Mobile video monthly #15 – August 2021: TikTok Stories, localized reviews, and ratings for the Play Store,…

Fleets are out and TikTok Stories is in! TikTok is going on Snapchat’s and Instagram’s turf with a new stories feature, still in beta testing while Twitch is launching an all-new ad format and Google is trying a new strike system for the users not following their ad policy. 

A lot was happening in August but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out all the latest news just below!

Stories are coming to TikTok

July marked the end of the stories feature on Twitter (it was called Fleets before its disappearance) and August the end of LinkedIn’s stories. Now it’s time for TikTok to try its hand at it. Aptly named “TikTok Stories” the new feature has appeared on the devices of a select group of TikTok users.

Just like the other stories features on social media, TikTok Stories are only visible for 24 hours before disappearing. If ever TikTok decides to expand the feature outside of this pilot testing, stories of the creators you follow will appear on a collapsible sidebar. 

So far the feature is being tested in a few countries in the hope of gathering insight on its usage. However, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram took to Twitter to say he wasn’t surprised by the news given that ByteDance is “nothing if determined”. 

In the meantime, TikTok officially became the most popular social app of 2020, pulling ahead of Facebook, and is trying out longer videos with a 5-minute video upload limit.

Google restricts ad targeting of minors

Following Facebook’s announcement last month, Google is also implementing new measures to protect its underaged users :

  • The new safety section of the Play Store will let parents know which apps follow Google’s families’ policies.
  • Ad targeting based on age, gender, and interests will be blocked for users under 18, age-sensitive ad categories won’t be shown to them either
  • Anyone under the age of 18 (or their guardian) will be able to request the removal of their images from Google Image results
  • The default upload setting on YouTube will be the most private option for teens aged between 13-17. Autoplay will be turned off for them and the video-streaming service will show them break and bedtime reminders
  • When SafeSearch is enabled, signed-in users under 13 with accounts managed by Family Link won’t see explicit results in Google Search
  • Location history will remain off for users under 18 (but the option to turn it on will still be available)

It seems like all the big names of digital advertising are agreeing on new rules for underaged user protection. Both Facebook and Google mentioned getting ready for local laws aiming to protect younger users. The end of ad personalization for teenagers is just the precursor of all the changes coming. After all, privacy is the big topic of the moment.

Reviews and ratings will be localized by country on the Play Store

Google announced earlier this month that, starting in November 2021, mobile users will start to see ratings specific to their registered country. Later, in early 2022, they will also see ratings specific to the device they’re on (whether it is tablets, Chromebooks, or wearables). 

Both users and developers had expressed the need for a more targeted rating. This will help developers optimize their apps for devices and locations. 

Because it’s a pretty big shift, 10 weeks before any change is made, Google will automatically analyze the alterations more likely to happen in your app and warn you if it’s an evolution of more than 0.2 stars. This way, you’ll be able to plan and optimize your app for key markets.

Upcoming price and tax changes in the App Store

Apple announced an update on prices for several regions to adapt to the latest taxes and foreign exchange rate changes. 

Prices of apps and in-app purchases (auto-renewable subscriptions not included) will decrease in South Africa, United Kingdom, and all territories using the euro currency. 

Prices will increase in Georgia (with the new value-added tax of 18%) and in Tajikistan (with the new value-added tax of 18% that applies to developers based outside of Tajikistan). 

All proceeds will be adjusted accordingly and based on the tax-exclusive price. Proceeds on the Italian App Store will be increased to reflect the change to the Digital Services Tax effective rate.

Twitch is experimenting with stream display ads

Twitch is launching a new ad format on its platform. They are trying a new banners format that will show up during streaming without impacting the viewing. You can see what they will look like on the official tweet announcement:

These ads will last 10 seconds and it won’t be possible to close or minimize them. They will show up automatically but Twitch promises that there won’t be more than eight in an hour. 

This new format seems particularly well-tailored to the video-streaming configuration. It could be a nice way to advertise gaming solutions to a core audience.

Google Ads is trying a new strike system starting next month

Starting in September, Google is launching a new strike system for ad policy violations. As specified in the chart they shared just below, you will be allowed one warning and two strikes before your account is suspended on the third strike (if you keep violating the same policy).

Instagram is bringing ads to its shop tab

Last month, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, announced that the platform would stray away from image-sharing to focus on other topics like video and shopping.  Instagram has started testing ads in its Shop tab, starting on August 9 for a select number of US brands at first before a global launch on August 24.

source: MarketingDive

This is the first official change coming after Mosseri made its big announcement last month. It makes us wonder what’s in store for the other topics…

Reddit is joining the TikTok craze

After Instagram’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts, it’s now Reddit’s turn to try its hand at the TikTok format. The network launched a new feed format for videos (only on iOS for now) that looks very similar to the Chinese video app.

The new feature seems to be working just like Reddit previously did (showing you content from subreddits you subscribed to and similar content from adjacent subreddits). They only tailored the visual aspects after TikTok (and now Reels and Shorts, who all look alike).  

Reddit is the latest social media to launch a TikTok-like feature on its platform, underlining the unmistakable success of the Chinese app.

Twitter’s Agency Playbook new version is available!

If you’re advertising on Twitter you’ll be glad to know that an updated version of the social media’s Agency Playbook is now available. The new version contains refreshed data on the use of the social media platform by brands and an overhaul of their advice to make the best use of their tools.

According to the updated data, 97% of people focus on visuals when they scroll on Twitter. More particularly, for app installs the social media advises using video ads and images ads with app buttons.

Reels are coming to Facebook

After its success on Instagram, Facebook is bringing Reels to its main platform. The social media is testing Facebook Reels in the US. While TikTok keeps on growing, everyone else is trying their luck at the short video format. Now that Reels is settled in Instagram and becoming more and more popular, Zuckerberg’s firm felt like it was time to bring it home and try it directly on Facebook.

According to the visuals shared by Facebook, its Reels function looks exactly like Instagram’s (who’s already very similar to TikTok). 

Will it encounter the same success on Facebook than it did on Instagram?

Netflix launches its mobile games in Poland

Last month we talked about Netflix’s joining the mobile game momentum, they have finally launched their first games. According to an official tweet, two mobile games have been made available to Netflix’s users in Poland.

If you have a Netflix account and reside in Poland, you can now see video games on the homepage. If you click on one of the two games available (Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3), you will be sent to the Google Play Store to download them. You can also apparently find the games on their own in the Play Store but be aware that you will be asked for your Netflix’s account credentials to be able to play. 

Netflix also announced that there would be no ads and no in-app purchases in these games. This is their first dip in the mobile game world, banking on one of their biggest franchises.

Liftoff and Vungle are merging

According to a press release, Liftoff and Vungle are merging to create a mobile app growth platform. Vungle already acquired GameRefinery in March of 2021. Liftoff co-founder and CEO Mark Ellis will lead the combined company as CEO and Vungle CEO Jeremy Bondy will be assuming the role of President. This merger is expected to close at the end of September.

The YouTube Shorts fund is finally here

The fund promised by Google when Shorts was still in beta is finally available. Creators can earn up to $10,000 (the minimum payment is $100) per month for making popular videos on the feature. 

As of now, it’s only available in 10 countries: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the US. There’s also a set of rules to abide by, for example, you’re not allowed to post content with a watermark or a logo from another social media platform, you also won’t be eligible if you post video extract from other creators YouTube videos or from films or TV shows).

What we talked about this month:

Marine Nozerand

Hi there, I'm Marine (she/her), I'm a Content Manager at Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.).
Marine Nozerand

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