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App Store Weekly Digest #11 – December 18, 2018

3 min read

A Tuesday again! Hi there with the eleventh issue of App Store Weekly Digest!

Summarizing up the 2018, every actor of the mobile space has been reporting the countless advances and groundbreaking records in the mobile industry. Getting the year closed does not stop anyone though: Many new investments in new exciting projects and expectations from 2019 are still flowing in! Let’s take a look at the most noteworthy instances of the last week of mobile space. Please refer to the “Source” links below the titles for the full stories. Enjoy!

Facebook tests search ads in search results and its Marketplace


Facebook is currently testing search ads within search results and its Marketplace according to a confirmation by product manager Zoheb Hajiyani to TechCrunch.

The ads are repurposed News Feed ads that come in image or carousel format. Video is not currently being tested.

For advertisers, the addition presents an opportunity to test existing News Feeds ads within Search on mobile devices. All ads include a ‘sponsored’ tag and provide various transparency controls. Users can opt out of seeing search ads.

Marketplace search ads will be shown on Android and iOS, whilst Facebook search ads are only being tested on Android.

Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8M users’ unposted photos to apps


Facebook has just revealed a Photo API bug gave app developers too much access to the photos of up to 5.6 million users. The bug allowed apps users had approved to pull their timeline photos to also receive their Facebook Stories, Marketplace photos, and most worryingly, photos they’d uploaded to Facebook but never shared. Facebook says the bug ran for 12 days from September 13th to September 25th. Facebook tells TechCrunch it discovered the breach on September 25th, and informed the European Union’s privacy watchdog the Office Of The Data Protection Commissioner (IDPC) on November 22nd. The IDPC has begun a statuatory inquiry into the breach.

YouTube Music turns its Top Charts into playlists


youtube music top charts

Youtube announced it’s making its YouTube Charts available as playlists. Music to users across the 29 markets where the music service is live. Each market will receive five of these “charts playlists” — three specific to their country, and two global lists, the company says.

The Top 100 Songs and the Top 100 Music Videos will be offered both as local and global playlists, while the Top 20 Trending Songs will be offered as a local playlist.

Prisma’s new AI-powered app, Lensa, helps the selfie camera lie

Prisma Labs, the startup behind the style transfer craze of a couple of years ago, has a new AI-powered iOS app for retouching selfies. An Android version of the app — which is called Lensa — is slated as coming in January.

Opera brings a crypto wallet to its Android mobile browser


opera crypto browser android

Opera — the world’s fifth most-used browser, according to Statcounter — released the new Opera Browser for Android that includes a built-in crypto wallet for receiving and sending Bitcoin and other tokens, while it also allows for crypto-based commerce where supported.

AI ads suffer from viewability measurement weakness


Artificial Intelligence (AI) based ad types have a serious viewability problem, according to new research from mobile data and ad provider LoopMe. The latest findings highlight that marketers are already spending 19% of their budgets on AI, but roughly a quarter (24%) cannot measure the impact of their investments.

The Google Assistant can now alert you of potential flight delays


Google today announced that its Assistant will soon proactively notify you on your phone when its algorithms predict that your flight will be late. This feature is rolling out now and should be available to all users in the next few weeks.

Business use of messenger apps for customer service on the rise


MessengerPeople has released new research that explores the potential of messaging apps. According to the MessengerPeople Study 2018, 117 million customer queries were received on WhatsApp by companies in the last 12 months. Of these, 62% are answered within just 24 hours.

App developers favour in-app video ads for monetisation


Mobile ads and in particular in-app video tools are the favourite monetisation strategies utilised by free game app developers, according to new research from Chocolate, the video ad mediation platform.

Adverts rated highest (24%) among the top business models for app developers, followed by in-app purchases and subscriptions.

Mobile dominates digital and video ad expenditure forecasts


Mobile is projected to represent 66% of US programmatic digital display transactions according to the latest report from PubMatic.

Based on collected data, the report suggests that mobile ads will surpass $200 billion globally next year with the top markets for mobile ad expenditure being the US, China, the UK, Japan and Australia.

CrossInstall partners with Google to launch Playable ads on Google Play


CrossInstall, the interactive mobile ad company, has just announced a partnership with Google to launch Instant Playables on Google Play. Instant Playables by CrossInstall make it easier for users to trial games and apps in Play without having to download them.

Investments & New Promising Apps

  • Propel raises $12.8M for its free app to manage government benefits.
  • Disney’s invested in educational gaming app Kahoot, now at a $376M valuation.
  • African fintech startup Jumo raises $12.5M more to fund Asia expansion.
  • Glose raises $3.4 million for its collaborative reading app.
  • AppOnboard raises $15 million to let Android users try before they buy apps on Google Play.
  • LinkedIn CEO invests in violin app Trala.
  • ‘Ethical’ gold trading app Goldex bags £1m investment.
  • Social app for “shared experiences” Wisdo gets $11m funding.
  • B-Social raises £3.2M seed round to begin building a ‘social’ bank.
  • K Health raises $25M for its AI-powered primary care platform.

Top Charts of December 18, 2018 from Mobile Action

App Store Top Charts [Click to Enlarge]

Play Store Top Charts [Click to Enlarge]

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