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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include… Facebook changes its name to Meta in major rebrand, Apple’s privacy changes eat rivals’ businesses, Kenya cracks down on digital lenders over data privacy issues and much more…

Facebook changes its name to Meta in major rebrand


Facebook has changed its corporate name to Meta as part of a major rebrand.
The company said it would better “encompass” what it does, as it broadens its reach beyond social media into areas like virtual reality (VR). The change does not apply to its individual platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, only the parent company that owns them. The move follows a series of negative stories about Facebook, based on documents leaked by an ex-employee. Frances Haugen has accused the company of putting “profits over safety”.

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Apple’s privacy changes eat rivals’ businesses


The latest earnings reports from Facebook and Snapchat show that Apple’s mobile privacy measures are beginning to have a material impact on the ad businesses of some of its Big Tech competitors.

Why it matters: While experts don’t think Apple’s moves will do long-term damage to its rivals, they will force social media companies to invest heavily in new technology and products for the next few years — all while their ads business continues to experience significant headwinds.

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Kenya cracks down on digital lenders over data privacy issues


Digital lenders that share personal data of loan defaulters, with third parties, risk license withdrawal in Kenya after lawmakers added a clause — granting the banking regulator the mandate to revoke permits of operators who breach customer confidentiality — to the new law passed by the country’s National Assembly.

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SlashNext, which uses AI to combat phishing, raises $26M

Venture Beat

Phishing, a type of social engineering where an attacker sends a message designed to trick a victim into revealing sensitive information or installing malware or ransomware, is on the rise. According to recent research from Proofpoint, 75% of organizations around the world experienced a phishing attack in 2020 — and 74% of attacks targeting U.S. businesses were successful. As Expert Insights writes: “Though 95% of organizations claim to deliver phishing awareness training to their employees, phishing remains the threat type most likely to cause a data breach. In fact, according to Verizon’s 2020 DBIR, 22% of data breaches involve phishing.”

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The catch-22 of digital advertising: privacy vs personalization


Many marketers may have breathed a sigh of relief when Google announced plans to delay the withdrawal of third-party cookies from its Chrome browser for another two years. However, while the industry is seeing a short reprieve from Google, Apple’s latest privacy updates to iOS 14.5 and its new restrictions to IDFA tracking on Apple’s mobile devices are still causing concern. Without a doubt, data privacy is one of the biggest issues currently facing digital marketers today – and this is consistently reflected in industry surveys that see CMOs ranking it highly against other concerns and challenges.

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India home to rising number of fintech unicorns

The Banker

With a population of 1.3 billion and a smartphone penetration of 45%, the enormous demand for digital services in India has helped create the world’s third-largest tech unicorn ecosystem, behind the US and China. Unicorns are companies with valuations of more than $1bn.

India boasts 48 tech unicorns with a combined valuation of $137bn, according to a recent paper, ‘Tech Unicorns: Top 10 themes in 2021’, by analytics company GlobalData, which looks at the global start-up community. The research also tracks how the fintech community in India has boomed during the pandemic, alongside other growth areas such as e-commerce, education technology (or edtech) and healthtech.

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Verizon tools up for 5G IoT device swell

Mobile World Live

LIVE FROM MWC21 LOS ANGELES: Verizon outlined various developments around IoT, enabling LTE devices to connect to 5G and predicting a surge in products compatible with its next-generation network in early 2022.

Verizon also opened customer trials for ThingSpace Intelligence, a new suite of analytics and management tools designed to provide users with predictive visibility into their IoT devices and network performance. The US operator stated by applying machine learning to millions of its network signals, the tool can generate predictive alerts and notifications.

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Activision acquires Digital Legends for its future Call of Duty mobile games

Venture Beat

Activision Blizzard today announced it has bought mobile game studio Digital Legends. The publisher’s new team will work on an unannounced Call of Duty mobile title.

Digital Legends previously developed and published cartoon-style shooter The Respawnables and a more realistic, Call of Duty-like game, Afterpulse. The company’s history with mobile shooters probably presage the kind of game it’s going to make under Activision.

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46% of shoppers will ditch retailers if apps crash this Black Friday


Almost half (46%) of Brits will stop shopping with a retailer altogether if its mobile app crashes this Black Friday. That’s according to new research from Emarsys, which examines UK consumer shopping turn-offs ahead of Black Friday.

Despite many consumers being turned off by poor mobile experiences, only 19% of British retailers see mobile apps as their key commerce channel this sales season, with many failing to prioritise the app-based shopping experience.

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