Learn on TikTok, the App Store’s commission, YouTube competes with streaming services, and other news
This month in the mobile industry was intense as if it were two months instead. Let’s take for instance the epic about social networks, blocking fake news, and the popularity of Parler. We also observed how the popular apps have been launching the old new features (spoiler alert, steal like an artist), and were surprised at Learn feed on TikTok (#suddenly) and slash of commission on App Store fees. And there’s more than that. We’ve compiled the main news of the mobile industry briefly and to the point.
App Store slashes commission, 2% of developers still complain
The main news of the month is App Store’s dropping of commission to 15% for all developers, who earn less than $1 million per year. It seems that Apple could no longer be under public pressure. The Coalition for App Fairness can rejoice. Or not? 95% of the commissions are paid by the 2% of app developers, who won’t be affected. From January 2021, it will be possible to apply to Apple for a tax cut. Also, App Store has a new tool for promotion and retaining users too — it is discount codes with special offers.
The old new Stories, TikTok-like feed, and Vanish Mode
Twitter launches its own version of Stories and a new Carousel ad format (when you scroll, swipe up, and go to the site). In its turn, Instagram and Messenger adapt Snapchat-like feature, making Vanish Mode for messages. WhatsApp goes further, so images and GIFs delete automatically. Snapchat announces TikTok-like feed. And Instagram officially is rolling out a Reels tab (you’ll never believe what it looks like). Netflix is experimenting with full-screen vertical fun video feed too. To sum up. It seems that everyone has read the book «Steal Like an Artist».
TikTok now not only entertains but educates too
TikTok gets a reprieve, so it won’t be shut down for a while in the US. The situation is vague, that’s why the company intends to strengthen its position in other regions. It’ll be hiring about 3,000 engineers across Europe, Canada, and Singapore in three years to come. TikTok presents the ‘A-Z of TikTok’ brand campaign in the UK and tests a new «Learn» tab. Educators, experts, non-profit companies provide the campaign, pushing the educational content forward. There is another new feature on TikTok that allows people with photosensitive epilepsy to skip video triggering seizures.
Donations on Facebook, COVID in Google Maps, and new ad on Twitch
Facebook rolls out cross-app communication between Instagram and Messenger. There is a new feature that helps to collect items for people in need. It works only in the US for now. TikTok expands the ways of fundraising too with the help of donation stickers. Twitch launches a multiplayer ad for a group of viewers, who’s started streaming. Google Maps adds a layer with information about COVID and the number of detected cases in an area.
YouTube competes with streaming services and the special subscription from Spotify
YouTube has announced 15-second audio ads for users, listening to the music or podcasts in the background mode. It is likely that YouTube seriously plans to compete with audio streaming services like Spotify. As it appears, Google will shut down Google Play Music and focus on one platform, Youtube Music. It’s a win-win situation — you can watch a music video, switch to an interview, and other formats. On the other hand, Spotify is thinking about the special subscription service for podcasts only. The app also promotes the issue of ethnic and racial diversity with the new audio series ‘Outside Voice’ and particular playlists. The audio format becomes prevalent — the social audio app Stereo is rolling out. It will be possible to communicate in voice chats or listen to conversations between friends or celebrities.
Blocked information, fake news, and worried parents — how Parler topped charts
Social networks fought misinformation during U.S. elections in their own ways. Twitter selected seven outlets with an impeccable reputation. All tweets about the race were labeled as unverified until the data was confirmed. Facebook and Instagram showed similar notifications and blocked hashtags, which helped to share fake news, but not the content. TikTok was more radical and removed video spreading misinformation. YouTube just made warnings and demonetized certain videos.
Against the backdrop of these events, the ‘free speech’ app Parler topped charts. However, the non-profit organization ParentsTogether was concerned that Google Play has rated it as suitable for teens aged 13+. It considers the app to be hosting dangerous content, including the instigation of violence, incitement of hatred, and excessive misinformation. Apparently, the Calm app won the elections. Calm sponsored the election alerts on CNN, showing a small graphic with the Calm logo during announcements about elections and reminding to relieve tension. As a result, the app went up 20 ranks from the day before Election Day.
Stores: confidentiality, geo-tracking, and a ‘new name’
Apple announced that developers should submit their app’s privacy information to the App Store by December 8, 2020. This information will allow users to understand how and what exact information they are sharing. Google is urging developers to get permission to continue to use geo-tracking in the background mode by January 18, 2021. It’s a condition to stay in the store. Now Google Play warns that the app name can’t contain the price and emoji (the notification is under the ‘the app name’ text box).
ASO: the breakthrough tool, nomination from App Growth Awards and other news
Checkaso had a hot November too. First of all, the App Growth Awards has announced us a finalist for «Best ASO company». Secondly, we held two helpful webinars, one with App Masters («All The Ways to Attract Organic Downloads»), and the other with Mail.ru Group («ASO for games & apps: what’s the difference?»).
The main news is launching the new Performance tool. This is the first such solution in the mobile industry. It can be used to assess:
- effectiveness of attracting organic traffic around the world;
- monitor the competitors’ search optimization (what words they are indexed by, keywords popularity, and the number of impressions);
- the quality of localization.
Read more here.
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