Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry
Welcome to another edition of the Weekly News Wr(app). Who would’ve thought that users love it when apps give them a personalized experience? But it’s a thing, just ask Spotify users. We expand more on personalization below.
Also, at the end of the post, you’ll find a delightful new website that could brighten up your day!
1. Google Maps is facing regulatory heat in the EU
The tech world is rife with stories of Google's anti-competitive practices, with many regulators around the world, including our own Indian government, heavily scrutinizing their policies.
The recent Digital Markets Act was a step forward in curbing monopolistic competition of these Big Tech companies like Google and others.
Now Google Maps is under the scanner by the European Union for its unfair practices toward businesses. Google Maps has a separate platform for businesses to build custom maps for their own operations, whether it’s food delivery, travel, ride-hailing, etc. But businesses using this platform are severely restricted to what other map-making tools they can use in tandem. This is what antitrust bodies have a problem with.
In this case, the antitrust body is the German Federal Cartel Office which is investigating Google. They’re also looking into Google’s unfair use of search results to highlight news from publishing outlets that Google favors.
The German regulators are also probing other big tech firms like Meta, Apple, and Amazon at the same time.
Last week we featured a story on the UK’s antitrust body releasing a report on similar practices of Google and Apple. One of the key takeaways from that report was the harm that consumers face due to a lack of competition which breeds little to no innovation. A dearth of innovation means that end-users do not get the best that technology can offer.
The same problem is raised with Google Maps. Many restrictions from bigger companies will snuff out the light of any kind of innovation which ultimately hurts the user and kills new companies from building their own products and services.
2. India’s Entertainment & Media predicted to hit big numbers by 2026
Our country’s online entertainment segment is looking toward a bright future. Just by anecdotal evidence, we can say that streaming shows and movies reached a high point during the initial days of lockdown.
We also have statistical evidence. A report by PwC India looked at India’s projected revenue generated from OTT videos, TV & internet advertising, gaming and e-sports, etc. between 2022-2026, and it showed a lot of promise.
For example, OTT video revenue — which doubled in 2020 and continued to grow in 2021 — is set to reach Rs.21,032 Cr. by 2026. That’s a CAGR of 14.1%. Subscription services are a major contributor to this number, accounting for 95% of revenue in 2026.
Another major prediction is on internet advertising. The PwC report says the total share of the revenue from internet advertising will reach 69.3% by 2026 (it was 60.1% in 2021). In monetary terms, that would mean Rs.28,234 Cr. in 2026.
Social and casual gaming is also a major revenue generator in India. In fact, India is the third fastest growing video game market after Turkey and Pakistan. The segment hit Rs.13,244 Cr. in 2021. By 2026, the number is expected to be Rs.34,581 Cr. (a CAGR of 20.6%).
With so much of predicted growth, India will be an attractive proposition for developers, investors, advertisers, etc.
3. Personalization identified as a key driver for user growth and loyalty
A new report from customer engagement platform Twilio Segment revealed how vital personalization is to businesses.
According to the report, 49% of respondents said they would return if retailers offered a highly personalized experience. This includes personalization across many channels like social media, mobile apps, websites, etc. On the other hand, 62% of users said they would switch loyalties if any particular brand did not give them a personalized experience.
According to 80% of business leaders, a personalized experience nudged users to spend more. The bottom line is a highly personalized offering will directly result in increased consumer spending (and higher revenue for the business).
Brands are also racing to improve their communications with their customers. 53% of brands are looking to personalize their communications with users across multiple channels. They want to move beyond mere emails which have a user’s name on them.
We can extrapolate a trend from this data which indicates that personalization is greatly valued by users nowadays. We also know that apps that give a personalized experience are highly favored by consumers (like Spotify).
Every business should aim to provide a personalized experience to their customers, even app stores across the globe.
4. Twitter going long-form with “Notes” feature
Can we call Twitter a micro-blogging platform anymore? Of course, its main 140-character tweeting thing is still there. But you’re not restricted to 140-characters. You write tweets in 140-characters or less if you possess a superior wit and you’ve honed your writing skills to a god-like level (that’s an exaggeration). The point is, you can express yourself in 280 characters.
Plus Twitter has the threads feature, which means you can add tweet after tweet after tweet to expand your ideas.
Now Twitter is going full throttle by testing a new feature that will allow users to add blog post length content. This feature is called Notes and it’s similar to Medium and even the article writing feature on LinkedIn. You can rich media like images, embed links, have text in bold or italic, and whatnot to give your followers an in-depth treatment of subjects that are dear to you.
Currently, the feature is being tested in the US, Canada, the UK, and Ghana.
5. Huddles by Slack is getting new features including video
As a lot of work continues through Slack messaging, the company is adding a feature to its popular Huddles feature.
Previously, it was an audio-only feature that was like a phone call (without the ringing). It helped in having quick conversations — like really quick, Slack reports that an average call on Huddles lasted for about 10 minutes — without having to set an agenda, send a calendar invite, etc.
Now, Slack announced at its recent Frontiers conference the new features which include video, multiple screen-sharing options, and a dedicated chat option. So if you wish, you can turn on your video during a call, have multiple participants share their screens at the same time, and also chat with an individual participant during the call.
It’s all neat features if you’re looking to collaborate quickly on some idea. Though, we’re not sure how many would want to turn on their videos during that time.
6. Dating app Hinge adds a feature that describes your intentions
Dating apps were one of the most searched apps over the past six months, which is no surprise. People are looking for connections and for someone to potentially share their life with.
But it becomes hard when two people with different goals and intentions meet. What do you do when a match is looking for only a short-term relationship and you’re not? You probably don’t expect your dad to come and ask your match, “WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS WITH MY SON/DAUGHTER?”
So, Hinge is adding a feature that will allow you to add your expectations about a relationship on your profile. The feature is aptly titled “Dating Intentions” and will indicate whether a user expects a long-term relationship, short-term, or a life partner, etc. This immensely helps to avoid any kind of confusion right from the start.
The company says that “this new feature has been shown to help daters decide who to match with, with 65% of Hinge daters agreeing it helped their dating decisions,”.
We can only hope the feature helps Hinge users find better matches.
7. Listen to authentic nature sounds from around the world with Earth.fm
The guys at Earth.fm are bringing us sounds from nature like you’ve never heard before. If you’re a person who loves listening to chirping birds or the calming sounds of the sea, head over to the Earth.fm website or check out their Spotify podcast.
Even if you’re someone who has never listened to such recordings, you have to check them out because they capture the sounds in a way that makes you feel that you’re amongst nature.
You can select sounds from countries all over the world right from Norway to Antarctica.
The website also features sounds from India including Cotigaon National Park in Goa, the Rann of Kutch in Gujurat, Satkosia National Park in Orissa, and more.
Check it out, it’s relaxing, and it could relieve some of the stress you accumulate during the day.