Welcome back to the Weekly News Wr(app), the weekly Indus OS series that recaps the latest in the mobile and app industry.
In this week’s wr(app), we cover how apps are mending their operations owing to the governments’ strict policies, a snippet of the industry report, and the latest news and features from your favorite apps.
- Apple plans to allow alternative app stores on iPhone and iPad in the EU in compliance with their Digital Markets Act.
- TikTok was sued by the US state of Indiana accusing the company of exposing the young generation to inappropriate content.
- Consumer spending on in-app purchases is to hit $129Bn in 2022 globally, taking a hit of 2% as compared to 2021.
- Paytm’s loan distribution business witnessed a 374% y-o-y growth in 2022, while the number of loans disbursed grew by 150% y-o-y.
- Viacom18 plans to launch a super app with Reliance-owned OTT apps, including JioCinema, VOOT, VOOT Select, and VOOT Kids.
- Instagram adds new features, including Notes, Group Profiles, Collaborative Collections, Add Yours nominations, and Candid Stories.
Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry
Apple plans to allow alternative app stores on iPhone and iPad
To comply with the Digital Markets Act of the European Union, Apple is planning to allow installing alternative app stores on some iPhones and iPad. A part of the Digital Markets Act prohibits companies from restricting users to download apps solely through official channels. The change is expected to be effective in 2024.
Although, it is unclear if Apple will also act on this plan in regions other than the EU. Apple could just roll out the feature to some iPhones and iPads in the EU and remain restrictive and closed in the rest of the world.
This comes as a piece of delightful news to the app store market. With the free distribution of alternative app stores, users can access the most relevant app store that suits their needs. It will also help uplift the developer ecosystem by providing a level-playing field to all the developers, especially those who are unable to compete among the big players and are lost amidst the noise of thousands of apps.
Tiktok sued by the US state of Indiana for safety issues
Indiana’s attorney general, Todd Rokita, has claimed Tiktok’s parent company, Bytedance has failed to protect young people’s privacy. The state has filed two lawsuits against Tiktok accusing the company of exposing the young generation to inappropriate content and not disclosing the Chinese government’s ability to access sensitive consumer information.
However, TikTok ensures that its policies could satisfy US national safety concerns, taking youth well-being into consideration. As a response, the company said the app has age-limiting features along with parental control, ensuring the safety and security of their community.
Read more here: https://bit.ly/3YDgcKc
Consumers spend on in-app purchases to hit $129Bn in 2022: Data.ai
In contrast to the $131Bn spend on in-app purchases by consumers in 2021, the industry may see a 2% decrease in 2022 globally. These numbers represent purchases within both iOS and Android. Consumers are spending more on experiences than on apps due to fewer Covid restrictions. Another reason for the dip could be the given downward economic conditions across the world.
While there is a decrease in in-app purchases, first-time app install numbers per year continue to grow. Data.ai projects a 9% download growth in 2022.
Paytm’s loans disbursed grew 150% y-o-y in October-November, but stock down
Paytm’s loan distribution business witnesses accelerated growth in 2022. The value of the loan disbursed grew 374% y-o-y to INR 6,292 crore ($774 million). In October-November alone, the number of loans grew by 150% y-o-y to 6.8 million cumulative loans. With this, the annualized run rate for the loan distribution business stands at Rs 39,000 crore ($4.8 billion) for Paytm.
However, after the company approved its first-ever share buyback worth up to INR 850 cr, shares of One97 Communications, parent of the Paytm brand, fell more than 2% in early deals on Wednesday, 14th December 2022. This move is expected to boost its stock, which has fallen around 75% from its IPO.
Read more here: https://bit.ly/3Yzo53g, https://bit.ly/3hAA7sD
Reliance-owned apps and Viacom18 apps look at merging apps in one Super App
Bringing its various digital streaming platforms under one roof, Reliance Industries and Viacom 18 collaborate on launching a Super App. As per reports, JioCinema, VOOT, VOOT Select, and VOOT Kids may form a part of the Viacom18 super app. Additionally, Viacom 18 might look at integrating content from partner apps like Eros Now and AltBalaji.
This is not the first time, the entertainment industry will see a super app. Amazon Prime Video introduced Prime channels in 2021 as an add-on subscription, which included OTT apps like Discovery+, and Lionsgate Play, among others.
Read more: https://bit.ly/3j6EJH6
Instagram adds new features, one of which seems like a BeReal clone
Instagram is rolling out new features including Notes, Group Profiles, Collaborative Collections, Add Yours nominations, and Candid Stories (yes, it is similar to the BeReal app).
In a blog by Meta, the company shared what these new features are. To explain briefly,
- Notes: A new way to share thoughts, notes are short posts of up to 60 characters using only text and emojis. It can only be seen by either the followers one follows back or their close friends’ list.
This might be seen as a Twitter-like feature, however, the character limit significantly changes the use of the feature, hence, cannot be treated as a Twitter alternative.
- Group Profiles and Collaborative Collections: Similar to Facebook groups, now users can create a group profile and can share content on the same. This content will only be visible to the group members and will not be posted on the user’s profile.
Another feature introduced to collaborate and keep up with groups is collaborative collections. This feature will allow users to save a post directly from the feed. The collection will be visible in your groups or 1:1 DMs. This feature, however, is currently in testing.
- Add Yours nomination: Currently in testing, this update to the ‘Add Yours‘ feature on Instagram stories will allow users to invite friends to participate in the ‘Add Yours’ stories by tapping on the ‘Pass it on’ button.
- Candid Stories: A clone of the BeReal app, Instagram is testing candid stories where users can share what they are up to in real-time by using front and back cameras both. This will only be visible to friends who also share their own candid stories. The users will also get a daily notification reminder to post their candid stories.