Saudi Arabia lifts ban on Skype, WhatsApp, and other messaging apps

Shannon Liao, writing for The Verge;

Saudi Arabia is lifting a year-long ban on Skype and other services like WhatsApp and Snapchat, effective at 8PM ET today. According to a statement from Saudi Arabia’s telecommunications authority posted on Twitter, any voice and video apps that meet the rules will be allowed.

Here’s the tweet from CITC;

You can read Saudi’s CITC official announcement here, the translated version here.

Saudi Arabia block VoIP-based messenger more than 4 years ago. It make sense for the Kingdom to remove the block specially in a state of economic crunch, since an increase in data consumption will be an additional revenue for telecom provider.

Snapchat Parent Snap Valued at $24 Billion After IPO Pricing

Corrie Driebusch and Maureen Farrell, reporting for Wall Street Journal;

Snap Inc. priced its initial public offering above expectations Wednesday, as investors clamored for a piece of the biggest technology IPO in the U.S. since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. made its debut in 2014.

Snap fetched $17 a share in its offering, the company said, confirming an earlier report by The Wall Street Journal. That gives the parent of popular disappearing-message app Snapchat a market value of nearly $24 billion. It was also above the $14 to $16 a share Snap had targeted, indicating strong demand for an IPO that has captivated investors and analysts since the company confidentially filed for the offering late last year.