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INSTAGRAM WANTED TO BE LIKE TIKTOK, THEN THE POWER USERS LED A REVOLT

🌮 TLDR

In this week’s What’s Appening, we are talking about the Kardashians. Not really, but Kim and co. led a campaign against Instagram, forcing the platform to rethink its TikTok-like changes. Meta had much more to worry about than Instagram, though, as revenues declined and a landmark FTC injunction hit its metaverse plans. We are also looking at some bad ideas this week, as Spotify says bye to Car Thing and a soccer club introduces smart scarves. Our Stat of the Week reports on the astounding growth of cloud services. And What’s dAppening hails TIME, the most ardent web3 cheerleader from the legacy media.

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Takes 🎬

🤳👊Instagram – Revolt, Retort, and Rethink as Platform Receives Backlash

Something that we have touched upon in What’s Appening recently is the seemingly inexorable rise of TikTok and the challenge that poses to rival social media platforms. As such, the business plans of the latter group seem to be summed by the phrase, “let’s be more like TikTok.”. Careful what you wish for, though, as Instagram found out. After making a host of TikTok-esque changes – more focus on video, pushing content from non-followed accounts – Instagram received a backlash from ‘power users’. The Kardashians, with their quadrillions of followers, were front and center of the revolt, but ‘ordinary’ users also joined in with the criticism. The demand was simple, summed up by the viral slogan “Make Instagram Instagram Again”. And the revolt worked to an extent, as Instagram boss Adam Mosseri gave a mea culpa speech and promised to roll back some of the changes. Despite the backlash, there is a consensus that Insta remains unbowed on transforming the platform, and that will include more video content and more posts from people you don’t follow. The Kardashians might have some influence, but the buck stops with Zuck. And the word from Meta HQ is that the big boss Mark Zuckerberg will not backtrack on eventually making these types of changes to both Instagram and Facebook. The Kardashians may have won the battle, but the war for Insta is far from over. #InstagramWars Read more here.

👩‍⚖️📉 Meta’s Latest Woes – Revenue Decline and FTC Injunction   

Mark Zuckerberg has much bigger worries than celebrity influencers this week. First, there was the news of the first revenue decline for Meta since the company went public ten years ago. Q2 2022 revenue was down year on year by 1%, and profits slipped by 36%. While a 1% revenue drop might not look like much in testing economic times for all of us, it’s the symbolism of it – Facebook/Meta was the financial juggernaut that “defied the laws of gravity”, growing despite privacy scandals and political headwinds. The party’s over. But buried among the other bad news this week was something perhaps more worrying for Meta: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) applied for an injunction to block Meta’s acquisition of Within, a VR software company whose immersive tech products could be beneficial to Meta’s metaverse plans. The move by the FTC has been called “highly unusual”, as normally antitrust cases are reserved for deals among big companies creating potential market monopolies. This is certainly not that. The lawsuit is seen as a pivotal moment for FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, who has been a vocal critic of Big Tech long before she was installed in the post. Make no mistake: Khan, not Kardashian, is the ‘influencer’ of Mark Zuckerberg’s nightmares. #MetaBurst Read more here.  

📻🧣 Gadgets – If You Build It They They Might Just Shrug 🤷🏻‍♂️

Spotify announced it was ending production of Car Thing, its in-car smart player that allowed for voice control of your Spotify (Premium) account. After just five months of commercial production, it has exited the market with a whimper after low sales. Despite being a decent bit of audio kit for your vehicle, Car Thing broke the cardinal rule of product development – it brought nothing new to the market. Most cars these days come with CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, so adding Car Thing was a luxury that most of us felt was unnecessary. In other gadgets-that-won’t-take-off-news, we wanted to bring you the latest in soccer match fashion – smart scarves. Conceived by Manchester City FC, these bits of smart apparel will track fans’ emotions during a game, allowing the data to be used to ‘enhance’ future gameday experiences. We are all for tech innovation in sports, but this seems like a step too far, and we just can’t see soccer fans willingly embracing it. Moreover, if Man City’s hierarchy wants to understand its fans’ emotions, they can just ask our CEO, Paul – his beloved Liverpool beat Man City 3-1 on Saturday to start the new season on a high. No scarf required to gauge Paul’s post-game emotions. #CarThingScarfThing Read more here.

🧐 Stats of the Week – 40%, 36%, 33% Cloud Growth

Last week was Q2 earnings week, and it was a mixed bag for the tech sector as the threat of recession and record inflation bites. But we couldn’t help but notice the astounding growth from the Big Three Cloud vendors – AWS (40%), Microsoft Azure (36%), and Google Cloud (33%). While those numbers are slightly down from the quarter before, the level of growth remains remarkable. Don’t forget that these vendors are growing from an already massive base, so to keep posting these double-digit growth figures quarter after quarter is incredible. Headwinds may come as enterprise IT budgets become squeezed, but it still seems like clear blue skies for cloud adoption. #CloudBurst Read more here.  

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

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

⌚🖼️ TIME – Iconic Magazine Embraces NFTs as a Way of Community Building

If we could point to one member of the “legacy media” who gets it with NFTs, then it’s surely TIME. The publication’s president, Keith Grossman, has wholly embraced the concept of NFTs and the power of web3. In the last year, TIME has airdropped around 20,000 TIMEPiece NFTs (netting it around $10 million in revenue), and it also has a bit of land in the metaverse, TIME Square in The Sandbox. With its latest step – transforming all future memberships to TIMEPiece NFTs – the publication has a view of NFTs more in line with our own. Namely, they should be viewed as utility tools, not as speculative assets. Grossman has claimed that the NFTs will not only afford holders special subscription rights but the ability to control their data. TIME sees NFTs as a gateway to community building on its platform, fostering relationships between the publication, artists, and readers in ways traditional memberships can’t. Sign us up. #TimeForNFTs Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance..

Well, Summer Fridays are in full swing over here at 3Advance and the team has been making the most of it! For those not in the know, each Summer we give our team every second Friday off! 🌞 Yes, probably the best benefit of working at 3Advance is the obligatory take-the-damn-day-off-and-get-away-from-your-computer-day. It doesn’t count towards holidays, and it’s on you how you spend it. Go see the world… Yes, Jason took a cruise to the Bahamas! Or fire up the grill. Or you know what, just get your laundry done. We understand that life is tough and that work is hard, but not those long weekends in July and August.  

 

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. Just hit ‘Reply’!