Indian classifieds site OLX has updated its Android app in a bid to provide more privacy and security for both buyers and sellers.
The online marketplace, which is present in over 40 countries, lists cars, bikes, mobile phones and other household items and rolled out its new app on September 27th.
In a press release, the company has outlined four major tech changes that it hopes will provide increased security for users browsing the site.
Registered Users Only
With the intention of making the platform more secure, OLX has made it mandatory for all users – sellers and buyers – to register for accessing the platform. Users can register with either of the following: Facebook, Google+, and phone number. Social media log-ins will allow users to see mutual friends, apart from revealing the transaction history of other users, how long they have been using OLX, as well as their location. Mandatory log-ins will imply that there are no anonymous users on OLX anymore. It will increase the sense of familiarity amongst users, and will make the OLX experience a more secure one. Mandatory registration will especially help in bringing women users to OLX by providing a safer environment for them to transact in.
Snap and Post
Super Simple Process: The new OLX App has reduced the Ad posting time by more than 50% by introducing the image recognition technology. The image recognition technology (introduced primarily for the under-penetrated categories), allows users to post an Ad in as less as 10 seconds. The image-recognition feature generates an auto-title and auto-category for the item being posted. All one needs to do is to take a photograph of the item, state the price, and it’s good to go. This change makes the posting process super simple, and will be extremely beneficial for the new-to-net population.
Chat First, Restrictions on Calling
The new OLX App protects user privacy, making the platform safer. The default settings of the new OLX App do not reveal the phone number of the seller. OLX Chat is the only way to get in touch with the sellers until they decide to reveal their phone number. This ensures two things:  The platform does not make the user’s phone number public, protecting his/her privacy, and  OLX empowers the seller to decide whether they want to reveal their phone number at all. There are also chat templates available on each chat window, which makes the experience simpler especially for the new-to-net population. Restricting the conversation between the buyer and the seller to OLX chat also makes the process more instant. This feature will be of particular benefit to women users, who especially seek trusted platforms where their identity is protected.
Hyper Local Experience
The hyper local experience has been introduced to allow users to find great products in their vicinity. This particularly helps facilitate transactions for low-value items in the under-penetrated categories for which it does not make sense to travel large distances. The new OLX App shows products closest to the user’s current location. This helps the user in four distinct ways:  It helps buyers find products closest to them, reducing the challenges of travel and logistics that emerge with larger distances.  It makes the browsing and buying experience simpler as the users don’t have to manually search for the items closest to them.  It facilitates neighbourhood-commerce by promoting trade in the geographical area that the user is most comfortable in.  It places the power in the hands of the users by letting him change their current location as many times as they want, and also increase the distance of search to as much as 500 km at any given time.