Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry
Super apps could change the face of the app world. Imagine an app that provides everything you need on one single platform. A super app like Tata Neu could pave the way for further innovation.
But that’s just one story.
The app economy continues to grow, with an increasing amount of innovation and more. Read all our stories in the latest edition of the Weekly News Wr(app):
1. Google can’t punish developers for providing external payment links, says South Korea
Taking advantage of the vagueness of South Korea’s amended Telecommunications Business Act, Google is blocking apps that offer links to external payment gateways. Not only are they blocking apps but they’re also preventing these apps from updating, with the eventual removal from the Play Store by June 1st.
App developers in South Korea are now allowed to provide alternative payment options for in-app purchases following the country’s groundbreaking law. The law bans app distributors, like Apple and Google, from forcing their own billing system on developers.
But according to Google, the law does not cover external links or “outlinking” as it's called. Although it’s true that the rules don’t cover outlinking, it does state that app stores cannot force specific payment methods or make it difficult to access alternatives.
Thus, Google was ordered to stop blocking apps that provided outlinks with threats of fines.
Overall, we see Google’s behavior in poor taste. It seems they’re doing everything to maintain its dominance in the app market, and therefore trying to find loopholes in the law.
2. Looking at UPI and video app usage in rural India, analysts conclude mobile services are as essential as fuel
Analysts from BNP Paribas studied the number of video and UPI service users and noticed an increase in usage despite the recent tariff hikes. The market share of UPI shot up to 22% in February 2022 from 14% in February 2021.
Looking at these numbers Kunal Vora, head of India Equity Research, BNP Paribas said that “mobile services are seen as essential now, like fuel, which has to be filled irrespective of the cost…we got this response even in villages during recent on-ground checks”.
This is a highly encouraging time for digital India and for app developers around the country. There’s a vast number of people who are hooked on the internet. Now, all we need is an app distributor that offers localized, relevant, and hyper-personalized content that developers can bank on to provide a sure shot to success (heard of Indus App Bazaar?).
3. The first 3 months of 2022 recorded an increase in app usage and ad spend
According to Sensor Tower, apps in the medical and navigation category saw the highest increase in Q1 2022. Travel apps increased in usage by 19% showing that post-pandemic travel is up and running.
Surprisingly, mobile gaming saw a 3.8% usage decline compared to Q1 2021.
But gaming ads saw some of the highest spending, with 41% more than last year. Consumer spending dropped by 7.1% across both the Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
4. Tata Group launches its super app called Tata Neu
The release of Tata’s new super app combines its many services on one single platform. Tata’s services include BigBasket, Croma, 1mg, Starbucks, TataCliq, Air Asia, and its latest UPI app.
“The super-app from the group seamlessly blends product commerce, service commerce and financial services into a consumer-first, future-ready, integrated experience. From fashion to finance, gadgets to groceries, hotels to health, and tech to travel, Tata Neu brings together diverse offerings, combining the power of various consumer brands of the Tata Group to deliver a superior experience. Tata Neu is a one-stop destination for all consumer needs. The super-app also offers a suite of financial offerings including UPI, bill payments, loans and insurance,” the company said.
Mukesh Bansal, president of Tata Digital was optimistic about Tata Neu’s place in India’s digital economy. He says that the “Indian digital ecosystem is poised for massive growth over the next decade, with radically new consumption patterns and behavior in every category. We will witness unprecedented levels of digital transformation that will be heavily influenced by the customer. We are deeply committed to participate in and shape that transition, by pioneering new business models, and delivering unique solutions to the market”.
We can only wait and see how the advent of a super app in India will change the way consumers view and use apps.
5. Disney+ Hotstar introduces a new 3-month subscription plan
In a move that is surely going to attract users, Hotstar is introducing a plan at Rs.149 that lasts for 3 months. New users can access this plan at Rs.99 as an introductory offer.
Similar to Amazon Prime’s 3-month option, this could add more subscribers to their user base, especially those users who want to test out the app but don’t want to pay for a whole year.
6. Twitter may soon allow you to untag yourself from Twitter threads
If you’ve ever found yourself in the midst of a Twitter storm that you don’t want to be part of, what do you do? You end up either muting the thread or blocking everyone.
Well, no need for that anymore because Twitter is toying with the idea of “Unmentioning” yourself from threads.
With one fell swoop, you can leave a conversation by untagging yourself and stopping any notifications from a particularly annoying thread.
The company announced the feature through a GIF describing how it can be done. Currently, it’s available to a limited number of users on the web version but hopefully comes out for everyone soon.
7. India’s Koo app introduces self-verification using government ID proofs
Koo, Twitter’s Indian rival, is introducing the option for users to verify themselves with the use of government-approved IDs. According to Koo co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna, this will tackle the issue of spammers, bots, and anonymous trolls.
He also said that “Users can get self-verified in less than 30 seconds through our safe and secure verification process. This is a huge step towards lending greater authenticity to users and promoting responsible behavior on the platform. Most social media only give this power to some accounts. Koo is the first platform that has now empowered every user to have the same privilege,”.
Radhakrishna also believes that this will help advertisers since this will allow them to target verified users. Koo users can access the app in 10 regional languages, and the 30 million downloads say something about its popularity.