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In this week’s What’s Appening, we cover something that has been on our mind for months – the rapid proliferation of new features in Big Tech products. We aren’t doing individual takes this week, but instead we take a broad view of a macro trend in the sector. We’ll be back next week for our usual breakdown of stories, but we felt this was too important not to acknowledge. We have left room for our Stat of the Week, though, which looks at social media’s growing role as a sports-viewing tool. And What’s dAppening highlights Coub, a web3-focused micro-video site that wants to topple TikTok. 

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Takes 🎬

📱🥊 Big Tech – The Battle Royale for Your Time, Attention, and Money

Last week in What’s Appening, we covered the news that Google’s discovery products were under ‘attack’ from apps like TikTok and Instagram: Young people are using social platforms for geo-discovery, an area on which Google has had a stranglehold for many years. While researching this week’s news in apps, we couldn’t help noticing the broader theme: Tech’s biggest firms are eating into other markets, copying what works, and deepening their reach. Here’s what has ‘appened in just the last seven days:

Instagram is trying to make it easier to find nearby businesses. Read more here.

YouTube partners with Shopify, and launches new shopping featuresRead more here.

TikTok is the fastest-growing news service for UK adults. Read more here.

Snapchat launches on the web and adds new calling and messaging features. Read more here.

Instagram’s new payment features allow direct purchases through DMsRead more here.

Amazon gives Prime Video a design overhaul, making it look a lot like Netflix. Read more here

Facebook is putting more focus on creators and videos, and less on news. Read more here.

Twitch is launching a new charity fundraising tool. Read more here

If you have been reading What’s Appening in recent months, you’ll know we’ve reported on dozens of stories all pointing towards the same endpoint – Big Tech and social media platforms are rapidly changing, and that involves mimicking the USPs (unique selling points) of their rivals. The tech industry has taken a hit and the pressure is on to turn stock prices around.

2022 has arguably seen more changes to major tech platforms than any other period, and we expect this trend to continue. Moreover, with web3 poised to disrupt the internet with everything from NFTs to decentralized payment technology to blockchain gaming, we could see the rate of change accelerate. Why such proliferation of new features in 2022? There are several reasons, from the effect of privacy regulation on ad revenue to the threat of TikTok on the more established tech giants. There are challenging global economic factors too, and also good old-fashioned rivalry for market share. Next week, we will return to our usual format in What’s Appening, breaking down interesting developments from the world of apps, tech, and beyond into digestible takes. But we wanted to highlight a broader narrative in tech this week, one that – we feel – has been largely overlooked in mainstream media reporting. #BigTechBigChange

🧐 Stat of the Week –  72%

📱📈 72% Watch Football on Social Media

 We found an interesting tidbit in the recently-published Nielsen World Football Report 2022. It found that 72% of people now watch football (we are referring to soccer here) on social media. That’s more than on PPV services (62%) or OTT streaming devices (68%). Free-to-air TV (81%) is still king, but the gap has been narrowing in recent years. One of the reasons cited by Nielsen is the ability of social media platforms to capitalize on fandom. TikTok, for example, partnered with the organizers of the Women’s Euro 2022 tournament, allowing fans to access exclusive video content, including behind-the-scenes footage. #SocialSoccer Read more here.  

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

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

📽️🤳 Coub – A Micro-Video Platform with Designs on Toppling TikTok

TikTok is the world’s most popular app, and its growing dominance has caused rivals to flounder and copy its formula. But might we, years from now, be talking of TikTok’s decline in the same way we speak of Facebook today? There’s always room for a tech disruptor, and many see the next wave of social media disruption coming from the web3 sphere. A case in point is Coub, a micro-video platform that has similar content to TikTok, but a focus on harnessing the power of web3 technology to offer a different experience for its users. For a start, Coub is launching a watch-to-earn model, meaning users will earn crypto rewards for viewing content on the platform. Later, it intends to launch an NFT marketplace. Coub currently has 11 million MAUs (monthly active users) and over 100 million casual users interacting with the content. Founded in 2012, it spent years as a niche product before completely redesigning its model to pivot as a web3 social media platform. A new Coub web3 app is also set to hit the market soon. Of course, Coub might not be the next great disruptor of social media. And after checking out the platform, there are plenty of things we think they could change to improve the UX. But Coub is just one of many web3 projects out there that believe social media is ripe for disruption, particularly in how they monetize users and reward creators. If that tipping point arrives, even the mighty TikTok could fall. #web3Socials Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance..

A nd… We’re live! We are excited and proud to announce that the brand new LeagueApps Android App is live in the Google Play store. This is a big win for the LeagueApps team – and of course the 3Advance mobile team. Last Summer, we were hired by our friends at LeagueApps to stabilize their current Android app, and prepare for the next major version update. We first met Steve Parker (CTO and Co-founder) and his team at the DCSportsTech meetup that Paul and Darren founded in 2013. Since then, LeagueApps has grown from strength to strength, now serving 2000+ sports organizations across the world. For the past six months, the team has worked tirelessly in developing v3.0 with a beautiful new experience and interface that the LeagueApps team and their community deserve. What a result! ⚽️🏀🏈⚾️ 🙌

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.