Microplastics found in 90% of bottled water Globally

More than 90 percent of bottled water is contaminated with microplastics, particle concentration ranged from zero to more than 10,000 in a single bottle.

 microplastics in 90% of bottled water

As per the recent study, analysis of 259 bottles from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands found an average of 325 plastic particles for every liter of water being sold globally.

This includes top brands like Aquafina, Evian, and Bisleri. In India, individual water bottles samples were drawn from 19 locations in Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai, and the result was shocking, a Bisleri sample reportedly contained 5,000 microplastic particles.

As per the report by Orb Media, earlier in the last year, it had found 83 percent of the tap water samples collected from across the world to be contaminated with microplastics. The biggest concern is that water purification methods do not block microplastics of nano sizes.

The research into bottled water involved buying packs from 11 different global and national brands in countries chosen for their large populations or their relatively high consumption of bottled water. These were:

Leading international brands:

  • Aquafina
  • Dasani
  • Evian
  • Nestle Pure Life
  • San Pellegrino

Leading national brands:

  • Aqua (Indonesia)
  • Bisleri (India)
  • Epura (Mexico)
  • Gerolsteiner (Germany)
  • Minalba (Brazil)
  • Wahaha (China)

Leading brands denied the charges

Leading brands have defended the safety of their bottled water saying that their own tests showed significantly less contamination than in research. “We stand by the safety of our bottled water products,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement.

PepsiCo, which manufactures Aquafina denied the charges of contamination. It said that the bottled water goes through rigorous quality-control and is a safe product also the science of microplastics and microfibres is not fully developed yet and that microplastics are found across the environment.

Nestle told its own internal testing for microplastics began more than two years ago and had not detected any “above trace level”. 

Coca-Cola said it had strict filtration methods, but acknowledged the ubiquity of plastics in the environment meant plastic fibers “may be found at minute levels even in highly treated products”.

Danone said it could not comment on the study because “the methodology used is unclear” but added that its own bottles had “food grade packaging”.

Do you think your bottle of mineral water is 100% pure?

No, not at all,  as per the research it has been found that there were several possible routes for the plastics to be entering the bottles.

# Plastic microfibres are easily airborne. Clearly, that’s occurring not just outside but inside factories. It could come in from fans or the clothing being worn as per the study.

# The presence of a carcinogenic substance in the water is a cause of concern.

# The results revealed widespread contamination with plastic debris including polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

# The research said polymer Polypropylene, used to make bottle caps, was found in most samples.

# Nylon was the second most abundant polymer in the water samples.

# Polyethylene corresponded to 10 percent of the particles analyzed.

# The research further shows that a whopping 93% of bottled water contained tiny pieces of plastic. There were 10.4 microplastic particles per liter of the bottle.

# In one bottle of Nestlé Pure Life, concentrations were as high as 10,000 plastic pieces per liter of water.

# The study found bromate levels four times the WHO limit. Bromates are considered carcinogens which can cause cancer in humans.

# Only 17 bottles out of the sample of 259 bottles didn’t contain microplastic.

# As per the BARC researchers report high levels of carcinogens were found in bottled drinking water samples in Mumbai. 90 bottles of 18 brands were tested– 27 percent contained bromates much more than the WHO limit.

What is Microplastic and what its sources and types?

# On average, plastic particles in the 100 microns (0.10mm) size range known as microplastics, were found at an average rate of 10.4 plastic particles per liter. It is not biodegradable, it just breaks down into smaller pieces of itself.

# Sources of microplastics: Synthetic clothes, paints, tire dust, bags, straws, forks. Microbeads found in toothpaste, cosmetic products.

# Types of microplastic: Polyethylene terephthalate – found in packaged water bottles, food items.

High-density Polyethylene – package milk, juice, shampoo.

Low-density Polyethylene – package bread, milk cartons.

Polyvinyl chloride – Wrapping materials for meat and sandwiches, bath toys.

Polypropylene – Yogurt, medicine containers, winter clothing.

Polystyrene – fishing industry.

How to restrain the spread of Microplastics?

# Stop using plastic bags instead use jute or paper bags.

# Buy glass instead of plastic.

# Avoid buying plastic water bottles, instead purchase reusable one.

# Use public transportation to reduce tire dust pollution.

# Wash your synthetic clothes less frequently.

How much its unsafe for your health?

Currently, there is no evidence that ingesting very small pieces of microplastics can cause harm to human health.

As per the WHO, bottled water is the only source of water for nearly 2.1 billion people worldwide as they lack access to clean tap water. 4000 children die every day from water-borne diseases.

A person who drinks a liter of bottled water a day might be consuming tens of thousands of microplastic particles each year, as per the study.

Often, microplastics or its derivatives can cross the cell barrier which, in turn, may gradually multiply to larger metabolic disorders/problems. These being endocrine disrupting substances, may show such detrimental effects too as per the scientist.   


Only by curbing the use of plastic, we can retain the spread of microplastics.

WhatsApp introduced new Block revoke request feature for curbing misuse of ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature

WhatsApp introduced new Block revoke request feature in order to stop users from exploiting the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature through modified versions of the app, which allowed some users to delete messages sent as long as three years back.

WhatsApp Block revoke request feature

WhatsApp introduced new Block revoke request feature

With the WhatsApp beta for Android 2.18.69 version, WhatsApp recently increased the time limit to delete messages for everyone to 4,096 seconds or 68 minutes and 16 seconds. The messaging platform increased the limit from 420 seconds or seven minutes as part of WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.18.69. This change was also applied to recent WhatsApp for iOS and Windows Phone updates. 

However, many Android users, through unauthorized WhatsApp versions could delete WhatsApp message as old as 3 years. But the chat app has put an end to this now. As WhatsApp has silently added another feature called Block revoke request in order to stop users from exploiting the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature.

How the feature ‘Delete for Everyone’ misused?

The reason why some of the users were able to delete 3 years old message through some tricks was because WhatsApp did not check any other important information other than the ID of the message and the revoke request. When the recipient received this particular message contained the revoke request, WhatsApp checked if the ID of the message was present in the database and directly deleted it.

How the Block revoke request feature works as a safeguard?

# WhatsApp has also silently added something else to improve the Delete for Everyone feature in a few precedent updates. In order to stop these bad users, WhatsApp has implemented a Block revoke request feature.

# This is how the safeguard feature works. When the user deletes a message for everyone, WhatsApp sends a new message to the recipient. This message has the same ID of the message that the user wants to revoke. WhatsApp then finds a message in the database having the same ID of the received revoke request and checks the date related information of the message saved in the database.

# Previously, when the recipient received this particular message contained the revoke request, the app checked if the ID of the message was present in the database, if the original message was found, WhatsApp directly deleted it without checking any other important information.

# This algorithm has been recently improved to perform the delete operation only if WhatsApp finds a message in the database having the same ID of the received revoke message request, it checks the data of the message saved in the database, performing an operation: if (current date) – (the date of the saved message) is less than 24 hours, WhatsApp can successfully delete the message.

# Adding this new operation, the recipient is sure that nobody can illegally delete messages for everyone.

Why has WhatsApp decided to choose 24 hours as time reference?

WhatsApp has decided to choose 24 hours as time reference because a user can delete a message for everyone and the recipient’s phone might be turned off at that moment.
Choosing 24 hours, WhatsApp is sure that the recipient will surely receive the revoke request (seen that hardly a user doesn’t turn on his device within 24 hours), but this also means that:
 If the recipient won’t turn on his phone within 24 hours, the revoke request will be considered invalid, also if the message was correctly deleted for everyone within 1 hours 8 minutes and 16 seconds but, as above mentioned, this is an unusual situation.
 All users that are currently using modified and unauthorized WhatsApp versions can successfully continue to delete messages for everyone within 24 hours.


The WhatsApp new feature Block revoke request is a step to curb exploitation of a feature that was deemed useful by those using the platform.

Twitter blue tick verification – to prove your identity

Twitter will soon open the blue tick verification process for all users on the platform who can prove their identity. The micro-blogging site is working on a new process to verify people’s identity and, thus, ensure credibility.

Twitter blue tick verification

When a blue tick appears on a Twitter account, it means it’s a person of interest who’s been verified as genuine. Despite its original function of authenticating accounts, the much-coveted blue check mark has grown to become a status symbol.

Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey explained “The intention is to open verification to everyone, and to do it in a way that is scalable, (so) we’re not in the way and people can verify more facts about themselves, and we don’t have to be the judge and imply any bias on our part.”

Now Twitter blue tick verification for all

Twitter blue tick verification process introduced in 2009. Its usually only reserved for high-profile people like celebrities, politicians, and journalists, to help users know they’re legit. To obtain a verified check mark, users have to apply with a reason for why they need one. 

In 2016, Twitter allowed any user to apply for a Blue badge by asking them to fill a form as of why their account should be verified. However, in 2017, Twitter suspended this feature after it received backlash after the verification badge was given to controversial figures.

But now as per the company, the authentication feature should be available to anyone and that’s why Twitter has admitted it eventually wants to let anyone get a coveted blue tick on the social media site.

How do you get Twitter verification?

As per the company, in the verified badge where lets people know that an account of public interest is genuine. Verified badges can only be applied by Twitter. The blue tick appears next to the name on an account’s profile and next to the name in search results

Why use Twitter blue tick verification process?

# Twitter has been actively taking corrective measures. It is preventing cryptocurrency-related accounts of running scams on its platform.

# The intention of Twitter, behind this blue tick verification process is to open verification to everyone, whether the user is carrying a VIP profile or a general public.

# Through this authentic blue tick verification process the company could now get one more step to verify its user’s authenticity where people can verify more facts about themselves.

# The process will end up the scam accounts on its platform.


Its yet not being clarified by the company that during the Twitter blue tick verification process users requires submitting a Facebook profile, phone number, email address or a government-issued photo ID.

However, the company also asked anyone to submit their proposals for its new approach that would be based on identifying metrics to gauge the ‘health of public conversations’ and ways to measure it for safety measures on this platform.

Snapchat updated its latest ‘Do not disturb’ feature

Snapchat has updated its latest ‘Do not disturb’ feature option that users can turn on for their friends on the app. It’s similar to the feature available on iPhones to mute notifications from everyone, although the function on Snapchat is a little bit more complicated to turn on.

Snapchat Do not disturb feature

Snapchat has updated its latest ‘Do not disturb’ feature

The feature is one of the changes in the redesign of the app that users appear to actually like.

# Its allowing users to limit the number of notifications they get from the app in general by only allowing notifications from some users.

# It also allows users to narrow down their notifications so that they only get quality notifications from friends they want to see them from. 

Snapchat ‘Do not disturb’ feature

To use the muting feature, you need to hold down on the name of a person or group.

You’ll get an option marked ‘Do not disturb’

Press this and you will no longer receive notifications, which means you won’t be interrupted every time they share a picture of their latest make over/ party/ dinner.

How Snapchat users can mute stories or notifications from their friends on the app?

Mute Story >> Do Not Disturb >> Clear Conversation

# Users should first open the app and go to the friends list.

# After that, users should choose and hold the name of either the friend or the group they wish to mute notifications from.

# Then select “settings.” Users can also tap on the name and then select the settings from there.

# This should bring up a menu and the option to toggle “Do not disturb” on or off.

# The person or group will not be alerted when they are put on ‘Do not disturb’.

# Users can easily check who they’ve put on ‘Do not disturb’ by scrolling their friends list.

# Friends on the app who are on ‘Do not disturb’ are easy for users to identify thanks to a small icon that looks like “zzz” next to the friend’s name that sigals that the user is asleep or snoozed.

# This menu will also pull up an option for users to mute the stories of the people the follow if they wish. The option is listed just above the option to turn of the notifications for someone.

# In your friends list, choose a friend and hold down on their name and it should bring you up a list of options.

Edit name >> Mute Story >> Do not disturb >> Clear Conversation >> Remove Friend >> Block >> Report >> Cancel


The feature Do not disturb is only available in the latest update, so you’ll have to make sure you’re up to date otherwise the option will be unavailable to you.

It means users who wish to mute a friend in the app first need to update their app to ensure that they’re running the latest version with the feature included.

Best wordings dedicating on International Women’s Day

The best wordings on International Women’s Day dedicating to all women on the Earth!

International Women's Day

Give her sperm – she will make you father!

Give her vegetables – she will give you cooked food!

Give her clothes – she will stitch shirt for you!

Give her house – she will make it home!

Give her books – she will give you intelligent kids!

Give her respect – she will idolize you!

Give her hate – she will return with interest!

Give her peace – she will make your home a heaven!

Give her money – she will save for your need in the emergency!

Give her support – she will selflessly care for you!

Give her time – she will listen to you uninterruptedly!

Give her courage – she will go beyond your imagination!

Give her chance – she will prove herself!

Give her love – she will adore you unconditionally!

Give her faith she will die for you!

This is one of the best statements I’ve read about the woman! Please read it completely! it’s worth it!

When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day

An angel came by and asked.” Why spend so much time with her?”

The Lord answered. “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?”

She must function in all kinds of situations,

She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time,

Have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart,

She must do all this with only two hands,”

She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day”

THE ANGEL was impressed” Just two hands…..impossible!

And this is the standard model?”

The Angel came closer and touched the woman”

“But you have made her so soft, Lord”.

“She is soft”, said the Lord,

“But I have made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome”

“Can she think?” The Angel asked…

The Lord answered. “Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate”

The Angel touched her cheeks…

“Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too many burdens on her”

“She is not leaking…it is a tear” The Lord corrected the Angel…

“What’s it for?” Asked the Angel…..

The Lord said. “Tears are her way of expressing her grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride.”…

This made a big impression on the Angel,

“Lord, you are a genius. You thought of everything.

A woman is indeed marvelous”

Lord said.”Indeed she is.

She has the strength that amazes a man.

She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens.

She holds happiness, love, and opinions.

She smiles when she feels like screaming.

She sings when she feels like crying, cries when happy and laughs when afraid.

She fights for what she believes in.

Her love is unconditional.

Her heart is broken when a next-of-kin or a friend dies but she finds the strength to get on with life”

The Angel asked: So she is a perfect being?

The Lord replied: No. She has just one drawback

“She often forgets what she is worth”.

Send it to all the women u respect…

And to all men who respect the woman

The definition of W O M A N

changes her name.

● changes her home.

● leaves her family.

● moves in with you.

● builds a home with you.

● gets pregnant for you.

● pregnancy changes her body.

● she gets fat.

● almost gives up in the labor room due to the unbearable pain of childbirth..

● even the kids she delivers bear your name..

Till the day she dies.. everything she does… cooking, cleaning your house, taking care of your parents, bringing up your children, earning, advising you, ensuring you can be relaxed, maintaining all family relations, everything that benefit you.. sometimes at the cost of her own health, hobbies and beauty.

So who is really doing whom a favor?

Dear men, appreciate the women in your lives always, because it is not easy to be a woman!

Are you cute or beautiful?

Cute looks younger, indefensible, more vulnerable, etc. Beautiful looks sexy, confident, more advanced, etc. But it depends on the guy, if you are ‘cute’ you will find yourself attracted to masculine guys because there’s more symmetry when you have a cute girl with a masculine guy and a beautiful woman with a sophisticated guy.

Dedicated to all women who are struggling, in pain, in distress with a smile and hope on her face.

Instagram voice and video calling features introducing soon

Instagram voice and video calling features could be introducing soon for its users. As per the report of TechCrunch, it has found hidden icons for “call” and “video call” in the Android Application Packages (or simply APKs) of the standalone direct messaging app.

Instagram voice and video calling features

The addition of Instagram voice and video calling features would make Instagram a better chat alternative to Snapchat, which first launched video calling in 2014 and enhanced the feature with easier access plus audio and video notes in 2016. 

The new Instagram voice and video calling features

Instagram voice and video calling features could soon allow users to make voice and video calling. The popular photo-sharing app is likely to transform into the one-stop shop for social messaging and staying in touch with friends in the future.

APKs often show files for unreleased features that are lying dormant in an app waiting to be surfaced when the company is ready to launch them. While Instagram refused to comment on the existence of these features but the APKs usually contain the upcoming features that the developers plan to add at the later stage. So it appears Instagram is preparing to launch audio and video calling within its Direct messaging system.

How the Instagram voice and video calling features would affect its rival apps?

The voice and video calling features is nothing new for social media users as its already present in Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. However, soon after it launches it’ll make Instagram uniquely situated among a wide variety of apps to serve multiple purposes.

Once applied, Instagram will directly compete against rival Snapchat and other Facebook-owned brands such as Messenger and WhatsApp which already have the voice and video call in place.

Instagram has over 800 million monthly and 500 million daily active users. Meanwhile, Snapchat has over 187 million daily active users.

# This upcoming Instagram voice and video calling features could make Instagram an all-in-one app. The launching of soon Instagram voice and video calling features will likely impact badly upon Snapchat, its closest rival in the social media space.

# Snapchat first implemented the video calling facility in 2014 followed by audio/video notes in 2016. But it’s somewhat concealed, means you have to tap on a friend’s profile and select the call button in their specific chat screen also it doesn’t have a strictly calling feature.

# Facebook Messenger added the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) audio call facility in 2013 and supplemented it with video calls in 2015. As of 2017, Messenger had 400 million people making use of audio and video calls. 

# Messenger has a dedicated call button on the app’s launch screen.  However, it should be taken into consideration that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp also offering voice and video calling features. Both messaging apps are being used by millions not only to exchange texts but also voice and video chats.

# Similarly, while messaging apps like Skype or WhatsApp will allow you to make calls, they don’t offer the same visual stimulation or effects that Instagram does.


If Instagram can become the best way to communicate visually, no matter the medium, it could steal users from Snapchat and make its app more appealing to people around the world. Instagram doesn’t monetize messaging itself, but becoming a stand-in for people’s phones could lead to spillover usage of its feed and Stories that show ads.

WhatsApp updated Delete for Everyone feature – delete message even after an hour

WhatsApp updated Delete for Everyone feature to let users delete sent messages within 4096 seconds or 68 minutes and 16 seconds, compared to 420 seconds or seven minutes deadline earlier. The updated version of WhatsApp for Android beta allows users to delete a message for everyone even after an hour.

WhatsApp updated Delete for Everyone feature

WhatsApp updated Delete for Everyone feature

WhatsApp introduced ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature last year now WhatsApp updated Delete for Everyone feature where users are allowed to delete a message for everyone in a chat up to 4,096 seconds or 68 minutes and 16 seconds. As of now, a user has to delete a WhatsApp message for everyone is 420 seconds or 7 minutes.

The feature is currently live for WhatsApp Android beta version 2.18.69, with the stable release for Android and iOS to follow soon. This means that only WhatsApp Android beta testers can take advantage of the extended deadline for ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature as of now.

Once again the Delete for Everyone feature comes out with the flaw

Last year in November, WhatsApp rolled out the Delete for Everyone feature to allow globally its over one billion user base to revoke messages in case they sent those to a wrong person or a group for Android, iOS, and Windows users.


The concept is quite similar to self-destructing messages available on various other instant messaging applications such as Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.

At the time of the launch, it allowed people delete sent messages, including media within seven minutes of sending them. Both recipient and sender get a notification when messages get successfully deleted. But later on, this feature has come out with few drawbacks like,

# If someone has quoted your message on WhatsApp before you delete it, you will still be able to see that message making the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature ineffective.

# Another popular workaround that lets you access deleted WhatsApp messages even after seven minutes involves disabling mobile internet and Wi-Fi on your phone. Next, choose Settings > choose Apps > WhatsApp and hit Force Stop.

# Next, a third-party application called Notification History came into the limelight for showing deleted messages as part of the complete notification history log despite others have deleted them. This third-party application could also notify a receiver when a sender has deleted the message.

Although the feature is quite useful, but some users argued the deadline for deleting a message was too short. That’s why WhatsApp update its feature where users will be able to delete sent messages even after an hour.

For a while now, researchers have discovered shortcomings in WhatsApp’s implementation of deleted messages. Recently, a report claimed that recipients can easily have access to the deleted messages as they are saved in the device.

WhatsApp’s upcoming features

Apart from the extended timeframe for recalling a message, the beta update also comes with the ability to forward Stickers, an upcoming addition to the instant messaging platform. This new feature in WhatsApp is already seen on Instagram and Snapchat.

In brief, Instagram lets you add time and location stickers along with other stickers to photos and videos that you share as Stories, which automatically disappear after 24 hours.


To be noted that most of the features tested under beta versions do not necessarily make it to the final version. Also, the WhatsApp updated Delete for Everyone feature is available only to Android beta testers while an iOS update is likely to arrive soon, as per the WAbetainfo reports, a website that regularly monitors the beta updates to WhatsApp.

Depending on how well it’s received, this extension can be expected to make its way to the stable build soon. It is also reportedly making its way to the iPhone app soon.

The new Twitter Bookmark feature launched globally

The new Twitter Bookmark feature has launched globally that will give new easier ways to users of saving tweets they like and might want to revisit and share. With the new “share” icon on every Tweet, the users will be able to bookmark a tweet, share via Direct Message, or Share off of Twitter any number of ways.

Twitter Bookmark feature

In the new Twitter Bookmark feature, to bookmark a tweet, tap on the ‘Share’ icon and select ‘Add Tweet to Bookmarks.’ When you want to find it later, tap ‘Bookmarks’ from your profile icon menu.

Twitter noted that only the account owner can see which tweets they’ve bookmarked. 

As per the statement of the company, ‘We learned that you like to save replies so that you can answer later and that you may share tweet hours or days later after you’ve bookmarked it. As a result, we all have an easier way to save, share and stay informed.’

That’s why they introduced Twitter Bookmark feature because users were favouriting, or liking, tweets and direct messaging tweets to themselves if they wanted to read them later. 

Twitter also said that it’s adding a few new features to the share button, including the option to share a tweet via DM, email or text.

How can you use Twitter Bookmark feature?

# The Twitter Bookmark feature lets users save tweets and come back to them later.

# To save a tweet to the bookmarks menu, users can tap on the share icon in the bottom right corner of the tweet and select “Add tweet to bookmarks.”

#  Bookmarks will be stored in the order they were saved.

# The tool lets users privately save certain posts, as well as categorize them based on the topic into collections.  

# You can remove tweets from your Bookmarks at any time. Also, only you can see what you’ve bookmarked.

# People can view their bookmarks by tapping on their profile icon in the top left corner of the app.

# Only the account owner is able to see which tweets they’ve bookmarked.

How will Twitter Bookmark feature privately save a tweet?

As of now, the easiest way to save a tweet was to Like it by tapping on the heart icon beneath a tweet. Other users would email or text links to store on another platform.

But that way was awkward for two reasons – People can see public Likes and some perceive the action as explicitly an endorsement, rather than a bookmarking tool.

Bookmarks will be private, and no one will know what you saved to read later.

Public Likes have sometimes raised controversy over the years, especially for high-profile figures and their spicy news often got hit by viral controversy.


The new Twitter Bookmark Feature will be available on the Twitter app for iOS and Android, data-friendly Twitter Lite, and the mobile website (mobile.twitter.com) but it yet not available for desktop users.

Twitter introduced new features in Direct messages for better business

Twitter has introduced a new feature that makes sure businesses can always respond to the customers Direct Messages (DMs), in order to make customer experiences better on Twitter, the micro-blogging site has relaxed the rules for customer service Direct Messages (DMs)

Twitter new feature of Direct messages

Twitter introduced new features in Direct messages

“We have introduced features that allow people to more easily start a private conversation with businesses such as the Direct Message deep link and Direct Message Card. We have also made it easier for people to quickly engage with welcome messages and quick replies,” as per the statement of the company.

“We are excited to introduce adaptive rate limits, a new feature for developers sending Direct Messages through our API,” the company added.

Adaptive rate limits help to ensure that businesses can always respond to customers who privately message them, even when inbound volumes are high.

The change means that for every message you send to a company over DM, they can send you five responses within 24 hours.

If you send them another message, then that figure resets, meaning that you can theoretically chat forever, should you want to, according to the report.

How to use Direct messages for customer service?

For the best customer service experiences on Twitter use Direct Messages to resolve issues and engage with their customers in simple and intuitive ways.

# Change your account settings to receive Direct Messages from anyone

People don’t have to follow you to send you a Direct Message. You can update your account settings to “Receive Direct Messages from anyone”, making it easier for your customers to start a private conversation with you. And once anyone sends you a Direct Message, you’re free to send them one back too (again, without having to follow them).

To change your settings, update this setting at the bottom of your account’s security and privacy settings.

# For better transaction several updates need to its Direct Messages

Twitter announced several updates to its Direct message features for businesses, which will better enable brands and developers to provide customer service via the social network.

# Use Direct Message prompts in Tweets to get more people to message you

Customer service conversations often start with public Tweets but then need to transition to a private channel. We’ve made that transition as easy as a single click. A business can now add a Direct messages deep link to their Tweets that will automatically display a “Send a private message” link to send the business a Direct Message, quickly and easily.

# Direct Messages allow limits up to 10K characters per message

Direct Messages allow up to 10K characters per message including photos, GIFs, and videosThis increased character limit makes customer service on Twitter easier for everyone. It removes friction for your customers by letting them describe their issue in more than 140 characters. It also provides room for you to send a complete response in a single message.

What is the main benefit to Twitter users?

# Businesses who use this feature end up receiving a Direct Message an average of 30% more often compared to those who simply ask users in the Tweet text to send them a Direct Message.

# When they are interacting with brands on the social network, they will be able to tell if their messages were read by customer-service agents or if a chatbot is in the process of responding, due to the introduction of reading receipts and typing indicators.

# On the brand side, welcome messages are now nameable and editable, which will help businesses find and use welcome messages when creating Direct Message Cards and keep those messages relevant as campaigns progress.

# It gives you enough space for interaction in private with your customers where you can ask customers for the specific information you need to resolve their issues. Instruct your customers to use Direct Messages when they need to share more personal information that shouldn’t be shared in a public Tweet, like an order number, a store they visited or the name of an employee they interacted with.

# Finally the best part of using Direct messages is that you can get a quick response. They have the same expectations for response times with DMs and Tweets, so it’s important to treat both types of messages with equal priority and as part of one single conversation with the customer. The best businesses track each new message, regardless of whether it’s public or private, and optimize response time to that customer.

PPF and NSC for NRIs – Latest Rules 2018

Recently Government reversed the rule which it has notified on 3rd Oct 2017.  What is the PPF and NSC for NRIs – Latest Rules 2018? How is this impact existing PPF investors?

When its come to the question of tax saving with good interest then PPF is no doubt a better option as a small saving scheme. PPF has been a beneficial product for all investors. Even NRIs prefer to continue with their PPF accounts until the time they can, as the product earns them tax-free and safe interest. Even National saving Certificate also is considered a safe and preferred investment by many. However, NSC not enjoys the tax benefits like PPF and also NSC is not the long-term product (NSC period is 5-Yrs only).

Public provident fund (PPF) and national saving certificate (NSC) are the most common and relatively risk-free long-term investment options for Indians as they are ruled by the government. And because of its tax-free interest feature, compounded annually attractive interest rates, and section 80C tax benefit, PPF has become the first choice for every investor.

In India, a major portion of the salaried class employees would prefer to invest in PPF and NSCs as part of their annual long-term financial planning.

But if you are an NRI, then you must be aware of the fact that you cannot open a new PPF account, or invest in National savings certificate. However As per the new Amendment rules in 2017 by the Government, if you had a PPF account or NSC certificate before you become an NRI, then as per PPF account rules and NSC conditions you were allowed to continue with the same till their maturity. It means you no need to close your account rather you can continue it with the bit cut off interest rates.

 The interest for both PPF and NSC schemes stands at 7.8% p.a for October-December. Since April last year, interest rates on all small saving schemes are declared on an on a quarterly basis.

Who are NRIs?

 Before I proceed further first let clear you about the NRI concept. A person is considered resident in India if he is in the country for 182 days or 60 days in a year and 365 days in each of the preceding four years as per Income Tax Act. When a person doesn’t satisfy both these conditions, he is termed as NRI. 

On 3rd October 2017, Finance ministry in central government has come up with a quiet notification which will force all NRIs to come out of their small saving investments.

The structure of investment for NRIs in PPF

# An NRI can now invest up to Rs 1,50,000 per financial year in an existing account, that is, an account that he opened prior to becoming an NRI.

# An NRI can use funds in the NRE account or the NRO account to make investments in the PPF account. It is important to remember that the PPF rules require you to invest at least Rs.500 per financial year in the PPF account.

# If you fail to make the minimum investment in a year or years your account will be considered dormant. Subsequently, when you want to revive the account, you would need to invest Rs.500 for each year that you missed plus pay up a penalty of Rs.50.

What taxes are applicable on PPF interest for NRIs?

There are two stages at which there will be a tax implication – one in India and the other in the country of NRIs residence.

In India

In India, PPF is one of the investments available for deduction under section 80C. That is, if you have income in India (from say rental property), then you can reduce your tax payout in India by investing in the PPF. The interest income, as well as principle withdrawals, are tax-free in India.

 In the US

# The tax rules that apply in the country of your residence like in countries the US, the interest earned on the PPF will be taxable. PPF does not qualify as a retirement account under the US tax laws and therefore the interest will be taxable in the US.

# You should pay tax whether every year on the accrued interest or on the entire interest at the time of withdrawal depending on what is beneficial to you but whatever method you choose, ensure that it is followed consistently.

What are the drawbacks for NRIs?

# PPF is an attractive investment from the returns point of view – 8% tax-free. If you have income in India, PPF will also give you a tax deduction under section 80 C. However, you cannot invest too much in this account. The limit for maximum investment is just Rs.1,50,000 per annum.

# Secondly, like all investments that NRIs make in India, the PPF is also subject to currency risk. If the rupee falls significantly at the time of maturity of your account, your interest rate gains 

# Till the time the PPF account is actually closed or the NSC certificate encashed, the accumulated money in the account would earn interest at a much lower rate, equivalent to the interest earned from a post office savings account (POSA), which is 4% per annum currently.

# Also, family members accompanying the outbound assignees will get impacted on getting NRI status.

PPF account rules & NSC rules for NRIs (Before 3rd October 2017)

# Aspe the rules, NRIs were not allowed to open a new PPF account neither they can make new NSC Investment. 

# If a resident having PPF account or NSC, has become an NRI, then he is allowed to continue with the respective account till the maturity.

# If the PPF account was in an extended status, means the investor has already extended his PPF account for 5 years (after the completion of 15 years), and later become the NRI, in this case, the investor is allowed to continue the PPF account. But he will not be able to extend the account further for another block of 5 years.

# However, NRI was permitted to make a regular contribution to the maximum limit and keep earning tax-free interest (in case of PPF only) like resident investors.

# On maturity of PPF account and NSC, NRIs have to compulsorily close the account. An NRI is not eligible for the extension on the PPF account.

 PPF account rules and NSC rules for NRIs (after 3rd October 2017)

# Though NRIs still can’t open a fresh account, now NRIs even not allowed to continue with their ongoing PPF and NSC accounts, which they were earlier allowed to continue till the maturity. All accounts in the name of NRIs stands closed on 3rd October 2017.

# All NRIs, PPF and NSC accounts will earn the PPF interest rates until the date of notification i.e. 3rd October 2017. After that, they will earn Post office savings rate until they close PPF or NSC. 

# This means now NRIs can close the PPF and NSC accounts immediately irrespective of their closure rules.

# For the resident Indians who are turning to be NRIs, if they have PPF or NSC investments, their account will automatically be closed or deemed to be closed the time their residential status changes from Resident to Non Resident, and they will get Post office savings bank rate on their deposit from the day they become NRI till the money is withdrawn.

PPF and NSC for NRIs – Latest Rules 2018

Recently on 23rd February 2018, Government came with clarification with PPF investments. As per this new notification, it kept the 3rd October 2017 notification in abeyance.

This means NRIs who are currently holding PPF account, then they can continue it until maturity and enjoy the interest rate which is applicable to PPF. But they are not allowed to extend further.

However,  for NSC holders, they have to close it immediately when their status changes to NRI.

PPF and NSC for NRIs - Latest Rules 2018

Hope this new Government notification might have relieved many NRI PPF investors.