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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Stories this week include… Meta’s Reels revenue narrows in on TikTok, boosted by AI, Google Messages signs onto cross-platform encrypted group chat standard UN report recommends global ban on smartphones in schools,  and much more…

UN report recommends global ban on smartphones in schools


A new Unesco report calls for a global ban on smartphones in schools, arguing that they distract pupils, raise privacy concerns, and lead to cyberbullying, all without offering substantial benefits to learners.

The report — Technology in education — A tool on whose terms? — is based on the analysis of 200 education systems around the world.

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Meta’s Reels revenue narrows in on TikTok, boosted by AI


July 27 (Reuters) – Reels, Meta Platforms’ (META.O) answer to viral short-form video app TikTok, elicited eyerolls when it launched in 2020 and was regarded as yet another example of Meta copying a popular rival.

But on Wednesday, Meta revealed numbers that show Reels videos are growing rapidly among both users and advertisers and are quickly catching up to the ByteDance-owned TikTok app that is beloved by young users and has reshaped the social media landscape.

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Google Messages signs onto cross-platform encrypted group chat standard

The Verge

Google’s Messages app might be getting cross-platform chat encryption in the future. The company is announcing adoption of an end-to-end encryption system known as Messaging Layer Security, or MLS. It’ll allow Google’s platform to connect and exchange messages with outside messaging apps that also support MLS (via 9to5Google).

Want to message a group chat and have it securely and seamlessly appear on other people’s devices in their preferred chat apps? That’s the future European regulators are pushing for: to get tech companies to implement an end-to-end encryption system that allows users to securely message between platforms.

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More Than a Quarter of US Consumers Use More Than One Mobile Wallet


Different mobile wallets may serve distinct purposes for the small but significant share of consumers who rely on them.

The majority of mobile wallet users stick with the same carrier. However, as noted in proprietary research prepared for the PYMNTS collaboration with ACI Worldwide, “Digital Bill Payments: Mobile Wallets Gain Popularity, But Hurdles Remain,” more than 40% switched carriers within the 12 months previous to being surveyed. Within that sizable minority, 26% started using a new mobile wallet during that time while still using the previous one.

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IoT connectivity is still a tough sell

Telecom TV

The business case for IoT connectivity services has always been a tough one for telcos, made even harder by the fact that such services are strategically important because they are highly valued by enterprise customers. Berg Insight, a company that has for many years specialised in IoT market research, has just reminded us how tough the IoT business case is for mobile operators.

At the end of 2022 there were 2.7 billion cellular IoT connections worldwide that generated revenues of about €10.8bn, up by 24% year on year, according to the team at Berg Insight, which estimates there will be 5.3 billion IoT devices connected to mobile networks, generating total annual revenues of €21.4bn, by 2027.

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We Have a Long Way To Go With Digital Accessibility 


Today is National Disability Independence Day, which commemorates the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. law prohibiting discrimination against those with disabilities. In the 33 years since this law was enacted, life in America has drastically improved for everyone with a disability. From ramps on city streets and at the entrances to buildings, to assistive listening devices at events and more inclusion in the workplace, there are more accommodations than ever for persons with disabilities.

The same can’t be said for the digital world. In fact, digital accessibility is practically non-existent and having a good user experience with many websites, apps, and other online programs can be frustrating and overwhelming. This is reprehensible and embarrassing for living in the so-called digital age.

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Experiences with national digital ID lead to recommendations on rights protection, takeup

Biometric Update

Adequately addressing human rights concerns remains a key issue as Kenya is looking forward to introducing a new digital identity system by September this year.

Arguments for the putting in place of proper privacy and data protection safeguards before the implementation of the system have been highlighted in an academic publication authored by Ronald Odhiambo Bwana, a student of the Mount Kenya University School of Law.

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India’s Mobile Gaming Market Surpasses US and Brazil in Game Downloads

Game is hard

India’s mobile gaming market is experiencing rapid growth, with a total of 4.32 billion game downloads in the first half of 2023, accounting for 15.3% of the global total. This represents a 0.9% increase compared to the same period in 2022. In comparison, Brazil ranked second with 2.99 billion downloads (10.59%), closely followed by the US with 2.57 billion downloads (9.08%). These numbers highlight India’s significant presence in the mobile gaming industry, suggesting that its position in the market will continue to rise.

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UK ad spend flat in Q1 2023 – report

Mobile Marketing Magazine

UK ad spend remained flat in Q1 2023, with year-on-year growth of 0.1 per cent, to reach a total of £9bn, according to the latest AA/WARC Expenditure Report.

The outlook for the total UK advertising market in 2023 suggests that while growth will be minimal at 2.6 per cent year-on-year, the outlook has improved by 2.1 percentage points since the previous forecast in April, with spend now expected to reach £35.7bn. These figures also reflect the return to growth of key online formats, with internet now forecast to account for 76.7 per cent of all spend this year – and 77.6 per cent next year ­– compared to 75.1 per cent in 2022.

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