Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry
Facebook taking payments directly on its platform. Indians reach new levels of app usage, and SoftBank to keep investing in Indian firms. We’re back with some of the best news from the world of apps and technology.
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1. Indians Set New App Usage Record
The mobile analytics firm, App Annie revealed that India is the 2nd largest market for app downloads in 2021. Consequently, Indian users have increased their screen time too. In 2020, data shows that Indians spent at least 4 hours per day on their phones, which added up to 651 billion hours for the year. In 2021, however, the number has gone up to 4.8 hours on average.
Gaming apps dominated the download charts for Indians, placing India at the top of the list for the mobile games market. Fintech and cryptocurrency apps also added to these numbers.
2. SoftBank To Increase Investments In India
Chief executive of SoftBank Investment, Rajeev Misra said that they could invest $5-$10 billion in India next year. However, all this depends on whether they find the right opportunities. Misra said that B2B SaaS, fintech, and education continue to be interesting avenues of investment.
This announcement follows China’s tech crackdown, which has diverted investors' attention to the Indian markets.
Misra also said that “Indian companies are not just for India. There are a lot of Indian companies going global. So there are a lot of SaaS companies from India like Mindtickle, Zeta, and others that are not just serving Indian brands but are going global”.
3. E-commerce Firms Hit Gold With Festive Sales
Online shopping platforms like Amazon and Flipkart recorded a record $9.2 billion in festive sales this year. According to the RedSeer report, mobiles continue to be the most sold product category. Other firms like Snapdeal and Meesho also recorded huge sales. This was close to the consulting firm’s prediction of $9.6 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV).
According to RedSeer, Flipkart dominated the festive season sales with a 62% market share.
Snapdeal and Meesho also posted positive numbers with. Meesho, a SoftBank backed e-commerce company, reported a 750 percent user growth last year, and they’ve continued to grow.
4. New Feature on Amazon Prime Video
Amazon is releasing a new feature that allows users to share short clips from TV shows and movies on their social media feeds. Currently, the feature is available in the US only, and for a limited number of shows. This feature separates Prime Video from other streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+.
Amazon hopes to attract more users to its platform through this new feature. They also said that they’ll include more shows in the future.
5. WhatsApp Tweaks The “Last Seen” Feature
In order to improve user privacy, WhatsApp is testing a new feature that allows users to display their “Last Seen” status to contacts of their choice. Currently, users are forced to show their “Last Seen” status to all contacts or none at all.
This is something similar to what you can do with your Profile Picture and About info. The feature is being beta tested and may be available soon for all.
6. Spotify Expands Into Audiobooks
Spotify is continuing its expansion with its latest acquisition. The music streaming platform added Findaway, a digital audiobook distributor, under its belt. Spotify has been planning to add more than just music, which led them to invest heavily in podcasts, and this latest acquisition is a step towards that goal.
Nir Zicherman, head of Audiobooks at Spotify said that “As an industry, we think there’s massive potential and growth ahead for audiobooks. Combining Spotify and Findaway and their amazing team and their amazing tech, the idea is to realize that future faster than we ever could as separate companies.”
7. Facebook To Take Direct Payments
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is allowing creators to take payments directly from its platform without any commission till at least 2023. Mark Zuckerberg said that this will allow creators to make money from their work, which is unlike what Apple does (Apple charges 30% commission).
This is what Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post: “As we build for the metaverse, we’re focused on unlocking opportunities for creators to make money from their work. The 30% fees that Apple takes on transactions make it harder to do that, so we’re updating our Subscriptions product so now creators can earn more.”
8. YouTube Testing Its Shorts App
Users have viewed YouTube Shorts on the official YouTube app till now, but they may soon see a dedicated Shorts App. The company has been trying to make it easier for users to access short videos and other relevant content. This move is seen to rival TikTok’s efforts.
9. You Can Now Block Users On Spotify
Spotify is adding the “Block” feature which means you can choose to protect your profile from unwanted eyes. Previously, all your activity and playlists were open for everyone to see (unless you went private). But now you can block specific users. Spotify says that this will create a safe and secure environment for users.
10. Nykaa Enters Top-50 Most Valued Firms List
After its strong stock market debut on 10th November, Nykaa entered the top-50 most valued firms in terms of market capitalization. The company surpassed Bajaj Auto and Dabur India in the market cap ranking, and are just behind Zomato.