Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.

This week..  Snapchat launches Spectacles V2, WhatsApp to raise minimum age limit in EU,  new cryptocurrency spills personal information of investors, mobile accounts for almost half of all digital ad spend and much more.

Snapchat launches Spectacles V2, camera glasses you’ll actually wear

Tech Crunch

Photos, not just video. No yellow ring alerting people to the camera. Underwater-capable. Classier colors with lighter lenses. Prescription options. Faster syncing. And a much slimmer frame and charging case. Snapchat fixed the biggest pain points of its Spectacles camera sunglasses with V2, which launch todayfor $150. The company only sold 220,000 pairs of V1, with their limited functionality, tricky exports, and goofy hues. But V2 is stylish, convenient, and useful enough to keep handy. They’re not revolutionary. They’re a wearable camera for everybody.

The new Spectacles go on sale today in the US, Canada, UK, and France, then in 13 more European countries on May 3rd. The $150 V2s are $20 more than the old version and only available on Snap’s app and site — no Amazon, pop-up stores or vending SnapBots. And V1 owners will get a firmware update that lets them take photos.

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WhatsApp to raise minimum age limit to 16 in EU

BBC

Popular messaging service WhatsApp is banning under-16s from using its platform in the European Union.

Users must currently be at least 13, but the firm is changing the rules ahead of the introduction of new EU data privacy regulations in May.

The app, which is owned by Facebook, will ask users to confirm their age when prompted to agree new terms of service in the next few weeks. It has not said how the age limit will be enforced.

At present, WhatsApp does not ask users their age when they join, nor does it cross-reference their Facebook or Instagram accounts to find out. About a third of all UK-based 12- to 15-year-olds active on social media use WhatsApp, according to a 2017 report by the media regulator Ofcom.

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New Cryptocurrency Spills Personal Information of Thousands of Investors – Passports, Wallets, All Included

WCCF Tech

An unsecured Mongo database has exposed full names, addresses, email addresses, encrypted passwords, wallet information, links to scanned passports, driver’s licenses, and other information of over 25,000 investors of Bezop, a newly created cryptocurrency. Researchers at Kromtech Security have revealed that the John McAfee-backed cryptocurrency left a MongoDB database unsecured, spilling personally identifying data.

The company behind this cryptocurrency has now secured the database after they were notified by the researchers. Trying to attract investors, Bezop is one of the many cryptocurrencies that are appearing to flood an already flooded market. The company got paid the backing of McAfee who had tweeted that Bezop “could be as huge as it gets in the blockchain world” refering to it being “a distributed version of Amazon.com.” According to Gizmodo, McAfee charges up to $105,000 to promote initial coin offerings (ICOs) on his Twitter account.

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Mobile ad fraud: Are you really reaching your audience?

Tech Wire Asia

MARKETING and advertising are important for boosting business. However, are you sure your ads are reaching the right customers?

Mobile ad fraud is growing and evolving. Every year, it is estimated to costs marketers up to US$2.6 billion. This number is rising, and the attacks hit all kinds of applications and platforms.

AppsFlyer released its findings on The State of Mobile Fraud for Q1 2018. They found 30 percent more fraud in this quarter, compared to the previous year. In 2018 alone, fraud has already cost advertisers US$700-$800 million worldwide, and we’re only in March.

Normally attackers exploit weaknesses in mobile advertising technology, to deceive advertisers, publishers, or supply partners. Usually, the objective is to steal from advertising budgets.

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Mobile accounts for almost half of all digital ad spend, says IAB UK

The Drum

Smartphone video was the fastest growing advertising format in a market increasingly being dominated by mobile, according to research from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK and PwC.

This data point is best illustrated with the news smartphones overtook computers for time spent on the internet for the first time ever. With this, smartphone advertising grew 37.4% to account for 45% of all digital ad spend.

The fastest growing medium was smartphone video. It was up by 69% in 2017, bringing the tally to £1.17bn. Video was an increasingly important part of all smartphone advertising which grew by 37.4% to £5.2bn.

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Line Mobile expands into third Asian market

Mobile World Live

The company behind the popular Line messaging app moved into Taiwan’s telecoms sector offering data and voice services using Far EasTone’s mobile network.

Line Mobile is targeting its MVNO service at price-conscious consumers, offering one-year unlimited data contracts for TWD299 ($10.06), TWD399 and TWD499, with speeds for the two lower priced plans capped at 10Mb/s and 21Mb/s, respectively, Taipei Times reported.

Taiwan is the third market where Line Mobile services are available, following launches in Japan and Thailand through deals with NTT Docomo and dtac respectively.

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Middle East Mobile Operators Begin to See Rising Data Revenues – Middle East Telecom Industry

Mobile Herald News

An up-to-date research report has been disclosed by Market Research Hub highlighting the title “Middle East Mobile Network Operators and MVNOs“. This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in middle east telecommunications market. On a global level, we saw the mobile operators in the developed markets begin international expansion a few years ago, when it became clear that the mobile markets were saturated and revenue growth opportunities were limited. Developing markets like the Middle East were quickly identified as offering room for potential mobile growth as well as infrastructure building opportunities.

In many ways, the Middle East has benefited from this trend with 6 international operators providing services in parts of the region; bringing valuable experience, infrastructure, services, investment and solutions to the region. The Middle East also has 9 dominant domestic players of its own which are competing with these international players.

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PayPal Adds 8M Active Users, Grows Mobile Volume 52 Percent 

Pymnts.com

“I’m pleased to say PayPal had another quarter of great results and we’re off to a great start in the new year,” CEO Dan Schulman noted at the opening of his remarks to investors when reporting 1Q 2018 results and providing insight into the company’s ambitious plans for future growth.

Schulman backed that claim with PayPal’s quarterly and year-on-year increases in transaction volume, active users, mobile transactions, revenue, earnings and its Venmo P2P platform.

PayPal’s adjusted earnings per share came in at 57 cents, beating analyst forecasts of 54 cents. Revenue for the quarter was $3.69 billion, a 24 percent pick-up year on year – and well ahead of the $3.59 billion expected by analysts.

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Report: Chinese smartphone shipments drop 21% to reach lowest level since 2013

Tech Crunch

Analysts have long-warned of a growth crunch in China’s smartphone space, and it’s looking like that’s very much the case right now.

China’s smartphone growth has been the feel-good story for domestic OEMs who have clocked impressive figures as the billion-plus population has rushed online via mobile devices. However, the market reached saturation point in 2017 — when sales stopped growing for the first time — and the first quarter of this year is already showing savage results.

In a report released today, Canalys claimed that shipments across the industry fell by 21 percent year-on-year in Q1.

The total number of mobile devices shipped in China dropped below the 100 million market in a quarter for the first time since late 2013, the firm added.

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Why we trust our privacy to some apps but not others

Futurity

As concerns about privacy increase for people using mobile apps, new research suggests that trust and engagement may hinge on perceptions about how the app uses personal data and whether it seeks user input before delivering services.

Researchers add, however, that reactions may also depend on how familiar users are with technology.

In a study of a prototype app for recommending eco-friendly stores, users considered an app more trustworthy and easier to use if they felt they were consulted about the distance and nature of the stores they prefer, a process called overt personalization. Usability of the app was dampened when personalization was covert, when it recommended stores without first asking their preferences.

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