Mobile video monthly #14 July 2021 : longer TikToks, restricted ad personalization for minors on Facebook and the end of Fleets

App News

October 12, 2022

July was a busy month in the app world! Fleets met its end and Pinterest banned fat-shaming ads, not to mention the plethora of new tools coming to TikTok. Learn about all the latest news below!

Changes to Google Play fees

Starting on July 1st, the service fee for developers on the Google Play Store became 15% for the first $1M (USD) of earnings made each year when selling digital goods or services. 

Announced in March 2021, this change officially came into effect at the beginning of the month. If you have multiple ADAs (Associated Developer Accounts), the 15% service fee will be applied if the total earnings of all your ADAs are under $1M (USD). If that’s the case, every ADA will receive the 15% service fee. Once your total earning exceeds $1M (USD), the service fee will become 30% for all ADAs for the rest of the year.

Because earnings will be calculated on a yearly calendar basis (From the 1st of January to the 31st of December), the earning limit will be prorated to the start of the program. If you start the program on July 1st, the earnings limit will be $500,000 (USD).

Google specifies that the 15% service fee tier only went into effect on July 1st for developers who completed enrollment before this date. The reduced charges will only apply after the registration process is finalized.

Twitter is removing Fleets

Not even a year after it was launched, it’s already the end of Fleets. Fleets was Twitter’s way to try and compete with Instagram’s Stories and Snapchat but it never met its intended audience. The feature allowed users to post text and/or pictures that would disappear after 24 hours. Released in November 2020, the function was polarizing, people either hated it or loved it, as you can see on Twitter’s official goodbye tweet for Fleets.

For those who enjoyed sharing fleets, not everything is lost. In a blog post, Twitter explained that even though the feature didn’t work as intended (they wanted to make people more comfortable creating content instead of just retweeting) they will implement what they learned from it in their future tries. Their focus is to get people who don’t tweet to start tweeting, and even though Fleets didn’t help them reach that goal, there is something to learn about this failure: the best-performing element of the feature was media sharing of photos and videos.

They are looking to introduce some of the Fleets features to the Tweet composer such as a full-screen camera, text formatting options, and GIF stickers. Spaces will replace Fleets on the spot at the top of the timeline to keep users updated on what’s going on in the app.

As for advertisers, while Twitter only launched ads in Fleets last month, they are still interested in pursuing full-screen vertical ads in the future. How will they do it, now that Fleets is gone? Only time will tell…

Android App Bundle will replace APK as the standard publishing format on the Google Play Store

Starting August 2021, the Android App Bundle will become the standard publishing format for the Google Play Store, replacing APK. This requirement only concerns new apps while existing apps and private apps are currently exempted from it.

source: Google

If you haven’t switched to AAB yet, now’s the time to do it!

TikTok introduces longer videos and other new features

TikTok is extending video length to 3 minutes. The Chinese company announced on the 1st of July that after letting some creators experiment with longer videos, they decided to roll out the option to everyone in the upcoming weeks. What made TikTok’s success was the fact that it produced short and easily consumed content. How will this new opportunity fare for the video app? We’ll just have to wait and see…

 And for the existing users who already have established followers on the app, they’re also testing a feature very similar to Cameo (a platform that allows you to pay celebrities to receive a personalized message from them). With this feature called Shoutouts, viewers will be able to request and pay (with in-app currency) for personalized messages from their favorite TikTokers. So far Shoutouts is only available to some creators in Turkey and Dubai, there’s no information about when it will be available to the rest of the world. They’re also making their branded toggle accessible to everyone, allowing users to showcase paid partnerships more easily.

For marketers, TikTok also launched Spark Ads, they describe it as “a native ad solution that enables businesses to boost their own organic posts or relevant content posted by creators as In-Feed Ads or TopView ads.” It will help brands promote their organic posts in a way that will feel more genuine to users scrolling on the app.

But wait, there’s more! TikTok is also helping you find a job! Yes, you’re not dreaming, they launched TikTok Resumes, a special platform where TikTokers can share their resumes in the hope of being noticed by companies.

TikTok is having a busy summer, after all, they’re the first non-gaming app that doesn’t belong to Facebook to reach 3 billion installs, it’s a good reason to bring more changes to the platform!

Netflix is diving into mobile gaming

Netflix is dipping its toes into mobile gaming. So far, we don’t know much about this potential new feature. In a letter to their investors shared on July 20th, they announced they were “in the early stages of further expanding into games”. Their main focus will be games for mobile devices,  they will be included in all Netflix’s subscriptions at no additional cost.

Facebook is limiting ad reach for minors

Facebook announced that advertisers would only be allowed to target users under 18 based on their age, gender, and location.  Previously available targeting options such as those based on interests and activity on other apps and websites will no longer be available to advertisers. These restrictions, put in place to protect minors, according to Facebook, will be international and impact  Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.

Pinterest bans weight-loss ads

On July 1st the image-sharing platform announced that it would ban all ads promoting weight loss on their platform. This updated policy will now prohibit any weight loss language or imagery, testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products, referencing Body Mass Index (BMI) or similar indexes, any products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin, and any language or imagery that idealizes or denigrates certain body types.

This is in addition to ad content that was already barred from Pinterest like before and after weight loss imagery, body shaming, unrealistic cosmetic measures, etc. Ads promoting healthy lifestyles or fitness services are still allowed, as long as they don’t mention weight loss. 

Pinterest worked on this policy change with the guidance of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). They explain that, with the arrival of Summer, its unrealistic body expectations, and the rise of eating disorders in young people since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year, they wanted to make sure their platform would be welcoming to all.

It is the first major social media to ban all weight-loss ads, and they encourage their counterparts to take similar measures.

What we talked about this month:

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