Carbon Health runs into issues with Google's COVID-19 policy
Carbon Health (a company that offers in-real-life medical clinics, including COVID-19 testing) had their app pulled from the Play Store this week (it was later reinstated).
Why? Google has a new policy of only approving apps that reference COVID-19 if the app is “published, commissioned, or authorized by an official government entity or public health organization” (Apple has taken a similar stance).
There is no easy answer here. Yes, it’s concerning that Google has the ability to unilaterally take action like this. At the same time, the ‘curated experience’ of the app stores is by now well-established, and there is a legitimate need to gate-keep against misleading — or even fraudulent — COVID-related apps.
The real problem is that Apple and Google are acting as de facto market regulators for their respective platforms, but have none of the normal accountabilities or methods for recourse that most of us have come to expect from governmental regulatory agencies.
Quantifying the Adpocalypse - Mule’s Musings
This article is a deep and exceedingly wonky exploration of what’s currently going on in the programmatic ad ecosystem, but it can be summarized with a single line:
Usage is up, Revenue is not up
Eyeballs are at an all-time high in many places (e.g., news sites), but programmatic ad bidding happens in real time, typically with no advance commitment. That means it's a really easy hose to shut off when budgets need to tighten.
Obviously the ‘safe, proven’ networks like Google and Facebook will be the last to go — TikTok inventory will probably get chopped first — but these cuts have been showing up across the board for weeks.
Houseparty Vies With Zoom to Be Homebound Chatters’ App of Choice - Bloomberg
Over the last few weeks, Houseparty has become the uncontested star of socially-isolated social activity — 50 million new signups in less than a month is the kind of growth that just doesn’t happen in any normal reality.
What’s even more interesting: the Houseparty app had been essentially left for dead after its its acquisition by Epic Games a year ago. Before this month, the last update was July, 2019.
Barry Diller: Expedia ‘won't even spend $1 billion’ on ads this year
OTAs have been trying hard to build direct relationships with customers, reducing their reliance on Google ads, but Expedia still spends $5 billion USD on ads per year 💸.
...or they did, until COVID-19. File this under the expanding category of ‘market shifts that were already in motion, but are suddenly super-charged’.
NextRoll Lays Off 30%, Institutes 20% Paycuts | AdExchanger
COVID-19 is coming for the ad retargeting industry too...and with the impending mass extinction event about to be precipitated by ITP and Chrome’s removal of third-party tracking cookies, the timing is a challenge (to say the least).
Privacy & Security
Google and Apple launching coronavirus contact-tracing system for iOS and Android - The Verge
Compared to the much more centralized contact tracing approaches we've seen in places like China and Singapore, this will be a far tamer implementation. There are a lot of important concessions to privacy protection, which make it the kind of compromise idea we probably need in order to get anything of this sort off the ground in the US and Europe.
Still, Bluetooth barely works for me even when I set it up on purpose. There are definitely going to be implementation challenges.
Coronavirus Search Trends - Google Trends
Google launched a dedicated Search Trends sub-section for all things coronavirus.
EP6: Sheila Vashee
Redefining and Digitizing a 100+ Year-Old Process
Some get to join a company that redefines an industry once in their life. Sheila has done it twice. As Dropbox’s first marketing hire, she led the transition from a consumer-facing product to one with an enterprise focus. Now at OpenDoor, she is redefining a 100+ year-old industry and revolutionizing the way real estate is bought and sold.
This, stories of doubling market share for OpenDoor in 3 months, and how brands should approach marketing and caring for customers during a pandemic, are featured in our podcast episode with Sheila Vashee of Opendoor. Listen and subscribe on Apple/Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and YouTube!
Listen now: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher
Mobile Growth Online: Indonesia
Panelists: DANA Indonesia, Bukalapak, HappyFresh and KFC.
Where: virtual event.
When: Tue, Apr 21, 3:00 PM (WIB).
Mobile Growth Online
Panelists: TELUS, Bloomberg, and Dashlane.
Where: virtual event.
When: Thu, Apr 23, 10:00 AM (PDT).
Mobile Growth Online: India
Panelists: Disney+Hotstar, ALTBalaji and Freecharge.
Where: virtual event.
When: Thu, Apr 23, 3:00 PM (IST).
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 48 hours, you heard that Apple launched the new iPhone SE. It happened with essentially no fanfare, but this is Apple...one of the last companies in the world able to make headline news with a press release.
This new model isn’t exactly a surprise (the rumor mill pretty much nailed every detail months ago), but it is really smart, even if introducing it in the middle of this COVID-9 crises was an accident of timing.
Why? It’s already difficult for many of us to justify the same device upgrade cycle based on new features alone. But especially in the middle of a global pandemic, some people just want a new device that's capable of handling their increased need to be on their phone, without losing the familiarity of features they like (such as the smaller size and physical home button).Alex Bauer