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In this week’s What’s Appening, we cover a helluva lot of stories with a common theme. in a nutshell, Big Tech is experimenting with different ways to make cash. From a changing stance on advertisements (👋🍏) to subscriptions to partnerships to trialing new products, everyone is looking at different ways to make a buck. Elsewhere, our Stat of the Week looks at our changing habits in consuming television. And What’s dAppening takes a peek at web3 investment, with a big name in Web 2 leading the way.

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Takes 🎬

🍏💳 Apple – Plans to Double-Down on Advertising

Apple’s ad revenue was $4 billion in 2021. That might sound like a hefty chunk of cash, but when you compare it to Meta ($114.9B) or Google ($209.5B), it’s clear that the iPhone maker really lags behind. In fact, about 1% of Apple’s revenue comes from advertising – Google, by comparison, is 90%, though obviously that’s been their core business since the beginning. In the past few years, Apple has successfully infiltrated the subscription business, and now they’re planning to turn up the heat on their ads. You’ve probably already noticed ads on the AppStore and News apps, but it looks like they’ll be spreading to Maps and digital storefronts like Books and Podcasts. So is this going to ruin our iOS experience? After forking out $1000 for a high-end iPhone and the Apple+ subscription, will we now be bombarded with spammy ads while we catch up on our morning news? And when will enough be enough? We have reported on everyone from Netflix to Snapchat to Facebook to Walmart making bold changes to boost revenues in recent months. Indeed, just this week Disney+ announced a date for its ad-supported tier (along with an increase in prices for streaming without ads). Is this the tech industry’s response to inflation? #MoMoneyMoreProblems Read more here.

📈📉App Trends – This Week’s Winners and Losers:

There’s been news of lots of ups and downs for tech’s top apps the past week, so we thought we would bundle them all together in a single take for you. Starting with Facebook, the downtrend continues with news that the app has fallen out of the top 10 most downloaded free apps in the US no fewer than 97 times this year. For perspective, that only occurred seven times in total in 2021. The beneficiaries of Facebook’s demise? TikTok, for one. But it is arguably more interesting to look at the rise of BeReal. We first reported on BeReal back in January, as the authenticity-first app went viral around college campuses, but it is now in the big time – cracking the top 5 in the App Store, and looking like it will stay there. Elsewhere, we have noticed that Snapchat’s subscription (remember what we said about changing revenue models?) has been a success. Around one million subscribers have already signed up to pay for Snap’s premium features. Not everything is a success at Snap, though: the Pixy drone has been scrapped after just four months. In other news for app trends, we see that there has been a huge drop-off in users in meditation apps – the top 10 meditation apps have dropped 48% from their apex in 2020. One reason cited for this is the return to “normal life” after the height of the pandemic. #AppTrends Read more here.

👍🆕 Tech Trials – Facebook Marketplace + DoorDash, Spotify Voice Comments & More

As we mentioned, tech companies have been exploring lots of different options to diversify income streams, and we have looked at a bunch of new trials and partnerships this week. First up, it’s DoorDash. The delivery app is exploring a partnership with Meta to test the delivery of Facebook Marketplace items. The test period will roll out across several US cities, with most Marketplace items eligible, as long as they fit in the trunk of a car and the delivery location is within a 15-mile radius. Spotify is also trialing a new feature, allowing users to record audio reactions to music playlists. And in the latest round of “everyone copying TikTok”, Amazon – the WSJ reports – is testing out a rolling TikTok-like feed of videos on its app. Elsewhere, Facebook & Instagram have an “if you can’t beat ‘em, then join ‘em” trial of allowing creators to share TikTok videos directly to the two platforms. Finally, we have a fun little story about Fluid One, a Kickstarter project that lets you turn your iPhone into a magic wand capable of controlling all of your home’s smart devices. Check out the details on that one here. #TrialsAndTribulations Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week – 34.8%, Streaming Viewership at ATH

An interesting milestone occurred this July – streaming surpassed cable television in viewership for the first time. As per Nielsen, the percentage of streaming platform viewers rose to a 34.8% market share, edging out cable, which slumped to 34.4%. Broadcast television was down at 21.6%. While these figures might look like a win for streaming platforms, you should note that viewing trends can chop and change month by month. Cable, for example, saw a slump in July after the NBA Playoffs ended in June, but cable broadcasters will expect audiences to return when the football season gets underway again in a few weeks. #StreamingAhead Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

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

🕸️💰 Alphabet – Google Parent Leads the Way with $1.5 Billion Invested in web3 Projects

If you think web3 is made up solely of disruptors who want to challenge the status quo, then you aren’t looking at the money. A recent report by BlockWorks looked at the biggest investors in web3 projects, showing that the likes of PayPal, Samsung, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Tencent, and Wells Fargo had collectively poured billions of dollars into various web3 startups over the last year. But the undisputed leader was Alphabet, with Google’s parent company spending $1.506 billion (from Sept 2021 – June 2022) in web3 investments. Among the biggest beneficiaries of Google-bucks were Dapper Labs, which is the creator of the Flow blockchain, Fireblocks, which is a digital assets management and custody platform, and Voltage, a web3 email provider. It might seem counter-intuitive for Alphabet to invest in an industry that wants to remodel the Web 2 blueprint that served it so well down the years. But there is a growing sense of recognition among Web 2 behemoths that web3 is, as Thanos might say, inevitable. #GoogleWeb3 Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

Wow, can you believe the Summer is almost over? That means it’s the last week of Summer Fridays here at 3Advance. As the kids go back to school, our five-day work week is back. But it’s been a blast, and memories were made. Here are just a few of the snaps shared on our team Slack over the last two months. Hope you enjoy!

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Don’t forget, this week’s video episode will be released shortly on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. There’s also the mini-recap on TikTok and Instagram. As always, we appreciate y’all following along on any of these social platforms and we’d love to hear your feedback.