Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. Google makes deepfakes to fight deepfakes, Europe shows the way in online privacy, Nintendo tests $4.99 subscriptions for Mario Kart Tour, what is Amazon Sidewalk? and much more.
Google has released a database of 3,000 deepfakes – videos that use artificial intelligence to alter faces or to make people say things they never did. The videos are of actors and use a variety of publicly available tools to alter their faces.
The search giant hopes it will help researchers build the tools needed to take down “harmful” fake videos.
After passively watching for many years as tech giants developed dominant market positions that threaten consumer privacy and stifle competition, American antitrust regulators seem to have finally grasped what’s happening and decided to take action.
This increasing scrutiny, which tacitly acknowledges that Europe’s more proactive regulators were perhaps right all along, is helping unleash a wave of tech startups at the expense of big tech.
In a recent survey conducted by FigLeaf, a privacy-first company, it was found that 68 per cent of consumers in the US and UK don’t believe online privacy is possible, while another 52 per cent of consumers don’t trust Facebook and Google’s recent remarks about making their platforms safer. Ironically, the survey also revealed these same doubtful consumers are still open to sharing information with brands they trust or are more familiar with.
Nintendo continues to experiment with its mobile offerings after big successes and recent stumbles.
Nintendo’s move into the mobile space has been a smorgasbord of monetization models, with the House of Mario adding yet another flavor with its most recent release.
Amazon’s deep pockets mean that once it gets behind a product category – usually one that will lock customers into its ecosystem and encourage it to buy more things from Amazon – it tends to give it enough backing until it gains traction with consumers.
It launched the Kindle at a time when e-readers were in their infancy and backed it until the concept of eBooks was firmly entrenched in the minds of consumers.
Chinese authorities planned a crackdown on the use of facial recognition to authorise payments, as the country moves to protect transactions and users’ data, Economic Information Daily reported.
The media outlet reported financial regulations covering transactions approved using biometrics are in the pipeline, to combat fears of fraud.
Cash is still king in India. But rapid adoption of technology and a concerted push from the government are starting to change things. Mobile payment systems are booming, though how wide their reach can be in India remains uncertain.
Reddy, 27, who goes by a single name, has first-hand experience of the pace of change after starting to accept digital payments at his Bangalore grocery store six months ago. Initially less than a tenth of transactions were made digitally, he says, but today almost all are. “It’s gone full reverse in six months,” Reddy says. “Almost 99 per cent of customers are using cashless.”
Facebook is giving advertisers access to new types of interactive ads, including AR ads and video poll ads.
Users prefer content from brands that inspires some form of interaction, Facebook says:
“People want to be included in your next big idea and are using new innovative ways to do it — less words, more GIFs, Lives, Reactions, emojis, face filters, and stickers… Already, 60% of businesses on Instagram use an interactive element like @mention, hashtag or poll sticker, in Stories every month.” One of the ways in which Facebook is helping advertisers embrace this trend is through introducing video poll ads.
Video views on mobile devices accounted for more than half of the global total during Q2, highlighting strong consumer desire to engage with visual content at any time and place, research by hosting platform Brightcove showed.
Smartphones and tablets accounted for 53 per cent of all video views worldwide during the period, compared with 47 per cent accessed on a computer.