Saver saves up to 20% of mobile data every day for users and ensures that they never run of data.

Databack service is available offline as well and users don’t need to have internet connection to monitor data consumption. All saved data can be redeemed as data recharge by users. As a promotional offer, users can also avail 50 MB mobile data for every contact who joins on their invitation.

Commenting on the partnership, Nitin Goel, Head of Digital Services, Intex Technologies said

Intex and Times Internet have been partners for some time and this latest tie-up on Databack Services has further strengthened our combined efforts towards digital services. For the tech savvy youth, Databack services will prove to be an accelerator in enjoying data services in addition to the already available Value Added Services to consumers. We have always been committed to focusing on enhancing consumer experience for smart phones through constantly working on strengthening our digital services ecosystem.

Commenting on the partnership, Sahil Deswal, Head of Growth & Marketing, TOI [Digital] said

We are pleased to further strengthen our partnership with Intex. Indians today browse, share, like and love to live online. We at Times Internet are leading this digital wave and are the ones who inform [news that matters by NewsPoint], entertain [streaming music from Gaana] and enable [getting stuff done and saving with Haptik & Databack] young India to do more with their smartphones. Our products are where India signs in every day.

Kumar Apurva – Founder, Databack said

Databack is the leading app to ‘track, monitor and save mobile data.’ The Intex and Times Internet partnership will now allow Intex users to track their data usage live – a feature that no other phone has, and enable Intex users to get data refunds when they use mobile internet on their phones through Databack, to make their data packs last longer.

Intex’s association with Times Internet covers a wide variety of services that cater to various consumer needs on content, entertainment, utility and it is due to this synergy that the two giants in their respective fields have come together for collaboration on wide range of services like:

NewsPoint – It is the preferred news app for over 1 crore Indians. With 15 language options to choose from and hundreds of trusted content sources, it covers the length and breadth of the nation across national, regional and local news, entertainment, sports etc.

Haptik – It is integrating its chat commerce services into the Intex LFTY platform. Intex users will now be able to book flights, cabs, pay bills and a lot straighter from the minus-1 screen without downloading any other app.

Gaana – India’s No. 1 music streaming service with more than 35 million monthly active users and offers a repertoire of more than 30 million songs across 21 languages including Hindi, English and regional languages.

Truecaller announced that the company has reached a new milestone as a mobile in-app publisher, achieving a record 200 million impressions in a single day.

The daily impression rate on Truecaller’s in-app advertising platform has grown by over 300% in the past year. The monumental traction is a product of Truecaller’s innovation as a one-stop solution for communication, payments, and now, brand engagement. Real estate on Truecaller has appreciated to the extent that over 70% of existing advertisers have decided to continue to invest in Truecaller’s mobile advertising inventory. Truecaller’s direct-to-consumer connect has attracted new interest of brands across the spectrum of FMCG, consumer electronics, and automobiles from brands like Mondel?z, Samsung, Himalaya and Maruti among many more.

Commenting on the milestone achievement, Tejinder Gill, VP Sales & Head of India Operations at Truecaller, said

This is a fantastic milestone for Truecaller, and this shows that the mobile ad eco-system has an incredible potential in India. At Truecaller, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to add value to the lives of not only our customers, but our partners’ as well. With Patanjali, we saw a cult favorite brand that has witnessed unprecedented growth by offering a differentiated product –  much like ourselves, so the partnership has worked brilliantly. As we approach the all-year high of customer engagement with the festive season in India, we foresee many more upcoming collaborations with brands across categories.

Patanjali, India’s homegrown leader in Ayurveda, leveraged Truecaller in a one-day app inventory takeover, resulting in a new benchmark for both Patanjali and Truecaller.

Commenting on this milestone, Santosh Kumar, Co-founder & CEO MangoData, Patanjali’s digital agency, said

What began as crafting an innovative campaign for Patanjali has surpassed our expectations in terms of both impressions delivered, which were upwards of 200 million and click-based engagement of over 430,000 in a single day. Leveraging the strong association customers have with Truecaller and supported by a 100% share of voice on the platform, has helped us target the right customer with the right offering and narrative from our portfolio.

 

Strengthening its endeavour to foster a one-stop communication platform, Truecaller announced the introduction of the Request Money feature as a part of Truecaller Pay.

The new feature, rolled out last week, saves users from awkward situations of asking for money from someone.  With this feature, users can send a direct payment request to a fellow Truecaller user, via Android notifications. The receiver of the request can just click the notification and make payments after entering their registered MPIN in the app when prompted.

Truecaller users can also create shareable payment links which can be sent via SMS, email, instant messaging platforms or can even post it on a website to receive payments. When clicked, the link would directly open the Truecaller app where the receiver can complete the payment. This makes it extremely useful for small businesses to make transactions and payments simple, secure and direct to bank using just a mobile phone and the Truecaller app.

Truecaller Pay, which was launched earlier this year, lets users create their unique Virtual Payment Address [VPA] in the Truecaller app, and can instantly send or receive money direct to bank account using any Unified Payments Interface [UPI] supported bank. With the addition of these features to its ever-expanding portfolio, Truecaller aims to deliver seamless communication experience to it users.

Have you tried out Truecaller Pay, please leave your experience in the comments section…

Expanding its feature set, Truecaller has announced its integration with Google Duo, allowing users to make video calls directly through the Truecaller app on Android and iOS platforms.

The new feature will now make high quality video calling available to its 250 million plus users globally. This update enables users to launch a Duo video call with a single tap within the Truecaller app, and switches between WiFi and cellular data for uninterrupted conversation on-the-go. Truecaller integration with Google Duo is available for Android and iOS users as a permission-based service, by which users will be able to opt in and out at any time. Google Duo has also been rated as the highest quality video calling app recently by an NDTV Gadgets 360 study.

Elaborating upon Truecaller’s end-to-end communication platform, the integration of Google Duo offers yet another way for users to connect. Following the launch of Flash Messaging in April, the Google Duo-Truecaller integration will now enable video-first users with the communication mode of their choice.

Commenting on the launch, Rishit Jhunjhunwala, VP of Product, Truecaller, said

Sometimes voice & text just aren’t enough and nothing beats the experience of communicating face to face. We’re very excited to announce the next step in delivering a one-stop communication platform for Truecaller users globally. By having a fantastic partner like Google, we can provide a high-quality video experience to millions of users using Google Duo.

Amit Fulay, Head of Duo at Google said

Video calling should work for everybody, regardless of what platform they are on. Our aim is to make video calling simple, fast, and available to everyone. With this Truecaller integration, we’re able to bring a better video calling experience to millions of new users.

 

Google India reaffirmed its commitment to help developers find success by building high quality products for India by India. In its first ever App Excellence Summit in Bengaluru, Google brought together over 700 Indian app and games developers, where the company shared tips and tools to help developers create the best quality Android apps that are locally relevant.

In addition to this, at the summit, Google also announced its ‘Made in India’ initiative. Starting now, Indian developers can apply for a chance to have apps that are specifically optimized for the Indian market showcased on the Google Play store in India in a special section. All they have to do is apply here

Addressing the summit, Purnima Kochikar, Director, Business Development, Games & Applications, Google Play said

At Google Play, we are committed to helping Indian developers of all sizes seize this opportunity and build successful, locally relevant businesses.  A lot of what we do at Google Play is support developers’ imaginations and make Android consumers aware of the amazing new experiences our developers are creating.

The majority of Indian internet users are going online primarily via their smartphones and this number is growing at a phenomenal rate. There are now more people using Android devices in India than in the US. People in India also install more than a billion apps every month from Google Play. These numbers might seem staggering already, but the number of apps installed in India has grown by 150 per cent each year. Indian consumer spend on apps and games is accelerating at a rapid pace as well, tripling in just the past year alone.

James Sanders-Regional Director, Google Play APAC
Rajan Anandan-VP SEA & India

The summit showcased Google Play success stories from local developers-many developers including HealthifymeUrbanClapRailYatri, and Dailyhunt are already building popular, locally relevant solutions through the resources, tools and support on Google Play. Attendees also got a chance to attend skill-building consultation sessions with Googlers, and visit demo booths to learn more about the latest features and products that Google has to offer the developer community. For those who were unable to attend the summit in person, but are keen to learn more, they can view the entire event at the livestream here and witness all the exciting India-specific content and announcements.

Prior to the announcements, in 2016 Google announced Build for Billions guidelines to help developers overcome challenges such as varying network connectivity, device specifications and high data costs. The build for billions playbook is a step-by-step guide for developers to learn about the features, tools, and best practices to get apps ready to meet the needs of billions of Android users in India as well as globally.