Mobile Video Monthly #30 – November 2022

App News

December 6, 2022

Before you the holiday spirit takes over, let’s recap what happened in the mobile industry in November. On December 1st, Apptamin’s team celebrated their nomination as a finalist for Agency of the Year in the App Growth Awards 2022. We’re really happy to have been nominated amongst such great companies and congratulations to the winner!

Set aside your Spotify wrapped, and let’s dive into all the latest news. 

Google tries new placements in Play Store search

Some users have spotted apps they’ve never interacted with in place of their search history on the Play Store. On the left, you can see what normally appears in Play Store search and on the right, what this user saw.

source: 9to5Google

While it is reminiscent of Apple’s ASA (which has been very successful as of late), Google denied this to be a new ad placement in the Play Store. 

According to a Google spokesperson, this will be an “organic discovery feature to highlight apps and games with major updates, ongoing events, or offers that users may be interested in”. It will not be paid advertising. 

Talking about tests, Google Play Games for PC is now available in beta in the US, so is the Android Privacy Sandbox

On another note, Google is also starting a 3rd-party billing test in new markets including the US and the European Economic Area. Bumble and Spotify have joined the test as pilot testers and the first iterations should roll out this week.

Image Credits: Spotify

Using a third-party payment option will reduce Google’s commission by 4% (down to 26%).

Google will promote high-quality apps in the Play Store

Google announced new updates to the Play Store that will affect app discovery. According to the firm, high-quality titles will now be preferred over those with poor user experience. This entails increased visibility in more spots across the Play Store for higher-quality apps.

Image Source: Android Developers Blog

Those who don’t fulfill the new quality thresholds will be excluded from recommendations and may have a warning message displayed on their product page.

Google will also implement a minimum of 3.0 star rating before allowing apps to get into the top charts.

The European Union’s Digital Market Act is here

The European Union’s DMA and DSA have now officially come into effect. Both these laws could have lasting impacts on Google and Apple. 

On one hand, the DMA will declare which tech giants are considered gatekeepers in the coming month, and force them to open up their services and platforms to the competition. This might mean that Apple may not be able to keep the iPhone locked to other app stores for long in the European market. The DMA would allow users to install third-party app stores, sideload apps, and allow developers to interoperate with Apple’s services (including messaging). 

The DMA is starting a 6-month implementation phase and will be applied starting on May 2, 2023. Gatekeepers will then have 2 months to inform the commission of whether they meet or not the thresholds and will need to comply with the DMA’s requirements by March 6, 2024, at the latest. 

The DSA will focus on content regulation. This law will aim to make big platforms’ processes more transparent. The platforms and search engines will be asked to be proactive in risk reduction and evaluation.

Online advertising will also need to be more transparent. Platforms will have to share a public ad register stating the advertiser’s intentions, his identity, the total number of users that saw it, the target audience, how long it was visible, etc. 

To find out more about the DMA and the DSA and what it will mean for the mobile industry, check out our post on the topic

Instagram rolls out explore ads

According to AdWeek, advertisers can now place ads on Instagram’s Explore page via the platform’s marketing API. There is no news yet on the availability of ads in Instagram’s profile, that were announced at the same time.

This is what ads in profiles will look like:

Instagram is also working on another BeReal-like feature who no expected availability date:

Epic accuses Google of bribing the competition not to launch rival app store

According to a court filing in the Epic vs. Google case, Google struck deals with 24 game developers to keep them on the Play Store and convince them not to launch their own app stores. 

Epic, alleges that Google paid up to $360 million to Activision Blizzard over three years, and a similar agreement with Riot Games. Google answered these claims by explaining that these offers were meant as incentives to provide early access to Play Store users.  

Amongst the other developers are Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Calm. The remuneration included Google ad credits.

According to Epic Games, if these developers had fled to other stores it would have resulted in a $1.1 billion loss in annual app store profit.

TikTok begins testing a shopping feature in the US

TikTok is still growing, the short video app is currently on track to make $10 billion in ad revenue this year, more than double last year’s earnings. To keep on track with its growth, the Chinese app just launched TikTok Shop in the US. So far, only U.S. businesses will initially be able to start selling products via their TikTok Shops.

This launch comes just in time for the holiday season, which could bring a lot of sales to the platform and help them see if TikTok did make them buy it. 

The shopping feature has already been tested in Indonesia (with resounding success) and in the UK (where it didn’t work as well as intended).

YouTube also launched a shopping feature on its TikTok-like feature Shorts barely a week after TikTok. 

Advertisers are fleeing Twitter

Elon Musk’s takeover is the talk of the tech industry. While everyone is waiting to see what will become of Twitter, advertisers have decided to hold back on advertising. More than a third of Twitter’s top 100 marketers have not advertised on the platform in a couple of weeks. 

According to Elon Musk himself, even Apple pulled back most ads. 

Although the Cupertino firm did not state anything in that regard, nor on the fact that according to Musk, they’re threatening to pull Twitter from the App Store.

Marketers’ main concerns about the platform center around marketers’ brand safety and content moderation issues. 

Meanwhile, Twitter’s former CEO, Jack Dorsey is promoting his upcoming social network: Bluesky

Numbers of the month

November’s App Marketing Snack Episode

What we talked about this month

More about App News

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