Ad channel diversification for a scaling mobile app in the user privacy era
This is full of excellent advice and some interesting data, and well worth a read if you're looking for ways to amp up your paid media strategy.
My only minor quibble is that I'm not sure it goes far enough — the somewhat non-standard use of
channel here to mean only different ad networks is under-selling the importance of a true cross-channel mobile marketing strategy that also includes email, referrals, search, and so on.
K-Pop Apps Create the Illusion of Private Messaging with Celebrities
A fascinating look into the psychological and emotional UX tactics being used by a new category of app for K-pop fans. The users know that it's an illusion, but it doesn't even matter because the experience is good enough.
'Everything app' X: Elon Musk may want a WeChat for the world, but it won't be easy to build
It seems like Twitter is getting acquired after all…but if Elon Musk is hoping to turn it into a WeChat-style 'super app', that's going to be a tall order.
Yes, there arguably are other 'super apps' outside China. But they're usually region-specific, and in most western markets, consumers are already well-trained: go to the app stored when they want something new, and make do with mobile web as an acceptable 'next best option' everywhere else. That paradigm may simply be too well-established at this point to insert another layer of abstraction in the middle.
How to use Spotify Audiobooks
Spotify also does audiobooks now!
…and because of the in-app purchase requirements from Apple and Google, buying one involves getting linked out to a website. Given the limitations at hand, the experience is about as seamless and well-polished as one could hope (this is Spotify, after all).
But it's still non-standard. Which means now we get end-user walkthrough guides like this one explaining how to do it.
The whole IAP situation is just becoming absurd. Apple and Google are clearly set on continuing to fight any changes on principle, one scorched-earth inch at a time. Eventually, somebody is going to get frustrated enough to steamroll these policies with either regulation or legislation. But that's basically how we got into cookie consent banner hell with GDPR, and I don't think anyone is going to be thrilled with the outcome this time either.
Privacy & Security
How Bots Corrupted Advertising
Bots are everywhere and have been for years, which means that a lot of perverse incentives come out of the woodwork whenever someone tries to clean up the mess.
In one case covered here, the fraudster didn't even try to deny what he was doing...rather, he said he was giving the online economy exactly what it wanted: cheap traffic, whatever the source.
Tips & Techniques
Dive into Deep Linking with Branch
Our team at Branch published a super helpful new guide last week, all about deep links and where they fit into your mobile strategy.
Here's a decision tree for whether you should download it:
- Are you already an expert on deep linking, and why it's one of the most important pieces of infrastructure for a successful app? Excellent! You don't need to read this guide.
- Are you an expert, but you get tired of having to explain deep linking to the rest of the company, and new people on your team? Perfect — go grab a copy and save yourself a bunch of time.
- Have you heard vaguely about deep linking at some point, but it's still a fuzzy subject? You'll become an expert about 10 minutes from now, if you go read this!
- Do you not really care about deep links at all, but think diving metaphors with cute design are a fun idea? Okay, we've still got you covered.
MMP buying guide: Your fundamental handbook
This is a useful whitepaper. The mobile ad measurement stack is definitely becoming commoditized, right at the same time that fragmentation and privacy changes (SKAdNetwork, Privacy Sandbox, ATT) are making it a lot more annoying to deal with.
The result: it's more important than ever to have an MMP, but honestly somewhat less critical exactly which product you pick — you want to find one from a company with deep knowledge in the requirements for your industry, and ideally some product synergies with other solutions you also need beyond ad measurement.
There's only one thing (soapbox warning) in this guide that I feel is fundamentally wrong: throwing shade at open-source SDKs is not a good look for AppsFlyer. It's 2022…developers have a right to know what code they're putting inside their apps, and closed-source SDKs have been considered an anti-pattern for years now.
iPhones and action discoverability, or "How the hell was I supposed to know that?"
There are a lot of obscure interaction modes in both iOS and Android. Swipes, long presses, press-and-drags, etc.
These features are great for power users…and (as you'll know if you've ever played 'volunteer' tech support for a less tech-savvy relative) the source of an infinite number of unexpected, 'why did it just do that?!' experiences for everyone else.
One year later: iOS 15’s impact on email marketing
iOS 15 introduced a new feature to block open tracking in emails…by opening all of the emails, all of the time.
A year on, want to guess what has happened? Yep, open rates have gone way up!
Global App Revenue Declined 5% Year-Over-Year to $31.6 Billion in Q3 2022
The data in this report is already interesting just at face value. But hidden below the surface here is a fascinating thread to pull on: non-gaming app revenue declined far less (12.7% vs. just 4.8%) than gaming apps.
And that's despite this report only considering in-app purchase revenue (i.e., things subject to the Apple/Google commission).
Apple and Google already separate apps and games out into different sections of the store, and there have been suggestions floating around for a while that this should be made even more official. It would certainly give them more flexibility to differentiate in policy enforcement.
How to Build a Conversational AI for the Human Experience
Miguel Navarro: SVP of Business Technology Executive at KeyBank.
Artificial Intelligence has become a game-changer for businesses and has opened new growth perspectives and possibilities. Today, customer success equals business success, so companies try leveraging AI features to deliver the best-in-class customer experience – for this, they need conversational AI.
In this episode of How I Grew This, Miguel Navarro joins Mada Seghete to define conversational AI, discuss how it differs from classic chatbots, and the functional benefits of conversational AI for businesses.
Mobile Growth Meetup - Ciudad de México
When: Wed, Oct 19, 6:30 PM (CDT).
Where: WeWork Miguel de Cervantes.
Panelists: baz súperapp, Coppel, Thomas Petit.
Mobile Growth Meetup - London
When: Wed, Oct 26, 6:30 PM (BST).
Where: Coqbull SoHo.
Panelists: Angelina Kazarema, News UK.
Here's a headline you probably didn't see coming: Google will include free VPN service with its new Pixel 7 phones.
And this isn't even the only 'free VPN' news lately, because Microsoft has just started testing one inside its latest Edge browser too.
Both of these are obviously intended to counter Apple's iCloud Private Relay. And in Google's case, this is in some ways even a leap-frog move: unlike Private Relay — which only applies to web traffic coming from Safari — this Pixel VPN will cover web traffic from any browser on the device…and apps.
Goodbye, fingerprinting (in theory, anyway).
But there is also a key difference: Apple clearly took pains during the Private Relay announcement to emphasize that it is not technically a VPN (whether you consider this is a good thing will probably depend a lot on whether you see these features as solutions to 'tracking', or just a way to bypass the geo-block on Hulu).
It will be interesting to see how (or even if) this lands with consumers. It's guaranteed that neither Google nor Microsoft will put Apple-level marketing muscle behind it, but on the other hand, iCloud Private Relay seems to be stalled and inexplicably still in beta after over a year.Alex Bauer