Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry
Hey tech enthusiasts! This week we included the story on Twitter’s edit button albeit briefly. If the edit feature rolls out globally, it could change the platform forever.
Also, did you know that Google pays truckloads of money to maintain its monopoly? That’s what the US Department of Justice is saying.
Check out all these stories and more in our latest edition of the Weekly News Wr(app).
1. Play Store to allow re-entry of fantasy gaming
Google is making a U-turn on its fantasy gaming policy and now has a pilot program to allow the re-entry of these apps into the Play Store. Apps such as Dream11, Mobile Premier League, etc. can now look forward to appearing on the popular Android app store.
Google is starting a pilot program for a year beginning on 28th September 2022 and running until 28th September 2023. Fantasy gaming apps desiring to be listed on the Play Store need to fill out an application to participate in this pilot program and eventually get listed on the Play Store.
Earlier Google had taken a hard stance against such apps since they violated its policies on gambling. However, these fantasy gaming apps were deemed legal in India since they come under “games of skill” and not gambling.
These fantasy gaming apps had to depend on direct downloads from their websites or third-party app stores to get people to use their apps. But being denied entry into the largest Android app distributor took a big hit for these developers. This could be a little light at the end of the tunnel for them.
2. Mobile gaming captures 60% of the market share
The mobile gaming industry is now 3.3x times bigger than its nearest competitor, home gaming consoles. According to new research from growth acceleration platform Liftoff, mobile gaming has now 60% of the total market share.
Even though mobile gaming revenue dropped from its dizzying heights during the lockdown, the sector still keeps growing. Especially casual gaming apps. “Our data tells us that the mobile gaming industry is on the rise and marketers need to pivot their strategy to best appeal to users’ gaming interests, location, and device platform,” said Jeremy Bondy, CEO of Liftoff.
Casual gaming on Android had a lower cost per install (CPI) compared to iOS because of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency. As a result, the CPI for Android was $0.75 compared to a significantly higher iOS CPI of $2.27. Casual gaming in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region was $0.85, just behind the CPI of Latin America (LATAM) which was at $0.66. The North American Region (NAR) had the highest CPI at $3.32.
3. Google allegedly pays billions of dollars to maintain monopoly
Google is trying its best to maintain its monopoly as a search engine by paying billions every year to Apple and Samsung. At least this is the allegation that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) laid at Google’s feet.
A DOJ attorney Kenneth Dintzer said that Google spends “enormous numbers” to maintain its search engine as default on mobile devices. Dinzter, presenting his case before Judge Amit Mehta, also added that Google “invests billions in defaults, knowing that people won’t change them. They are buying default exclusivity because default matters a lot”.
This is the beginning of an antitrust case that the DOJ has lined up against Google. The trials for the case begin next year, however, the case laid out by the DOJ is the first and substantial step to the trial.
4. RBI ordered to create a list of approved lending apps
The government of India has stepped in to ensure that illegal and fraudulent loans are gradually exterminated from our system by ordering the RBI to create a list of approved digital lending apps.
A fortnight ago, Google removed over 2,000 fraud loan apps from the Play Store. After several complaints, Google was forced to remove these apps because of their unethical practices. In 2021, Google was forced to do the same with another loan app called EZ Plan.
These fake apps have left a lot of victims in their wake, with many users complaining of harassment, high interest rates, false promises, etc. The finance minister also expressed concern about the inclination of these loan apps to target the vulnerable and low-income group people.
Very soon, the government expects a stricter digital lending policy with greater scrutiny to prevent such cases of fraud.
5. LinkedIn partners with IBM, Meta, Oracle to expand certifications library
After witnessing a 44% rise in users who add certification courses to their profile, LinkedIn is capitalizing on this upward trend by adding more courses from reputed names like IBM, Oracle, and Meta.
Commenting on the partnership, Damien Carey, Senior Vice President, Oracle University, said “With this partnership, millions of people will discover Oracle Cloud certifications and enhance their cloud skills with role-based learning paths. We’re excited about the continued collaboration with LinkedIn to empower more learners with expert-led digital training.”
Following this partnership, users can access courses on topics like cloud infrastructure, digital marketing, etc. and display them on profiles once completed.
LinkedIn also acquired a platform that specializes in creating and hosting professional certifications and assessments called EduBrite which will help certification providers to better host their programs on LinkedIn.
Soon LinkedIn will also partner with Microsoft’s Skills for Jobs initiative that helps professionals transition into the digital economy.
6. Instagram testing a repost feature
Users may finally get the reposting feature they’ve wanted for many years. Instagram was found to be testing this feature and they even confirmed it. A Meta spokesperson said that Instagram is “exploring the ability to reshare posts in Feed — similar to how you can reshare in Stories — so people can share what resonates with them, and so original creators are credited for their work”.
Currently, Instagram users need a third-party app to help with their reposting. Or they can take a screenshot and share it on their own feed.
The feature will soon go into testing with a small number of people, according to the Meta spokesperson. The official rollout of the feature is still TBD.
7. Twitter testing a WhatsApp share button
Twitter is exclusively testing a WhatsApp sharing button for Indian Android users. Users who have access to the feature can easily share tweets with their friends on WhatsApp.
According to Shirish Andhare, director and product head at Twitter India, the “goal behind testing this feature in India, home to one of the most diverse sets of the audience, is to unlock the learnings and potential and apply them to other Android first markets and the rest of the world,”.
Parallelly, Twitter is also testing the edit feature that will allow users to edit their tweets if they do it within 30 minutes of sending the tweet and only up to 5 times within that timeframe. The other new features lined up by Twitter include Tweet Tiles, CoTweets, and a whole new podcast section.
8. Flipkart launched hotel bookings
Flipkart delves deeper into the hospitality sector with its latest offering of hotel bookings. Cleartrip, which is owned by Flipkart, will aid in this new venture of the Walmart-owned e-commerce giant.
"Backed by Cleartrip's API, Flipkart Hotels will benefit from Cleartrip's deep understanding of travel customers and sectors. Available on the Flipkart app, this new offering provides a hassle-free booking experience, and timely communication through popular messaging apps," the company said in a statement.
Flipkart’s hotel booking feature comes right in time for the festive season and will offer its customers access to over 3 lakh domestic and foreign hotels.