News in apps delivered weekly to your inbox on 🌮Tuesday



Twitter Blue unveiled its NFT PFP feature for subscribers, allowing them to connect and verify NFTs as profile pics. Of course, in true Twitter fashion, not everyone was pleased with the feature. Microsoft has made one of the biggest tech acquisitions in history, but will the deal for gaming giant Activision Blizzard go through without any hiccups? Netflix has seen some of the wind taken out of its sails, as subscriber growth slows. There’s more NFT news in What’s dAppening, as Meta leads the web2 charge into the web3 space. And finally, if you don’t know what you’re having for lunch, our client Curbside Kitchen has the answer.

What’s ‘Appening is brought to you by 3Advance, the product development team that eats, sleeps and breathes apps. Not diggin’ the apps? You can opt-out below. Forwarding to a friend? They can subscribe here.

🎬 Takes

🟦 🙈 Twitter — NFT Profile Picture Verification for Twitter Blue Users

A couple of months after Twitter unveiled its very own NFT collection, the social media platform has now launched an NFT PFP feature for Twitter Blue account users (only available on iOS 🍏 for now). In a nutshell, you can use a crypto-wallet connection app to access your NFT collection, choose an NFT as a profile pic and get it verified. To make your verified NFT stand out from the masses, you’ll get a hexagon frame around your profile pic (instead of the blue circle). So far, so good. And it’s pretty cool to see Twitter jump into the NFT ecosystem. Indeed, one of the things we love about this is that it gives users the option of clicking through the PFP to access the NFT artist’s works and see if it’s been verified by NFT platforms like OpenSea. However, this is Twitter – even seemingly innocuous things don’t happen without a blazing argument. There has been a flood of criticism (one interesting viewpoint was from non-NFT artists who bemoaned that they don’t get to showcase their work in the same manner), as well as memes, fake NFT profile pics, accusations of elitism, and the usual Twitter mud-slinging. So, will it take off? Maybe people won’t be too fussed about paying that $2.99 Twitter Blue subscription and those insane ETH gas fees. However, as you will see with our What’s dAppening story, web2 titans are embracing web3 with a lot of gusto. Whether you like it or not, it’s dAppening. #TwitterNFTs Read more here.

🕹️ 💵 Microsoft — Xbox Owner Acquires Activision Blizzard in Mega-Deal

This is a huge story, with potentially massive ramifications in different sectors. First, it gives Microsoft/Xbox access to a helluva lot of IP – Call of Duty, Candy Crush, World of Warcraft, to name a few of the big-hitting games that it will own. Secondly, when finalized, the acquisition could be one of the biggest in tech history, eclipsing the $67 billion Dell paid for EMC in 2015. It will mean Microsoft will become the world’s third-biggest gaming company, leapfrogging Nintendo into third place behind Sony and Tencent. Thirdly, the media has been tripping over itself to report this as a ‘metaverse play’, allowing Microsoft to compete with Meta in the new dawn of immersive worlds for gaming and work. Finally, this adds to the growing consensus that content – and not hardware – is king in the gaming world. Xbox CEO Phil Spencer has been saying as such for a while. And yet, not everyone is happy about this. Some gamers fear that this will lead to more console exclusives, although Spencer has tried to allay those fears by saying Call of Duty will always be available on PlayStation. However, there’s already some drum beating from antitrust lawyers keen to scupper the deal. It is expected to go through by 2023, with Microsoft paying $68.7 billion (all cash 💰). But will the antitrust lawyers and Big Tech critics have their way in the courts? For now, the experts expect Microsoft to get it over the line. #MicrosoftBuysActivision Read more here.


📺 📉 Netflix — Lowest Subscriber Growth Rate Since 2015

It seems that even smash hit shows like Squid Game can’t prevent the Netflix juggernaut from slowing down just a little. The streaming platform’s subscriber numbers are in a downward trend, with the lowest rate of growth since 2015. New subscribers in Q4 2021 came in at 8.3 million – lower than the projected 8.5 million. And Q1 2022 is expected to see 2.5 million new subscribers (it was 4 million for the same period last year). We do need to take some of those numbers with a pinch of salt, though. After all, the influx of new subscribers to Netflix and other streaming platforms has been turbocharged by the pandemic over the last two years, and that was always going to hit a wall at some point. More worrying for Netflix, however, is that its advantage over rivals like Disney+ seems to be getting smaller. Moreover, with plans announced last week to raise subscription fees in North America (you’ll pay a buck or two more per month, depending on your package), new subscriber appeal might be a harder sell. Will Netflix’s move into the gaming sphere save the day? It claims it wants to eventually offer subscribers the “absolute best” gaming service, so perhaps a multi-faceted entertainment platform will help it stay on top. #NetflixLosingSteam Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week — Over 10 Billion Views

The most annoying earworm ever created? Perhaps. But Baby Shark (🎵Doo Doo Doo), the song that sends parents into tailspins of despair and headaches (🎵Doo Doo Doo), has become the first YouTube video to top 10 billion views (🎵Doo Doo Doo). It surpassed “Despacito” as the most-watched YouTube video ever in November 2020, and it has now become the first to exceed a cool 10 billion. Baby Shark’s inexorable rise hasn’t stopped with YouTube, either. It now has a Nickelodeon show, a movie, and, yes, you guessed it – there are Baby Shark NFTs. Now, please excuse us while we go buy some earplugs and Advil (🎵Doo Doo Doo). #BabySharkHits10B Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

📱 🐵 Meta – Plans to Launch NFT Marketplace for Facebook and Instagram

On the same day that Twitter launched its NFT PFPs, the Financial Times broke a story about Meta’s plans to do something similar for its Facebook and Instagram platforms. As we said, the arrival of web2 goliaths into NFTs and the wider web3 sphere is really dAppening (we solemnly promise that’s the last time we will use that pun). However, Meta’s plans seem somewhat grander than those of Twitter, as it will allow you to do more than simply have a Bored Ape as your Insta profile pic. Meta is reportedly looking at launching its own NFT marketplace, allowing users to buy, sell, and create their own NFTs. This is all at an early stage, though. And the Financial Times cautions that plans could change. However, make no mistake – the web2 social media giants are coming for a slice of the web3 pie. Will the web3 incumbents, who claim to value a decentralized internet away from Big Tech’s control above all else, take this lying down? You can bet your bottom dollar ETH token that they won’t. #Web2EmbracesNFTs Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

Well, it’s 🌮 Tuesday and the biggest question today is what are you having for lunch? Okay, maybe that’s not the most pressing issue of your day, but an important one regardless. Luckily our client, Curbside Kitchen, addresses these stomach rumbling concerns ahead of time. Their app pairs local food trucks with hungry employees and students in Philly, DC and around New Jersey. A fresh and tasty meal right outside the office? Sign us up 🙋! We had a lot of fun building this app, and our cloud infrastructure and approach to onboarding food trucks has spawned major growth for this most delicious startup. See what their founder and team recently said about the work we’ve done for them. And if you’re hungry, grab a fork and dig into all that Curbside Kitchen has to offer! 🍽️ 🚚