NEW DELHI: Tens of millions of Indians love to use messaging services to send an uplifting morning greeting to their friends and family, but it appears the habit is jamming up the internet.
These “Good Morning” messages frequently include data-absorbing images of nature, teapots or religious icons, but they are causing one in three smartphone users in India to run out of space on their devices each day.
First reported by the Wall Street Journal, the problem was unearthed by engineers at Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, who tried to work out why so many smartphones in India were freezing up.
According to Google, searches for good morning images have grown tenfold over the past five years, which prompted the tech giant to develop a new app, called Files Go, to highlight messages for possible deletion.
And Google is not the only company affected by the trend because Pinterest, the photo-sharing site, has also reported a ninefold increase in the number of people downloading good morning images over the past year.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service – which has 200m active monthly users in India – sought to address the problem last year by adding a status message so users could say good morning to all of their contacts at once.
And Google’s new app, which uses artificial intelligence to filter out good morning messages and was launched at the end of last year, has already been downloaded more than 10 million times – mostly in India – helping to clear an average of more than 1 gigabyte of data per user.
“The average ‘Files Go’ user is saving 1GB of space so they can do more on their phone. It was built for Android Go devices, but we’re also making it available on the Google Play Store,” the company said at the app’s launch.
Sourced from Wall Street Journal, Economic Times; additional content by WARC staff