The Weekly News Wr(app): 25-31 October 2021

Indus App

Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry

Jio is out with a new phone, and Facebook is changing its name. This is the diverse world of apps and technology. This week includes stories about RBI’s latest debit card mandate, Japanese app spending habits, and stories of company growth.

Read all the stories in our latest edition of the Weekly News Wr(app):

1) Indians Say No To Auto-Debit

A survey conducted by LocalCircle revealed that 8 out of 10 Indian consumers support RBIs latest move. This move involves barring app stores from auto charging debit cards without consumer consent.

Before the mandate was implemented on October 1st, auto-debits occurred without any authentication. This led to many consumers being wrongly charged or charged extra for services, according to the survey.

So, 83% of consumers are happy with RBIs mandate to make it compulsory for app stores, like Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, to add an Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA) before allowing any recurring charges. Consumers can go through a one-time registration process to enable AFA and thus allow auto-debits. Transactions above Rs.5,000 will require banks to mandatory send a One-Time Password (OTP) to the consumers for consent.

The RBI hopes that this will boost consumer safety and protect them from fraudulent activity.


2) JioPhone Next: Jio’s Latest Offering

Jio is looking to capture the 300 million 2G population in India with its newest device. The JioPhone Next was developed in partnership with Google and will be available at a low cost of Rs.6,499.

The phone is powered by an Indian-centric operating system called “Pragati OS”, and runs on a Qualcomm processor. It’s reported to have a smart camera and a long battery life. The device supports 10 Indian languages and includes features such as “Read Aloud” and “Translate Now” that work on any on-screen text including web pages, apps, messages, and even photos.

Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai believes that everyone in India should benefit from what the internet has to offer, and that belief is what drove the making of JioPhone Next.

The launch for JioPhone Next is set for November 4th, which coincides with Diwali. Analysts believe the release of this device will disrupt the smartphone market in India. And Jio is no stranger to market disruption after their release of Jio SIM.


3) Japanese The Top Spenders On Mobile Apps

Continuing from 2020, Japan has once again topped the list for per capita spending on mobile apps. They saw an average of $149 spent on the game and non-game apps, an increase of 18% from last year.

The top 10 highest-earning markets for mobile apps were Japan, South Korea, the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Thailand, and Russia. These markets raked up $65.4 billion in revenue, compared to the $53.8 billion generated in 2020. These numbers are restricted to the App Store and Google Play Store, and thus don’t count China’s contribution (since the Play Store isn’t available there).

The report also says that overall growth is returning to the pre-pandemic levels, yet spending still remains strong as evinced by the numbers from Japan.


4) No More Facebook: They’re Getting A New Name

Facebook is now Meta. Mark Zuckerberg explained the reason for the move was to change people’s perception of the organization as a metaverse company and not just a social media platform.

Meta will act as a parent company for its brands, namely, WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus (now called Meta Quest), and of course Facebook. Google made a similar move in 2015 when it put itself under the banner of Alphabet Inc.

The name change comes at a time when Facebook has been facing unrelenting backlash for its business practices and methods.

Zuckerberg said in a virtual event that the name change does not affect their primary mission, which is to “bring people together”. He also said that they will no more be “Facebook-first” but “metaverse-first” instead.


5) Twitter Increases Users and Revenue

Twitter increased its monetizable daily active users by 13%. The current number stands at 211 million users. Much of this growth comes from the international markets while the numbers closer to home, i.e., in the US remain unmoved at 37 million users.

Twitter said that they are testing new functions to simplify and diversify its platform. New users can choose their interests from a variety of topics at the time of creating their accounts. They’ve also allowed users to sign using their Google or Apple ID.

Overall, Twitter’s revenue stands at $1.28 billion and advertising revenue at $1.41 billion.


6) Snapchat Hits Milestone Number in India

Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel announced at a virtual event that they now have 100 million active Snapchat users in India.

We have made significant investments to localize the Snapchat experience for the Indian community. We have added culturally relevant content, developed highly active and creative local creator communities, and invested in local products, marketing initiatives, and language support”, he also said.

Spiegel believes that this investment in localization has led the company to reach this milestone number. He also that they will continue their efforts to celebrate, empower, and provide resources for Indian creators.

They also announced a partnership with Flipkart to develop AR experiences that will enrich consumers’ interaction with the apps.


7) TikTok To Help Marketers With New Video Series

The new series of videos titled “Made for TikTok” will help marketers create better-branded content. These expert lesson videos will feature agency art director, David Ma sharing his experience on bridging the gap between agency and TikTok.

The primary purpose of the series is to help marketers understand key elements of apps. It will explore different facets of TikTok like engagement, sub-cultures, comments, and co-creation.

Lastly, these videos will assist marketers to start their journey towards grasping the industry’s best practices.


8) TikTok, WhatsApp, and Facebook Keeping Users Glued to Their Phones

App Annie, experts in mobile analytics, revealed that consumers are spending at least 4 hours a day on their phones. The highest daily use was recorded amongst Indonesians, who spent 5.5 hours on their phones. US and UK users ranked in the top 10 list at 4.2 hours and 4 hours respectively.

The apps that are keeping people glued to their screens include big names like TikTok, WhatsApp, and Telegram. Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has seen a rise in the rise of video conferencing apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams which have led users to spend more time on their phones.

The gaming apps which are worldwide hits include My Talking Angela 2, ROBLOX, and Count Masters. In India, the top 3 games by monthly active users were Ludo King, PUBG MOBILE, and Free Fire.


8) Instagram Rolls Out New Monetisation Tools

Instagram is testing a new feature that will allow creators to get discovered by more brands. The new feature is a dedicated folder in DMs for “partnership messages”. Creators will never miss important DMs from brands since all of them will be placed in the partnership messages folder.

On the other hand, brands will be able to use data and unique filters to select the best creators for their campaigns.

Furthermore, creators that are part of Instagram’s native affiliate program will be able to create their own product shops for the brands they promote. Now creators will have a “View Shop” button on their profiles which will display all the products available for sale, and even earn a commission through all sales. This test feature is available only in the US for now.

And for the first time, brands will be able to promote their products through Reel ads. And creators can collaborate with brands for promotion through Reels.

Instagram aims to make itself the best platform for creators to make a living


9) UniPin Partners with MobiKwik To Improve Payment Experience

UniPin, the top-up platform for games, is partnering with MobiKwik to enhance its digital payments experience for its users.

This partnership will see a campaign of cashback from 15th October to 15th November. Users will get a 10% cashback of up to Rs.100 for every 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th transaction.

UniPin CEO Ashadi Ang said, “We are extremely excited to partner with MobiKwik to offer an unmatchable digital experience to our users. At UniPin, our aim is to provide fast, easy, and reliable top-up service to all our customers. A seamless payment experience on the app will help the company to have a competitive advantage and reach more users nationwide.”

MobiKwik CEO and co-founder, Chandan Joshi with equal enthusiasm said, “Our partnership will provide a hassle-free, fast, and superior user experience to the patrons of UniPin. We are always on the lookout to innovate with our partners and provide a best-in-class digital payment experience to all our users.”


10) Purplle Continue Growth with Latest Funding

The online beauty store raised $75 million in funding led by Kedaara Sequoia Capital India and Blume Ventures. This was in addition to the $45 million raised in March from existing investors.

According to Manish Taneja, co-founder, and CEO of Purplle, this investment will help “strengthen technological capabilities, deepen the talent pool, and introduce new and innovative products and brands”.


We will be discussing the topic "Reimagining Personalization during our next webinar. Join us on 11th November at 6 PM IST here:

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