News digest 05.04.2021

TIKTOK REMAINS THE MOST DOWNLOADED APP IN Q1 2021, ACCORDING TO NEW DATA

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Despite various challenges, including a US Government push to ban the app entirely, the latest download stats from App Annie underline the enduring popularity of TikTok, which continues on its march to becoming the next billion-user social app.
TikTok remained the most downloaded app in Q1 2021, holding its growth momentum over the past two years. Of course, most people have already downloaded Facebook and Instagram, so download stats in themselves are not necessarily indicative of usage. Indeed, looking at the monthly active user stats on the right, we can see that Facebook is still dominant - but TikTok's continued rise underlines its enduring popularity, and the resonance, and influence, it now holds with more and more users.

CONSUMERS SPENT $32 BILLION ON APPS IN Q1 2021— THE BIGGEST QUARTER SINCE RECORDS BEGAN

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The full impact of global lockdowns is revealed as global spend on apps surges by 40% in a year. The app market is getting bigger – and it's growing at a faster rate than ever before.
New App Annie data reveals that consumers spent $32 billion on in-app purchases across iOS and Google Play globally in Q1 2021. It's the biggest quarter since records began – and the figure is 40% up on the same quarter for 2020.
The numbers illustrate the remarkable impact that the pandemic has had on the app market.Smartphone users spent around $9 billion more on apps and games in Q1 2021 than they did in Q1 2020.

IT’S GAME OVER FOR ARIZONA’S BILL THAT WOULD HAVE IMPOSED DEVELOPER-FRIENDLY CHANGES TO APPLE AND GOOGLE’S MOBILE APP STORES

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The bill, which would have allowed alternative payment systems on Android and iOS that bypass the stores’ 30 percent cuts, mysteriously disappeared last week prior to a scheduled vote that could have sent it straight to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
The bill had just won a landmark victory in the Arizona House of Representatives earlier in March, and the state Senate was officially set to begin its vote. HB2005 was the first bill on the agenda, yet it never came up. Now, it turns out that the Senate decided to pull the bill at the last minute, and its fate is effectively sealed for the rest of the year. Arizona will wrap up its congressional session in April with no plans to hear HB2005 again.

ANDROID SENDS 20X MORE DATA TO GOOGLE THAN IOS SENDS TO APPLE

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A researcher has provided a side-by-side comparison that suggests that, while both iOS and Android collect handset data around the clock — even when devices are idle, just out of the box, or after users have opted out — the Google mobile OS collects about 20 times as much data as its Apple competitor.
Google has contested the findings, saying that they’re based on faulty methods for measuring the data that’s collected by each OS. The company also contended that data collection is a core function of any Internet-connected device.

GOOGLE STARTS TRIALING ITS FLOC COOKIE ALTERNATIVE IN CHROME

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Google announced that it is rolling out Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), a crucial part of its Privacy Sandbox project for Chrome, as a developer origin trial.
FLoC is meant to be an alternative to the kind of cookies that advertising technology companies use today to track users across the web. Instead of a personally identifiable cookie, FLoC runs locally and analyzes your browsing behavior to group you into a cohort of like-minded people with similar interests (and doesn’t share browsing history with Google).

TINDER DATA SHOWS HOW PANDEMIC DATING WAS EVEN WEIRDER THAN REGULAR DATING

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Conversations on average were 32 percent longer than they had been pre-pandemic and people matched — meaning both people found the other attractive — 42 percent more.
There were about 20 percent more messages per day in February of this year than there had been in February of last year. The number of swipes on Tinder broke 3 billion in a single day for the first time in March of 2020.
Competitors like Bumble and Hinge also saw huge growth during the pandemic.

BYTEDANCE VALUED AT $250 BILLION IN PRIVATE TRADES

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Shares of ByteDance Ltd., the Chinese parent of hit video app TikTok, are trading at a valuation of more than $250 billion in the secondary market, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Beijing-based startup’s value has surged in recent weeks as investors gain confidence in the business and founder Zhang Yiming weighs options for an initial public offering. ByteDance was valued at $140 billion during its last fundraising.

VISA WILL ALLOW THE USE OF THE CRYPTOCURRENCY

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The company said it had launched the pilot programme with payment and crypto platform Crypto.com and plans to offer the option to more partners later this year using the cryptocurrency USD Coin.
The USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin cryptocurrency whose value is pegged directly to the US dollar.
Visa’s move comes as finance firms including BNY Mellon, BlackRock, and Mastercard take steps to make more use of cryptocurrencies for investment and payment purposes.

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