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In this week’s What’s Appening, we cover the news that Adobe will buy Figma for $20 billion. Not everyone is happy, but the details of the deal mean that a lot of what made Figma great should stay in place. Elsewhere, we take a quick glance at stories about iOS 16 personalization, smart home interoperability, and Zoom’s product diversification. Our Stat of the Week brings alarming details of price rises in Apple’s in-app purchases. And What’s dAppening sees the White House finally get a framework prepared for the regulation of digital assets. 

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Takes 🎬

🎨 🤝  Figma – $20 Billion Adobe Deal Raises Competition Concerns

The design platform Figma is to be acquired by Adobe in a $20 billion deal. The acquisition has been met with some concern, not least by Figma’s loyal army of users – the designers that rejected Adobe’s innovation (or lack of) and have despised the payments models flung on them by this 800-lb gorilla. Figma is seen as the innovative product led startup that pioneered web-based collaborative design and often positioned itself as “not Adobe”. Both Adobe and Figma CEO Dylan Field have tried to assuage fears that Figma will deteriorate. For a start, Figma will remain “independent” and Field will continue to lead the company. Price plans and features, including the free plan for those in education, will also stay the same. And they were keen to point out that giving Figma access to Adobe’s suite of software products and know-how could only enhance the Figma experience. However, there is understandable concern that the takeover creates less choice in markets that Adobe already dominates (antitrust lawyers will also have a look). As an aside, we should point out that the deal is another example of massive success by Peter Thiel’s fellowship program. Dylan Field dropped out of college (a requirement to get the $100K grant) to join the program in 2011, founding Figma a year later. Other ‘dropouts’ to have benefitted from the Thiel program include Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum. Perhaps the message is, “stay outta school, kids”. #FigmaAdobeDeal Read more here.

📰 💪 The Best of the Rest – Other News:

iPhone Personalization App Shoots to No.1 in App Store: iPhone users seem keen to customize their devices as iOS 16 launches, with the Top Widgets app displacing BeReal as top dog in the App Store. Read about it here.

Zoom Takes on Office and Google Workspace: Zoom wants to be more than your conferencing software, as it announces calendar and email tools. Can it slay the Goliaths? Get the details here.

Android and iOS Smart Home Interoperability: Your smart home gadgets should all work together seamlessly, right? Matter is the new smart-home connectivity standard that will ensure that. Find out about that here.

YouTube Plays with Advert Fire: Five unskippable adverts before you watch a YouTube video sounds awful, but the platform has been experimenting with the idea. See what they are up to here.

But YouTube Is Putting Money into Shorts: Taking on TikTok? YouTube knows that money talks, so it is getting aggressive with its monetization for creators making Shorts. Get the lowdown on that here.

Meta Announces Discord-Like Community Chats: Another week, another story about Meta testing features that are popular on other platforms. This time, it’s Discord. Read about that one here.

🧐 Stat of the Week – 40%

💸 📈  Apple In-App Purchases Rise Significantly

The average price of Apple’s in-app purchases has risen by 40% in the last year. While some of the recent rises might be down to biting inflation, data from Apptopia suggests the price hikes are a reaction to Apple’s introduction of ATT (Ad Tracking Transparency), which hamstrung advertising revenues from big players to small players alike. As a comparison, in-app purchase prices for Google Play have only risen by 9% in the same period. #ApplePriceYikes Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

A dApp is a decentralized app. Here’s the latest in web3, NFTs and blockchain apps.

📜 👨‍⚖️  Digital Assets – White House Releases First-Ever Framework for Crypto Regulation

A lot has happened in web3 this week. The Ethereum Merge seems to have been successful (yay!), Terra Luna’s Lun Do Kwon is on the run (boo!), and today happens to be Official NFT Day. However, the most important web3 news arguably came from the White House, which released its first-ever regulatory framework for digital assets. What’s in it? A lot of jargon, yes, but the important bits are a recognition that regulation is necessary to protect consumers and that the US must embrace crypto and digital assets to continue its role as a global leader in financial services. We agree: Crypto and digital assets are inevitable, and lawmakers can’t bury their heads in the sand much longer. Regulate in partnership with the web3 community to ensure the US leads the industry into an exciting new phase. What’s most interesting is that at the highest level of government there seems to be acceptance that a US central bank digital currency (CBDC) is coming. This won’t be a “stable coin” simply pegged to the dollar, but US-government backed digital currency with many of the benefits of other crypto-currencies that will ultimately improve efficiencies in trade and access. #AWhiteHouseWhitePaper Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

September 20th has been declared NFT Day. It’s five years to the day that our friends at Dapper Labs… Well, CTO Dete Shirley published ERC-721 on September 20th 2017, and officially coined the term Non-Fungible Token. Now, five years later, 3Advance is not only building NFT platforms on Dapper’s Flow blockchain, but we’re tipping our hat to the NFT community – the builders and the artists that have unleashed the power of web3. Yes, there’s a lot of crazy NFTs out there, and we’re not suggesting you run out and buy any, but we are fully vested in the underlying technology and the applications that are built upon it. Truly gamechanging and we’re excited to be part of the community of builders. Happy NFT Day everyone!

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