Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry
We’re back with more news from around the app world and this time we’ve got major stories on Google, Apple, and Meta facing trouble from authorities.
Also, Clubhouse could potentially face competition from Amazon’s new app Amp. More on that below.
But to start off with our Weekly News Wr(app) we look to what happened in South Korea:
1. South Korea forcing Google and Apple to Rescind their Restrictive Policies by March 15
Back in August 2021, the South Korean government passed the Telecommunication Business Act which prevented companies like Google and Apple from forcing app developers to use only one billing system, viz. Google and Apple’s own billing system.
Now the South Korean government has approved the rules within this law and will be enforced by March 15.
The law states that firms cannot force a billing system on any provider of mobile content. This frees providers to choose their own in-app payment methods. Understandably, these rules will have some people sweating in the Google and Apple camp since this means that their app commission fees (which goes up to 30%) will take a hit.
The rules also state that these app distributors cannot unfairly delay, block, or delete an app if it is using a third-party payment method.
Overall, it looks like good news for app developers and even for third-party app stores (like Indus App Bazaar) who are proponents of promoting fairness and choice for app developers.
Now we need such a monumental passed law in India too. 😉
2. Social Media a big influence on a person’s buying decision according to 76% of Users
SaaS company Bazaarvoice conducted research involving 14,000 global respondents and found that 76% of them are influenced by platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. to make a purchase.
Other data revealed that 65% of respondents use social media for inspiration and 61% make purchases directly feeds and stories.
Getting down to specifics, 25% of them said that they were influenced by family and friends to buys something and 35% said that followed an expert’s opinion to make a purchase. Most telling is that only 5% said that a celebrity influenced their buying decision (so much for celebrity pull).
As we saw last week, influencers play a major role in influencing a user’s decision. Bazaarvoice’s research also revealed something similar i.e. 69% of users say they shop from influencers on social media.
3. Google and Meta facing trouble in the UK and EU for Unfair Advantage in the Online Ad-Market Space
Two regulators from the EU and UK are looking into an alleged claim that Google and Meta are teaming up to gain an advantage through their online ad displaying service. The alliance, which is reportedly dubbed as “Jedi Blue”, could result in the expulsion of competitors from the market.
The EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is concerned that this could “restrict and distort competition in the already concentrated ad-tech market, to the detriment of rival ad serving technologies, publishers and ultimately consumers”.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is looking into whether “Google’s conduct may have affected the ability of other firms to compete with its header bidding product”.
Even without the allegations, it is known that Google and Meta are involved in anti-competitive practices, given that Google was previously fined $9 billion by the EU for alleged antitrust violations.
Ultimately it’s the small ad-tech companies that suffer under the suffocating monopoly of such firms.
4. After IGTV, Instagram shuts down Hyperlapse and Boomerang
Last week we brought you news of Instagram’s closure of IGTV which was in line with its plans of focusing its energies on Reels. They’ve followed that up by removing Hyperlapse and Boomerang from app stores.
The removal of these apps isn’t going to affect many users since those features are already available within the main Instagram app.
Earlier Instagram was worried about clubbing so many features within one app but today it’s the opposite. IGTV was closed down because Instagram wanted to bring its short-form and long-form video content under one banner in the app. Similarly, Boomerang and Hyperlapse features are also available on Instagram.
5. Clubhouse has competition from Amazon’s new app Amp
Amazon released its new app called Amp which will rival Clubhouse as a live audio space for users. The difference with Amp is that it allows hosts to play from millions of licensed songs during their shows just like a radio DJ. Users can install Amp and listen to these songs as it’s being played from these shows.
Currently, the app is available in the US and for iOS users only. There’s no word yet when this will be available in other countries or operating systems.
Sounds interesting enough though and we wonder how Indians will leverage it (if or when it comes here).
6. Substack is finally getting a Mobile App
Substack, the popular newsletter platform which recently amassed 1 million paid subscribers is releasing an iOS app to help users easily find their favorite newsletters through an app.
Readers will be able to access all their subscriptions in one place plus they’ll get a discover section that resembles Twitter’s to find their next favorite newsletter. On the other hand, writers will be able to connect with their readers through the app. Additionally, writers can use other media formats like podcasts and videos to enrich their subscriber's experience.
The makers of Substack hopes that the app will be a haven for readers. According to the founders of Substack “It is an app for deep relationships, an alternative to the mindless scrolling and cheap dopamine hits that lie behind other home screen icons. It offers a quiet space to read, where the work itself is given the spotlight and you’re not pulled into status games or trivial diversions.”
7. Whatsapp testing a feature to restrict multiple Group Forwards
Whatsapp is trying its best to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation. So they introduced a restriction on forwarding messages to multiple chats at a time. Plus each forwarded message is marked with a “Forwarded many times” label.
Now Whatsapp is testing a feature that does the same thing but for groups. If a user wants to forward a message to more than one group, s/he will have to select each individual group.
Hope this feature comes soon. Nobody wants those annoying and irrelevant forwards in a group.