Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week… Google’s plan to target the “next billion”, Mastercard says Brits see mobile as future of shopping, Line to invest $45 mil in Snapchat clone and much more.
Google has made no secret of its desire to target emerging markets and get more people using its services. And at its second “Google for India” event in New Delhi today, the internet giant unveiled myriad new products, programs, and updates as it looks to ramp up its efforts to get in front of “the next billion” internet users.
First up, Google announced a new “offline first” YouTube app, which the company says has been in the works for the past year. Available only in India initially, YouTube Go is now open for registrations, though it’s not quite ready for prime time.
More than 40% of UK consumers now view the mobile phone as their preferred alternative to a payment card, according to a study by Mastercard.
The Mastercard Impact of Innovation study explored the attitudes to technology among 23,000 consumers in 23 different countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Although the UK is one of the most digitally mature markets in the world, the study shows that the British are ready for the next wave of innovation and want to see it in different aspects of life.
Two-thirds of British consumers (63%) believe that generally, innovation is having a positive impact on society but still think that there are some areas that need it more than others.
Line, the messaging company that went public in the year’s highest IPO to date, is diversifying its business and focusing on social after it invested $45 million (50 billion KRW) in Snow, a Snapchat clone focused on Asia.
The deal sees Line take 25 percent equity in Snow, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. Snow made headlines this summer for racking up downloads in Japan, Korea, China and Southeast Asia with a product that looks very much like Snapchat. This investment is not quite as surprising as it might first seem, since Line’s parent company Naver is the parent company of Snow, too. Essentially, the two are cousins, albeit that Line is very much the older family member.
With China and India hogging the headlines on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget the other giant in the room. But to ignore Indonesia- the world’s fourth most populous nation closing in on roughly 260 million people – would be folly.
On the digital front, internet penetration across Indonesia rose from 36 percent in 2015 to around 40 percent in 2016. It might not seem like much, but it pegs the number of internet users in the country at 100 million – a number not to be sneezed at.
It gets better. According to market researcher GfK, 93 percent of Indonesia’s internet users access the web via their mobile devices rather than desktops. Local telco Indosat Ooredoo also recorded an increase of 52.5 percent in data usage as compared to last year.
Most consumers in Kenya use their mobile phones to pay for goods and services due to prevalence of mobile money transfer services, according to a report by MasterCard. The report – Impact Innovation – states that nearly 90 per cent of consumers in Kenya use mobiles more than any other device for payments.
The study, launched at the 2016 MasterCard Innovation Forum in Budapest, surveyed 23,000 consumers in 23 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East about their attitude to digital technology.
“Our study confirms that not only is there a huge appetite for new ways to pay, but consumers overwhelmingly want to use their mobile phones,” MasterCard president for Middle East and Africa, Daniel Monehin said.
Regulator Ofcom is calling on the UK’s 20 million Android users to help build a map of the UK’s mobile coverage.
Users are being asked to download an app that will automatically measure voice-call reliability, signal strength and data speeds. The data – which will be anonymised – will form part of a detailed comparison study of telecoms operators in 2017. There will be no iPhone version due to its restrictions on apps that run continuously in the background.
“Our research aims to build an independent benchmark for both consumers and industry,” said an Ofcom representative.
When the messaging service WhatsApp announced last month that it was starting to share some of its users’ online information with Facebook, its parent company, many users expressed anger that their digital privacy could be at risk.
Now, a German regulator thinks so, too.
The city of Hamburg’s data protection commissioner ordered Facebook on Tuesday to stop collecting and storing data on WhatsApp users in Germany, the first time a privacy watchdog has waded into the debate. The regulator also called on the social network to delete all information already forwarded from WhatsApp on roughly 35 million German users.
Healthcare professionals who are in a position to recommend the use of fitness apps need to be aware that patients’ personal data can be used in ways that HIPAA would prohibit and that will surprise patients who are trying to be smart about fitness in a smartphone world.
The privacy and security requirements of HIPAA, the Health Information Privacy Protection Act, do not apply to fitness app data, which is similar to regulated health data. The exceptions are where regulated health data is collected through an app by a healthcare provider, healthcare clearinghouse or health plan, or the app company is a statutory business associate of one of them.
It’s no secret that marketers are looking forward to obtaining more consumer information that flows from the explosion of Internet-connected devices being placed throughout homes, in cars and on people.
Many smart devices come with plenty of information-sharing built in as part of their core.
The challenge comes in making sure consumers are aware of what information is being stored or shared and how to slow, stop or delete it if desired.
There’s plenty of shiny toys to look at when it comes to Facebook — Oculus Rift, WhatsApp, Messenger and ambitious plans to bring the internet to every corner of the globe.
At its core, however, is good old advertising. Well, maybe not old.
“We’re going to pursue any avenue we can to help business owners, all within the bounds of privacy control,” said Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of ads and business platform. “Consumers need to feel comfortable. If we ever creep anybody out we’ve done a poor job.”
Ahead of Advertising Week 2016 in New York, Mashable spoke with Bosworth to learn how Facebook has grown in digital and mobile advertising and what the team is creating next.