Apple’s own search engine, Snapchat’s records, Facebook’s cloud games, and more
We’ve collected some major news of the month for you — and we kept it short and tidy. In this digest: Apple forces app developers to lay down their weapons and develops its own search engine, Facebook breaks into cloud gaming, but not on iOS, Snapchat breaks some records and launches new features, and The Coalition for App Fairness receives 400 new requests. And this is only a small part of what happened. Below we’ll discuss this and other news in more detail.
Snapchat: New records and new features
Snapchat is on fire! First, just look at the figures: the company hit a record valuation of $50 billion and increased its daily active users by 4% (this means by 249 million😱). Secondly, just look at its new features, City Painter and Sounds on Snapchat. The first one turns entire neighborhoods into digital canvases (starting with London). The second one offers ‘millions’ of licensed songs from partners. Taking this opportunity, we say hello to TikTok. By the way, TikTok didn’t manage to surpass Snapchat in a rating of the US teens’ favorite apps. But it surpassed Instagram anyway.
TikTok’s adventures in various countries, and content moderation
The TikTok battle series continues. In the new episode, the US government appeals a judge’s decision that did not ban the app. Another adventure is the TikTok ban in Pakistan, which lasted only 11 days. The app promised to start taking content moderation seriously. And it seems that those are not empty words as TikTok launched a new notification system for content removal the other day. When a user’s video is deleted, they are told what rules they’ve broken.
Responsibility for user content and data security
Socially acceptable content is a hot topic. The heads of Twitter, Google, and Facebook took part in online hearings on the issue in the US Senate. Should companies be held accountable for user content? Besides, there is another pitfall in the mobile industry, and this is data security. Google removed three Android apps for kids (with 20 million collective installs) due to data collection violations. And, from the looks of it, the company is hiring people to join its security team. It’s going to focus on apps related to COVID-19, elections, and sensitive data.
The Apple-Google deal and Microsoft‘s principles of fairness
Remember the Coalition for App Fairness we talked about? This is something of a hobby club whose main goal is to fight back Apple and Google. Well, it has grown to 40 companies and it has already 400 apps now. Of course, this is not the end. In the meantime, some new details in the investigation of the ‘search deal‘ of the two tech giants have been revealed. Because of it, Google became the default search engine on Apple devices. At the same time, Apple is actively developing its own search engine, which will replace that of Google. Against this backdrop, Microsoft unveiled its 10 app store principles. It has statements like no blocking of competing stores, third-party payment options, and ‘reasonable fees.’ In general, their motto stays the same: “Freedom, equality, brotherhood, go publish your app with us.”
Apple’s new tools and laying down the weapons
Apple released new marketing tools for apps to generate short links, embeddable codes, and QR codes. Of the ambiguous updates: the company changed the rules for visualizing weapons for featured apps. Many gaming apps will have to change their ad images. Bye weapons! Besides, Apple announced the price increase for apps and in-house purchases in Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.
Google Play guideline update and alternative stores
Google updated its guidelines making it easier to use third-party stores, and posted some developer tips of how not to break the store rules. Efforts are commendable, but the idea of developing alternative stores is still in the air. A good example of it are 150 Indian startups that have begun working on creating a new store to become less dependent on Google. Paytm, Deep Kalra, MakeMyTrip, PolicyBazaar, RazorPay, and ShareChat are among the contributors.
Facebook breaks into cloud gaming and Unity helps indie developers
Unity launched the Game Growth Program to help indie developers distribute their games. They promise to help with technical resources and funding. Google Play Pass, a competitor to Apple Arcade on Play Store, launched in 24 European countries. In total, they now occupy 34 markets, including the United States. Facebook enters the world of cloud gaming. For now, the service will only be available on Android devices and on desktop. The most important question is how they’ll manage to agree with App Store as their concept is not the same as the App Store guidelines.
Pinterest’s widget, Tinder’s video chat, and WhatsApp helping the business
Facebook is going to create neighborhood groups automatically to link users. Does it look like a Nextdoor clone or is it just a feeling? Pinterest creates a new widget that brings photos from your favorite dashboards to the iOS14 screen. Last month they had record installs as users were looking for references to the new screen. YouTube updated its app with more gesture-based navigation and video chapters and recommended actions. WhatsApp opened in-app purchases to support small businesses. And Tinder launched Face to Face, its own video chat.
ASO news: a tool to conquer the world and new webinars
The major ASO news is our new Performance tool. With it, you can find out if acquiring organic users is efficient, evaluate the success of search engine promotion in all countries, and analyze your progress and your competitors.
- On November 6 at 5 PM Moscow time, we’ll hold a webinar and tell you how to conquer new markets using Performance. Feel free to join us.
Winter is coming! And, along with it, the New Year holidays. In our recent article, we talked about how to do seasonal ASO right. If you’re not already adjusting your app page graphics for the holidays, it’s time to start doing it now. And, of course, feel free to subscribe to our blog (you can use a box to the right) to receive our useful news feeds. Happy promotion. 😉