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Amazon Prime Video: End Of Subscriber Hunt And Beginning Of An Ad-Fuelled Future!

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The streaming landscape of India is going through a rapid transformation. Seems like it is no longer about raking in subscribers by showing value at but wooing them through advertisement monetisation.

It has recently been found out that Amazon Prime Video will soon offer a free ad-funded advertising video-on-demand, aka AVoD, tier to Indian consumers with exclusive and original content. This will allow users to signup for Prime Video subscription without making any payment and access any content that is made available to users of the free tier.

According to people in the know, this will allow Bezos’ streaming giant to offer ‘Premium Content’ only for the users subscribed for the current standard subscription plan which is price tagged with Rs 999 a year currently. The current plan also lets users access to speedy Amazon deliveries, Prime Music, e-books, games and so on, which will not be available for subscribers opting free plan.

But, as you must have guessed it already, there is a catch involved.

Turns out the AvoD tier users won’t be able to access the shows and movies from the standard subscription of Prime Video. Taking a page out of Hotstar’s playbook, Amazon will be offering new shows under the banner Amazon Originals for the ad-tier – something for which they have already started reaching out to production houses.

People in the know have revealed that the e-com giant is currently in negotiations with several production houses for acquiring new shows and are considering various ad-revenue options to expand its video offerings in India. These include – a Live TV tab within the Fire TV Stick and monetising sports as well.

Amazon Prime Video: End of Subscriber Chase

Up until now, Amazon Prime Video, much like all other OTT players in India, remained highly focused on competing for paying subscribers. It included a 30-day free trial, low annual subscription rate coupled with other benefits and even a mobile-only plan which is being rolled out in collaboration with Bharti Airtel.

So, what would change? Why is the streaming giant suddenly diverting focus on building an ad-fueled VoD tier?

Well, as most people already know, only a fraction of online users out of the 560 million in India currently pay to access digital subscriptions. Thus, one could say the fight to acquire paying customers in a complex and price-sensitive country like India is proving to be too much of a challenge for Amazon Prime Video – especially when there currently exist more than 30 OTT players competing for real estate on consumers’ devices.

Therefore, in such a situation, advertising quite naturally gets pitched for a crucial consideration. Now, if one looks at the long-standing strategy of Disney+Hotstar (formerly Hotstar), having an AVoD tier besides the SVoD tier has been working out pretty well. 60% of its revenue from operations is generated from advertising revenue – most of which is raked up by their offering to display ads during the IPL and other sporting event streaming besides Hotstar Originals.

As India is also known as a market of consumers ready to trade in their personal information with financial gains, pushing advertisement in between the streaming content would not annoy a majority of users as far as they get access to such content at a very low price.

All in all, it is very much likely that the hybrid model is the way of the future not only for Amazon Prime Video but other OTT players in India as well. The strategy, apparently, is to get users habitual of OTT platforms and then slowly start increasing the price of the monthly subscription. But until then the advertisement is the best possible model to fill in the loss that would occur due to low-price subscription that would be offered by OTT players.

Looks like, India market is yet not ready for total ad-free experience yet. Users need to realise the real cost of their personal data that ad servers squeeze out in order to show relevant ads.

Hotstar’s strategy has paid off and now Amazon is all set to follow the same. It would be interesting to see how Netflix and other OTT players respond to the growing challenge in the market.

Why Is Retargeting Touted As A Secret Weapon For Success By Online Marketers

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You know that ads play an important role in driving people to your website if you run a small business and sell stuff on the internet. But what if they aren’t interested in buying while visiting the store for the first time? Or are they distracted before a purchase is made?

It shows that 97% of those who first visit your site leave without purchasing anything and are then lost forever. It would help if you got visitors back unless you could. And, that’s where Retargeting comes into the picture.

Retargeting is also called remarketing, which will help you retain your brand in the context of heavy traffic after they leave your site. In simple words, Retargeting is a form of online marketing. Just 2% of the web traffic is converted for most websites on the first visit. Retargeting is a mechanism that helps businesses to get 98% of users who don’t automatically convert. And, that’s why 88% of digital marketers employ retargeting tactics to deliver results to their clients.

What are Retargeting campaigns?

Retargeting campaigns remind visitors of your website of their goods and services as they leave your website without purchasing. It helps you to replenish them and display related visual or text ads to visitors while visiting other websites. You can perform Retargeting campaigns with Google Ads, Facebook retargeting, LinkedIn Ads, and other ad platforms. Serious marketers use retargeting today as a useful tool that increases customer loyalty and sales.

Need for Retargeting

Retargeting is a successful technique for many reasons, aside from solving the 96% issue.

  • It is an intelligent way to convert an existing customer. If they’re visiting your website or placing an item in your cart, they’re people with interest in your goods. It means there is much less effort to win them than someone who has never been on your site before. An insightful retargeting solution will help you reach these shoppers at the right time with the right product to gain maximum sales and profits.
  • It improves and recalls. Before buying something, shoppers should check to ad many times. Retargeting reminds us of this shirt or couple of shoes, which a shopper browsed, and renews their desire to purchase.
  • It is an omnichannel solution and a cross-device. Shoppers switch effortlessly around screens – advertisers must do the same to reach them. Certain retargeted will fit a shopper through desktops, mobile devices, and applications so you can meet them wherever they are. Some can also use offline data to notify the buyer, such as avoiding advertising, as the shopper purchased it in a physical store.
  • Retargeting yields higher online sales by keeping the brand in the middle and getting “window shoppers” back when ready for shopping. Your brand gets momentum and more exposure each time your customer looks at your retargeting advertising. The high click-through rate and increased conversions are typical with retargeting campaigns and highlight the importance of good branding and repeated visibility.

How does Retargeting work?

Retargeting works by using “cookies” and recalls people who have visited the advertising or website. Marketing teams can then use this cookie data to re-serve ads to the customer. You can grow brand recognition and sometimes total conversions by displaying targeted advertising to users who show interest in your brand.

When to use Retargeting campaigns?

They need to assume as they know you before someone agrees to buy your product or service. A successful marketing thumb rule helps consumers decide on a purchase means they hear your message at least seven times. Retargeting enhances the brand’s visibility so that you meet an audience that has already been interested in your products.

Moreover, this is much more economical than other advertisement forms.

  • Retargeting is known to be a long-term strategy for businesses. If your website has over 100 monthly visitors, Google remarketing ads are definitely for you.
  • Promotion of best-selling items. Retargeting advertising is a straightforward and reliable way to display your high-selling goods. The marketing of products you enjoy today will also help turn visitors into clients and boost your ads’ value.
  • New collections are launched. People interested in your brand and your website would be a great audience when you launch a new product range. Wherever you go online, your retargeting advertising will look to build a straightforward roadmap back to your shop to see what’s new. It can be achieved by Google AdWords or a retargeting campaign on Facebook.
  • Stock transfers. As an online trader, at one time or another, you typically managed the slow-moving inventory. Retargeting advertisements are a low-budget, inefficient way to show potential customers the surplus products from your shop.
  • Develop brand awareness. Many consumers would feel like they know about you before deciding to purchase your product or service, and retargeting advertisements hold your brand in mind when it comes to potential buyers who cannot buy it first.

Pros of Retargeting

Here are some examples of cases to consider how retargeting benefits marketers:

  • Inactive users: New commercials remind users of an app already installed. It is aimed at promoting loyalty and retention. 
  • Upselling: The advantages of improving membership are demonstrated to consumers. You can also add new applications and updates.
  • Heavy shopping: New ads allow you to drive repeated conversions and promote new items for heavy-duty users. 
  • Conversions to complete: If a user’s cart is full or a registration event has not been finished, remarketing can help bring users into the next funnel process.

Conclusion

Retargeting is most effective if you divide your guests and customize the re-fill ads for the different groups or if you can opt-out of any retargeting. The most popular retargeting innovation has a strong call to action and promotes a bid. Various goods warrant different retargeting time windows.

This Social media Skill-up program show marketers how social media networks like Facebook or LinkedIn provide high-quality data to boost marketing campaigns across multiple social channels. By incorporating high-quality social statistics into their strategy, social media advertisers may opt to deliver relevant news to potential consumers with personalized content to target various public segments. This retargeting marketing course allows companies to use social consumer data to boost retargeting, increase conversion rates, and generate high social returns.

Happy B’day Chad Hurley: The Co-Founder Of The World’s Largest Video Library

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Chad Hurley

Chad Hurley never cared about success, he mended his ideas and tried to garner the fruits from those. But not every time his ideas were successful. His Men’s clothing range- Hlaska and investment in Formula 1 team proved to be his biggest mistakes after the success of YouTube. Rather taking the safe side Chad decided to mend his ideas, and later the wounded tiger returned with and these ventures returned Chad the throne he desired.

“I try to absorb all the types of style and design. I don’t try and restrict my thinking. I enjoy the old and the new. You need that broad perspective to create something new.”

An outstanding artist from childhood, Chad Meredith Hurley along with Steve Chen and Jawed Karim founded the imperative video library YouTube on February 14, 2005. Before starting the YouTube, Chad Hurley was working at PayPal. At his job interview at PayPal, he was asked to design a PayPal logo to test his designing skills.

If Google buys your venture that means you surely have something in you. ‘YouTube’ was accidentally developed when Chad Hurley and Steve Chen were facing issues regarding the online upload of videos, as before YouTube there was no other platform where one can upload large video. YouTube proved to be the second largest search engine after Google. Later in October 2006, Google acquired YouTube for a whopping $1.65 billion in stocks.

YouTube was started as a dating site but never went live on the web. Citing personal problems of watching and uploading online videos, Chad and Chen designed YouTube. With the passage of time, YouTube became a hit when 3 million unique visitors were recorded in a month’s launch. Today, YouTube is localized in over 100 countries and can be accessed in 80 different languages. Almost one-third of Internet users in the world use YouTube, every month.

Born to Don Hurley and Joan Hurley, Chad has an elder sister and a brother. An arts fanatic Chad graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with Bachelors’ of Arts degree in Fine Arts. He is married to Kathy Clark, the daughter of Netscape Founder Jim Clark and has two children.

Chad Hurley

Later in 2005 ditching his tech venture, Chad started focusing on his men’s clothing line ‘Hlaska’ – Named after Hawaii and Alaska which he co-founded with Anthony Mazzie. Hlaska eventually failed to impress the masses. And his investment in the F1 team ‘Team US F1’ was again a failure.

In 2014, the billion dollar partners, Chad and Chen came up with a new venture named ‘AVOS Systems’ which provides a platform to create real-time Apps.

Born: 24 January 1977, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA

Net Worth: ~$400 million

Failures accompanying successes never appeared to be a speed breaker for Chad, who always pushed his limits and tried his hands on different ventures; more insights are listed below:

  • Chad’s artistic abilities can be observed in the PayPal’s Logo that he created during the job interview of PayPal and got selected for the position of graphic designer and was the 15th employee. It was there that he met Steve Chen. During his childhood, he used to sell his drawings on a sidewalk in front of his home.

I think the success around any product is really about subtle insights. You need a great product and a bigger vision to execute against, but it’s really those small things that make the big difference.

  • Following their own problems with the online videos and inability to upload a large video file online, Chen and Chad founded YouTube and decided to keep its interface and experience as simple as possible by allowing the video to be viewed without any hassles like registration or any special software.

If you’re creating an entertainment site, you want the content to be the star.

  • A team of 10 alongside Chad and Chen worked their hearts out without any salary to make YouTube what it is today. Chad always kept his team motivated and helped in maintaining a positive environment in the workplace.
  • Improving Bandwidth capabilities to protect the site from crashing due to the massive traffic required a lot of funding that came from PayPal. The initial fund money of around $3.5 million and another funding of $8 million was received.
  • Jawed Karim helped the duo with some technical issues, and YouTube was established above a pizza shop in San Mateo. The duo faced the major issue of money as the site was free to all.
  • “Knowing everything about the product is not necessary, but one should always work targeting the needs of the community and always be prepared for the change in design”, is what Chad advises the budding young entrepreneurs.
  • In October 2010, Chad Hurley stepped down as CEO of YouTube, stating that he would stay on as an advisor of YouTube.
  • As a part of the experiment for Chad and Chen, the duo acquired Delicious in 2011, a bookmaking website, under their venture AVOS. But later AVOS sold Delicious to Science Inc. as it wanted to focus on just one product. The duo also founded ‘Zeen’- an online magazine making service but was later shut down.
  • Chen and Chad split: After 15 years of working together finally this billion dollar partnership of Chad and Chen broke and Chad alone founded his close to the heart venture of Mixbit in 2013 (an easy way to create the edited video).

When I started running cross-country and track in school, literally every race was a failure.

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or a renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian AssangeSir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

Encouraged By Record Profit of RIL, Ambani Wants To Accelerate 5G Arrival in India

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Brace yourselves for the sooner-than-anticipated arrival of  Reliance Jio 5G services because the 63-year-old billionaire tycoon Ambani recently pledged to the speedy launch of the same.

The oil-to-telecom conglomerate latest quarterly earnings posted a record profit on the back of its consumer businesses and now it is hoping to continue with the same momentum to dominate the 5G telecom services space. 

Reliance Industries Ltd’s fiscal third quarter, i.e. October-December net profit beat every street estimate and rose 12.55 per cent YoY to Rs 13,101 crores. In the previous quarter July-September, RIL posted a net profit of Rs 10,602 crores.

Commenting on the results, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited said that he is very pleased about Reliance Industries Ltd. delivering strong operational results during the quarter backed by a robust revival in the retail segments and a steady growth in their digital services business.

Currently, the group’s wireless operator Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has started advance tests in order to introduce the benefits of the fifth-generation high-speed network to Indian consumers. However, Ambani’s plan to accelerate the process still relies heavily on the availability of spectrum as the Government of India is yet to auction the required airwaves.

Reliance Jio, the RIL’s telecom arm which has close to 411 million users, reported that it is testing the transmission capability speeds via locally developed equipment as of now.

The push form smartphone vendors in India is another reason that has convinced leading telecom players in India ti look out for the early rollout of 5G network. The availability and increasing sales of 5G powered smartphones are clear indication that the market is ready for 5G network. Telecom companies always look to rope in premium customers, and users buying premium smartphones with 5G network capabilities are on the target of telecom companies now. Reliance Jio is well ware about the fact and leaving no stone unturned to expedite the whole process of 5G rollout in India.

There is no doubt that Ambani’s risky bet on consumer services such as telecom and retail seems to be paying off pretty well despite the havoc wreaked by the pandemic and is helping the group to successfully offset the slump they have experienced in its long-standing crude oil refining business.

The latest quarterly results are a testament to Mukesh Ambani’s ability to execute on his grandiose plan to transform Reliance from an energy heavyweight to a technology titan – a pivot that many expected to fail but later saw support from global investors such as Facebook and Google.

Backed by this streak of success, Ambani, who is currently Asia’s second-richest man, in the last month promised that Jio will undoubtedly be the first Indian telecom provider to roll out 5G in the country by the second half of 2021. Jio’s 5G rollout plan aims to lure nearly 300 million users who are still using outdated and older 2G services offered its Jio’s rivals.

Ambani, in a statement about the same, said that Jio will continue to accelerate the roll-out of its digital platforms and 5G stack and make it affordable and available everyone so that it can make India ‘2G-mukt’.

That being said, as mentioned earlier, the 63-year business plan is contingent on the Indian Government’s auction of airwaves – something for which there still doesn’t exist any announcement date or update.

All in all, given that Jio’s parent group is cash-rich and debt-free, the budding telecom giant will be able to offer 5G services at dirt-cheap rates whenever GOI allows it. And most likely, similar to the arrival of its 4G offering in 2016, it will make cheap pricing a core debut strategy for 5G offering as well. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.

How Mobile Is Becoming A Catalyst Of Online Gambling Market Growth

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OnlineGambling

The global online gambling market is now one of the biggest and it is expected to grow up to 127.3 billion US dollars by 2027 with a CAGR of 11.5 percent. The growth of the industry means that more and more people are now willing to gamble online.

Now, when it comes to online gambling, the mobile sector appears to be getting more attention. Last year was surely tough for many industries including gambling but it appears that the online sector wasn’t that affected. Online gambling has become more accessible because of mobile technology.

Many online and mobile casinos offer different features to their customers including the use of different banking & payment methods in India and other countries when gambling anywhere else in the world. The location is barely an issue anymore when it comes to this activity.

Mobile Gambling in Numbers

The Mobile gambling market is estimated to reach over 53 million US dollars by the end of 2025 with a CAGR of 10.7 percent. In 2018, it was Europe where mobile gambling became prominent as it was recorded that 57.20 percent of the mobile gambling revenue that year came from the EU.

In 2019, it was reported Iovation that there was 95 percent growth in mobile gambling transactions. According to them, the mobile sector accounts for 70 percent of online gambling transactions. Newzoo reported that the number of smartphone users will surpass 3.8 billion by next year with approximately 270 million new users each year.

More and more people will likely be using smartphones because it is becoming cheaper yet powerful. And now that mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming more powerful, we can only expect that mobile gaming and gambling experience will get even better this year.

Why People Are Choosing to Gamble Online

There are multiple great reasons why people are now turning to gamble online and with their mobile devices and here they are.

  • Accessibility

Because of mobile devices, people can now play their favourite casino games wherever they are in the world. This is as long as their location allows gambling, of course. There are countries where online casinos are banned and illegal like Australia. Even offshore casinos are not allowed to offer their services in the country. However, the online lottery is allowed as it is regulated by its government.

In the United States, there is no federal law that prohibits foreign online casino operators from offering their services in the country. This is why Americans and even tourists in the country could easily log in to offshore casino sites. 

It’s also easier to play with a mobile device these days as many online casino operators have already released native apps that players can download to their Android or Apple device. Playing on mobile apps is preferred by many as they are only a few taps away from accessing games and sports odds.

  • Variety of Games

Before the release of iPhone and Android devices, it was hard to imagine that we can play almost any game on a mobile device. However, these smartphones and tablets have become powerful that we can even play console games with them too.

Whatever casino game it is that you have in mind, whether it’s a slot machine game or a casino table game, you can now play it with your smartphone. Some online casinos even allow you to play live dealer games with your mobile device. Gamblers have a plethora of games to choose from and the quality is also not sacrificed.

  • 5G Network Availability

It’s established that smartphones and tablets are now powerful and equipped with chipsets that are suitable for gaming. However, people can’t enjoy any online games without an internet connection. Since mobile gambling means that you can also gamble outside your home where the Wi-Fi is, the mobile data connection is also crucial.

While the 4G connection is already good enough for gaming and browsing, it just keeps getting better as the 5G network is now becoming more widespread. With an extremely fast internet connection, people’s gaming experience will only get better.

Games will load faster and waiting time will no longer be a thing. With a powerful smartphone and 5G connection, it should even be easy to play multiple casino games all at once.

Conclusion

The world is still dealing with a pandemic and people are now trying to stay safe in their homes. Many land casinos and bookies remain closed but gambling activities continue. This year, it is likely that people will continue to gamble online instead of traveling. Gambling companies are also shifting their focus towards the mobile market and many more games and gambling apps will be released this year.

“Open Up Cambridge Analytica, It’s CBI At the Door!”

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facebook privacy tool

Among all the establishments ensnared in deplorable acts, Cambridge Analytica has steadily climbed the ladder of infamy. The roots of its malice certainly sprawl far wide. For after being booked in the United States, Cambridge Analytica is now on the rap sheet in the desi land.

Based on incoming reports, the premier investigative agency of India, i.e., the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has registered a case against the notorious UK-based political consulting company Cambridge Analytica. Having an encore of the rightful accusations it has been on the receiving end of in recent years, the investigative agency has alleged that the firm has indulged in “illegal harvesting of the personal data of 5.62 lakh Facebook users in India“.

Another player, named Global Science Research (GSRL), which is based out of the country, has been accused in the same case. Initial reports suggest that the two firms were in an alliance where Cambridge Analytica received data from Global Science Research, and then employed “illegal means” for harvesting the private data of Indians using Facebook’s platform.

Even though the matter has now broken through, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have been on the CBI’s radar since September 2018.

The crux of the allegations here lie in the “thisisyourdigitallife” app, which the preliminary inquiries found were created by none other than the GSRL founder and director Dr. Alexander Kogan.

Using the app, sensitive data, including demographic information, liked pages, and even contents of users’ private chats were collected without the knowledge and consent of the users which had installed them in India.

According to CBI, even though only 335 users in India seem to have installed the application, the social media giant has estimated that the compromised data stretches to approximately 5.62 lakh additional users worldwide. This due to the friends’ network of the initial 335 users, which spiralled into more and more numbers getting harvested illegally by the app.

How the app toyed with the delicate regulations surrounding authorization of user data is evidenced by Facebook’s estimates. Going by the company’s policy, the app was only authorized to collect specific user data for academic and research purposes. Which, the probe agency has now found that it overreached, having also collected additional unauthorized data of users illegally.

The matter is expected to be thoroughly examined by the Indian IT Ministry too. After the preliminary inquiry of the CBI in 2018, the Ministry had immediately asked both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica for clarification on the issue of the data breach.

While its name being associated is a first in India, the track record of the firm is sure to set off major alarm bells in the country.

This is not the first time that Facebook users have served as prey for the vicious UK based political consulting firm. Given that Facebook has more than 20 crore users in India, it is sure to have a ripple effect of some kind once the news spreads around the country.

Getting adverse spotlight here in India could open up a new wound of sorts for the social media behemoth, a land where it enjoys a massive user base. Add to it the partnership with Reliance, the association with Cambridge Analytica once again has brought scrutiny at the company’s gates.

The latest denouncement from the CBI joins a long line of scandals which the tainted firm has been found to have involvements in.

From India’s perspective, seeing the history of charges against Cambridge Analytica, it should definitely adopt a once bitten, twice shy approach to resolve the issue.

It remains to be seen how far the trail of the firm’s wrongdoings run and what emerges from it – from the US election manipulations to involvement in ‘Brexit’ to the present situation with the Indian chapter for the firm.

Until then, stay tuned here for more updates.

Smartphone Resale Value: Depreciation Is Surprising Enough [REPORT]

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Smartphone resale value report

It’s a tad cliché and true that smartphones have permeated every sphere of our life. The ceaseless tech breakthroughs have led to a churn of smartphones all around. And given the number of resales spawned by the manufacture of hefty cell phone numbers, it is only fitting that the people get the best deals. An emerging study looks to do just that – enhance essential knowledge of consumers looking to leverage the value of their old smartphones in trades and upgrade.

Cell phone trade-in site BankMyCell’s latest report has come with an assortment of fascinating observations for those looking to indulge in some smartphone flogging in the coming year. The report, compiled after tracking 310 device resale values from multiple vendors (on an hourly basis), shows which smartphones are most likely to sap their resale value by the trifecta of the brand, model, and operating system.

Keeping a close watch on all smartphone activity through the year 2020-2021, BankMyCell’s notable observations for the year’s biggest winners and losers were made thus.

Starting out categorically to cover some of the most significant stats, let us glance through the bouts one by one to gauge the extent of the report’s findings.

Bout 1: Flagship Android Devices Depreciate Double the Rate of iPhones:

Contrasting the flagship Android and the plum iPhone devices in gap terms of one, two, and four years, the information which came to light tells us how depreciation rates are skewed towards the flagship Android offerings.   

• When considering for one year, the current average depreciation of a new iPhone’s trade-in value came out to be -16.70%, as compared to Android’s -33.62%.

• In two years, the current average depreciation of a new iPhone’s trade-in value was reported at -35.47% in comparison with Android’s -61.50%.

• After four years, even though the figures try reaching even keel, iPhones still lost an average of -66.43% of their initial buyback value, which is quite lower than Androids -81.11%.

Smartphone resale value by OS

Bout 2: Budget Android Devices Lose an Average Of -52.61% in Year One

Moving into the budget Android smartphone devices, the observations look on the dire side.

It was found that on average, Android devices with launch prices sub $350 lost as much as half their trade-in value in just one year. The owners of all prevalent budget smartphone brands like Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, and Google reported losing an average of -52.61% of their trade-in value in 2019-2020.

• Considering by gaps year-wise, the resale value of budget Android smartphones were slashed by -73.61% in the first year, -85.15% over a two year period, and a whopping -94.90% from initial to the fourth year.

• In some examples cited by the report in this category, the Samsung A50 reportedly lost -79.94% of its trade-in value from March 2019 to December 2020.

• Another one, the Motorola G7 range, lost up to -74.17% of its trade-in value in 9 months in 2019, then further getting cut by -61.97% between Jan-Dec 2020.

Clearly, Apple’s iPhone segment did well to hold their won against the more populace android phones.

Apple iPhone Depreciation Rate 2020

The report by the trade-in site also included some snippets of devices bearing noteworthy market presence.

Bout 3 – Notable device H2H’s

iPhone 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Buyback Prices (Early S21 Warning)

Comparing two heavyweights in their respective segments here also alludes to a potential warning for the Galaxy S21 model.                                                                            

The report found that the ever voguish iPhone 11 range equated to 12.35% of all the trade-ins going through the site in 2020.

Looking at the head to head in price retention,

• iPhone 11 lost 12.84% of its trade-in value in the whole of 2020, compared with the Galaxy S20 losing a steep -34.73% in only nine months since launch.

• iPhone 11 Pro lost 21.31% of its trade-in value throughout 2020, compared with the Galaxy S20+ again losing a steady -30.59% in nine months since model launch.

iPhone 11 Pro Max lost merely 15.96% of its trade-in value in the whole of 2020, compared with the Galaxy S20 Ultra being bled by -36.30% in only nine months since launch.

The study also came with some distinct analysis of the depreciation from these devices from launch day price, and the data uncovered was found to be shocking.

Just nine months into the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra release, its buyback price marked down to 64.71% less than its original retail value.

By comparison, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, from the time of its release had lost almost half less at -32.22% from its original retail value.

Further excavation in the report spells that there’s some black sheep in for Apple here too!

iPhone SE 2020 Resale Value nosedived in 8 Months

Beguiling convention, the iPhone SE 2020 did not follow the -16.70% average decline set by other iPhone models in the first year. In a surprising turn, the iPhone SE 2020 lost an average of -38.32% of its resale price within the first eight months. Looking by all variants –

• iPhone SE 2020 (64GB) sold for $399, had an initially used buyback price for $290, ended up on $175 at the end of the year (-39.66% loss).

• iPhone SE 2020 (128GB) retailed for $449, having an initially used buyback price for $350, ended the year on $220 (-37.14% loss).

• iPhone SE 2020 (256GB) went for $549 after possessing an initially used buyback price for $380. It ended the year on $235 (-37.14% loss).

Google also featured in the report with the Pixel 4 and had to bag the highest depreciation by price or percentage by virtue of Pixel smartphones.

It was found that consumers who owned one of the top 10 most traded-in Google Pixel phones in 2020 lost an average of -40.17%(almost half!) of the device’s value in one year.

• Furthermore, in 2020, the average trade-in depreciation of all Google Pixel phones was found to be hovering around -38.46% across all models and storage sizes.

• Google’s Pixel 4 & 4 XL devices especially were at the receiving end of losing $154-$163, which is very considerable, seeing as their initial trade-in values ranged from $380 to $490 in January 2020.

Google Pixel Depreciation Rate 2020

Bout 4 – Motorola, HTC & Sony: The Worst Phones for Price Retention

Lastly, users and enthusiasts have to keep in mind the phone brands that lost big in 2020.

According to the data gathered, the unfortunate top three brands whose devices lost the highest percentage were:

• #1 – HTC, whose smartphone trade-in prices depreciated a stark -53.08% on average between Jan – Dec of 2020. For the company, the HTC U11 Life (2017) was the highest, depreciating at close to -81.82%.

• #2 – The Motorola smartphone trade-in prices tumbled by -42.57% on average in the same span and Motorola G7 (2019) contributed the most, clocking losses at -61.97%.

• #3 – Sony’s smartphone trade-in prices dwindled -39.51% on average in the same year period, with Sony Xperia XA2 (2018) depreciating at a sizeable -72.22% rate.

Glancing at the picks of the report, it is enough to say that these illuminating facts and figures sorted by the keenest analysis are worth their weight in gold for those looking to peddle smartphones in the coming year. So forewarned users, remember the figures and proceed with caution on your next trade-in!

Stay tuned for more updates.

Happy Birthday David Rosen: The Man Who Made Our Childhood Fun-Filled

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David Rosen

Americans are gifted with entrepreneur’s brains! David Rosen, a former soldier stationed in Japan saw the increasing market potential and started various ventures from instant photography to exporting the arts. Fore-sighting the ever-increasing demand for amusement products, he co-founded the video game company SEGA in 1965, whose products proved to be the milestones for the gaming industry. In 1996, David Rosen retired as a chairman of the company.

David Rosen founded Rosen Enterprises, Inc. in 1954 after he was relieved from his Air-force duties in 1952. He served with American Airforce in Japan during the Korean War. Rosen Enterprises sold the arts and crafts of Japan in the American market. Rosen Enterprises also ran Photorama Photo Studios- instant photo booths, which developed a picture within 2 minutes. The instant photograph idea emerged as a hit business and eventually spread to entire Japan.

With the newfound interest in the gaming industry, he decided to merge his company with a company named Nihon Goraku Bussan famously known as Service Games, a slot machine manufacturer. After the deal was finalised, the company came to be known as SEGA, and David was obliged with the CEO’s position in 1965. He was also the founder and the Chairman of Japan Amusement Association in 1967.

Born: 22 January 1930, at Brooklyn, New York (Age 91)

One would seldom hear a story of a man who was in the military and later went on to become a successful entrepreneur. Let’s dig deeper into the life of this maestro:

  • With the hike in demand for amusement machines in Japan, David started to import them from the USA as they were a popular business there. Later, he married Masako Fujisaki in 1954 and had a daughter named Lisa Rosen.
  • SEGA’s name is comprised of the initials of its former company Service Games. Headquartered in Tokyo, SEGA, today, is a Multi-National Company that has experienced ups and downs of the market during its tenure.
  • SEGA manufactures, develops and publishes Video Games and manufactures every hardware related to the gaming industry. It also manufactures gaming Consoles. A new division was also formed named as Dreamcast Games which later failed.
  • Periscope: The first game designed by David Rosen was the Periscope. The international version was manufactured by Sega Enterprises, released worldwide in 1967.
periscope
  • After having a good meeting with Charles Bluhdorn (an American industrialist) in the year 1970, David decided to sell his company to Gulf Western Group (not Viacom). This deal made him a fortune and he became a millionaire. Under this acquisition, Sega produced Frogger (1981) and Zaxxon (1982).
  • The logo of SEGA that won every teenager’s heart was designed by Rosen.Sega1
  • Hayao Nakayama and Rosen’s vision of developing a console finalized the deal with Rosen and Nakayama. SEGA produced its first console SG-1000, a home console with a 4-bit system, priced around $125.
  • The tragic death of Charles Bluhdorn in 1983 made SEGA and Rosen look for new support.
  • Ironically, even though Rosen and Nakayama had enough money, they were not able to own SEGA and the company needed a new partner, so they approached Isao Okawa, head of Japanese conglomerate CSK. Okawa remained committed to the company until he passed away in 2001.dsc06353
  • The biggest competitor of SEGA is, undoubtedly, Hiroshi Yamauchi’s company Nintendo that swept the Japanese console market of SEGA. SEGA arcade games won kudos but its console market was pathetic.
  • David Rosen then launched SEGA Genesis on September 15, 1989, a 16-bit advanced gaming console for a price of $190 and sales boomed but still lacked behind the sales of Nintendo’s console. But later with the launch of Sonic the Hedgehog game in 1991, the sales of Genesis soared.
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  • The launch of 32-bit CD console Saturn became a best seller in Japan but failed to impress the global market.
  • Later Rosen moved to his native country and took charge of SEGA West as its President and started manufacturing consoles.
  • David Rosen served the company until 1996, till the time his deteriorating health forced him to move to Los Angeles.

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian AssangeSir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

Reliance-Future Deal Is Approved By SEBI But Biyani May Not Be Happy With It!

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Despite Amazon trying its best to stick a fork between the Reliance-Future deal, the Indian market regulator SEBI has finally given the transaction the go-green signal!

On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Board of India granted Future Group the permission to go ahead with their proposed sale of assets to Reliance Retail based on which the BSE aka Bombay Stock Exchange also granted its “no adverse observation” report to the humongous Rs 25,000-crore deal.

The e-commerce behemoth wrote several letters to the SEBI and many other regulatory agencies to suspense the review of the Future-Reliance deal and give it a no-objection certificate on the grounds that their challenge was still being scrutinised before the Delhi High Court. But, now it seems like the victory is very close to slipping away from Amazon’s hands!

Five months post the announcement of the deal, SEBI has allowed it to go through, albeit, with some conditions applied. The BSE, in its observation letter, stated that the market regulator, whilst seeking the approval of shareholders or the National Company Law Tribunal aka NCLT, has asked Future Group to mention all the pending litigation procedures before Delhi High Court along with arbitration proceedings by Amazon which contests deal. But that’s not all.

There is another catch involved as well, which is definitely making Kishore Biyani, the founder & CEO of Future Group, anxious – just like before!

BSE announced that SEBI’s approval on the draft scheme of Future Group’s arrangement with Reliance will be subjected to the outcome of the legal proceedings that are still waiting to be resolved.

An Amazon spokesperson, commenting on the development, said that the letters issued by the BSE and NSE clearly state that SEBI giving their go-ahead on the  “draft scheme of arrangement”, i.e proposed transaction is subjected to the outcome of the ongoing arbitration and all other legal proceedings. Thus, Amazon will continue to rely on legal remedies to enforce their rights.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India has directed Future Group to ensure all of the details of the complaints made by Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC and the submissions of its group firm Future Retail are kept track of.

Along with that, BSE’s observation letter mentioned that Future Group must make sure that they are disclosing all information about the latest financials of the companies involved in the scheme of the transaction before the NCLT.

According to the Bombay Stock Exchange, the validity of the observation letter will be six months, within which Future Group will need to submit the scheme to the National Company Law Tribunal.

Lastly, it mentioned that the Exchange still very much reserves the right to withdraw its ‘no adverse observation’ at any given stage if the information that is submitted is found to be incomplete, incorrect, misleading, false or for the violation of rules, the by-laws and the regulations of the exchange, listing agreement, guidelines/regulations issued by the statutory authorities.

It now remains to be seen how far will Amazon be able to maintain their temporary hold on the Future-Reliance agreement. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.

Skeletons in the Closet? Google-Facebook Involved in Secret Online Advertising Deal

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Google Facebook Secret Deal

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And when two titans happen to decide upon an alliance, there are bound to be questions regarding the nature of it. Now, the instance of a behind-closed-doors deal unearthed between Google and Facebook is one that threatens to go beyond our line of sight.

Once again, tech giants, Google and Facebook have become entrenched in fresh trouble. A coalition of state attorneys generals, led by Texas’ Ken Paxton, have decided to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google.

The bolt from the blue, which has the backing of Texas and nine other states, has accused Google of striking an under the table deal with Facebook for unfairly leveraging monopoly in its ad-tech business.

The stunning claim comes on the back of documents uncovered by the Texas attorney general’s office as part of the ongoing multistate suit. This leads us to a few interesting questions, many of us are trying to find the answers of:

  • While this would present another headache for the companies already battling out on multiple fronts, how much water do the complaints carry?
  • Is it just another lawsuit out of the basket ordinaire’ or are the circumstances unfolding have a bigger scope than we initially seem to understand?

Let us delve deeper to find out more.

Behind the Lawsuits

The litigation case filed has alleged that Google was at the center of buying and selling display ads across the web.

For a full understanding, if we stretch back our memory to 2017, Facebook had said then that it was testing a new way of doing online advertising. Less than two years into the pledge and Facebook made a dramatic U-turn and instead teamed up with Google for online advertising. And it is precisely this development that has stirred up a storm now.

It is claimed that Google and Facebook in fact struck up a deal in 2018 to start giving the social media giant’s advertiser clients the choice to place ads within Google’s network of publishing partners. Executives at 6 of the more than 20 partners in the said alliance have reportedly provided some startling evidence that reveals that the agreements they had with Google were devoid of the bountiful terms that Facebook enjoyed.

Based on the fact that all the smaller advertisers have cried foul that the search giant in fact handed Facebook a significant advantage over the rest of them, the deal surely looks a bit dubious. But let’s move onto how the companies have responded to the allegations to gather a fuller picture.

What the behemoths say

Google and Facebook have both strenuously refuted to being part of any hush-hush deal. Putting out a statement saying that FAN (Facebook Audience Network) was merely a participant in its Open Bidding Program. Google has further sought to water down the claims, saying that the bidding program did not mete out preferential treatment to Facebook.

Facebook has also responded by saying that agreements like the one with Google helped increase competition in ad auctions and benefit advertisers and publishers both in the long term.

While both the behemoths have effectively dismissed the claims saying that the complaints have arisen due to misinterpretation, are the deals just commonplace or to thwart competition will become clearer by looking at the crux of the matter.

What they colluded about

The lawsuit against goofily codenamed ‘Jedi Blue’ is based around automated ad technology called “header bidding”.

Routing digital ads into a live auction, header bidding is a way for publishers in the form of websites and apps to sell their ad space online. The bidding process allows multiple advertisers to bid on the same ad spaces simultaneously, with the publisher recognizing the highest bidder’s offer and thus placing its ad. The header bidding was seen as a viable alternative to Google’s ad-placement system, which runs the auction in a sequence known as “waterfalling” instead.

It is here that the plot thickens. The thing is, with more bids from the widest array of sources, the rates go up proportionately.

Facts point out that by 2016, around 70% of all major publishers used header bidding from a variety of smaller advertising technology companies. In 2017, when the social network introduced its own header bidding for its ad-selling tools, it also allowed Facebook to take small cuts of ads sold across the web and on mobile phones. Add to it the cut generated from not just their properties like Instagram, but opening up the bidding process to other exchanges meant that it entered into direct competition with Google themselves.

From which it then PULLED OUT.

The evidence disentombed paints that the picture that the timing and the nature of the pull-out were triggered by Google’s understanding of the severity of the looming challenge to their advertising dominance.

By creating a program to “secretly let its own exchange win”, it formed a kinship with Facebook to let it sell ads on mobile apps quicker and threw other plum advantages in ad auctions. By cutting a deal at the highest level, it diffused a sure threat to its revenue streams.

While the deal was done to fortify both companies’ market power, it increasingly looks that the lawsuit may have found chinks that were papered up.

All things said and done, Google and Facebook accounted for more than half of all digital advertising spending in 2019.

If the nature of this deal is indeed proven to be manipulative, it would spell even more turbulence for two of the biggest companies on the planet.

While this lawsuit is not the first, and certainly not the last looking at the spate of things, Both Google and Facebook are under intense scrutiny, which has stemmed from a distressing precedent for antitrust practices.

Both companies are also currently shouldering the burden of other cases. For Google – Just recently, The US Department of Justice’s separate antitrust lawsuit over its ads and search business. For Facebook – it finds itself embattled in two simultaneous lawsuits, one from the Federal Trade Commission and the other focusing on its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.

With so many needled poking around, the time to come is forbearing of strain for both. Perhaps the best thing for both would be to come clean, lest market dominance aside, it may fall short of containing the dwindling trust of its users.

The Sudden Reappearance of Missing Jack Ma Leaves People Guessing About Many Things!

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Jack Ma was preparing to publicly float Ant Group – what was billed to be the largest IPO in the world in October 2020. At the time, the fintech company was all set to be listed dually in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Ma, at the Bund Summit in Shangai which was held at October 24th, said it was the largest listing ever priced in the history of the entire human race and that the pricing happened in a place which isn’t New York City. But the listing failed and that night was the last time the Chinese billionaire was seen in public until now.

According to people in the know, on Wednesday, Jack Maa addressed a cohort of teachers via a live stream event hosted to honour rural educators. Maa can be seen talking about how he is considering to allocate more time on philanthropy in a video of the event that is currently being circulated online. Ant confirmed that the video was authentic.

The co-founder of Alibaba and Ant did not talk about his recent run-ins with Bejing while addressing the crowd. Also, it still remains to be unclear where exactly Maa is at present. Now that he has appeared in a public forum, it might finally put to rest numerous rumours about his fate that surfaced while Beijing continues to pursue investigations into both Ant Group And the Alibaba Group.

In the video, Ma said that recently he and his colleagues have started studying and thinking and then came to a firm resolution to devote themselves to education philanthropy above all else.  He also mentioned that working hard to revitalize rural areas and common prosperity is a responsibility every business of this generation should undertake.

The assault that was unleashed on Jack Ma’s trillion-dollar corporate empire is a big example of how Beijing now happens to view Chinese tech giants as vehicles which wield too much control over the world’s second-biggest economy.

One can easily make out from the flurry of actions that followed against Ma’s twin companies that Beijing has lost its patience with the outsized and unmatched power of its homegrown technology giants. It now perceives them as a threat to the nation which prizes both political and financial stability above all.

The Chinese government has gone to big lengths in order to exert their influence over the extent to which companies from Tencent Holdings Ltd. to ByteDance Ltd. collect data and control both media and commerce. 

One simply can’t call it coincidence when in the same month Ant called off its IPO, China’s top antitrust watchdog published a whole set of new guidelines warning technology giants to refrain from monopolistic practices.

All in all, while Ma’s current standing with Beijing remains unclear, at the same time it is definitely not hunky-dory. According to a person in the know, as of early December, the billionaire who was closely identified as the reason for the meteoric rise of China Inc was advised to stay within the country by the government. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then stay tuned.

Apple Foldable iPhone May Surprise You, But It Won’t Launch This Year!

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Rumours of a foldable iPhone have long been circulating on the internet. However, until now there was little to no indication Apple was actually developing one.

According to media reports, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant has begun working on an early iPhone prototype with a foldable screen to rival similar devices from Samsung and others. But that being said, only minor changes will be seen for this year’s iPhone lineup and there still doesn’t exist any confirmed plans for the launch of an actual foldable iPhone.

A person familiar with the development said that Apple doesn’t yet have a full handset prototype in its lab as their progress has been limited to a foldable display only. Like the Galaxy Fold by Samsung and the Motorola Razr reboot, a foldable iPhone will allow Apple to offer its fans a device with a larger screen in a more pocketable package.

The iPhone maker has discussed several foldable screen sizes internally, including one which tends to unfold to a similar size as that of the iPhone 12 Pro Max – 6.7 inch. Currently, most foldable smartphones have screens which range from that of 6 to 8 inches unfolded.

The person in the know also said that the foldable screens that Apple is currently testing, much like that of Samsung’s devices, have an almost invisible hinge with the electronics stashed behind the display. When asked about to the same, an Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

Foldable iPhones: Years Away From Production

As of now, the company is focused on launching its next generation of flagship iPhones and iPads later this year and a foldable iPhone is likely years away from production. People familiar with the situation reported that Apple is not planning any major updates or changes for this year’s iPhone line given they have already introduced several enhancements in 2020 including 5G capabilities and new design.

Since May 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic complicated product development for Apple engineers as many of them were working at the company’s Silicon Valley offices only a few days a week and in very limited numbers.

That, in turn, led to the delayed launch of iPhone 12 lineup by several weeks but Apple was still able to include every single feature they intended to release except “AirTags” which is an accessory for locating physical items like keys and backpacks.

Apple now plans to launch AirTags this year along with multiple other small accessories for it including a leather keychain as well. Earlier this month, even Samsung announced a similar nifty gizmo called “Smart Tags”.

Apart from that, Apple has been discussing removing the charging port for some iPhone models in favour of opting for only wireless charging. Last year, the iPhone maker moved to include a magnetic MagSafe charging functionality with the iPhone 12 which is in addition to removing the charging brick from the iPhone box. Apple is bringing the same functionality in Macbook Pro as well.

All in all, while for Apple fans the hope to see foldable iPhones solidify further, we will have our eyes glued to the next wave of minor changes Apple brings to its lineup.

A few months back, highly impressive work on the concept video of foldable iPhone left almost everyone stunned.

Stay tuned to this space for more updates.

Snapchat Spotlight: A New Way for Creators to Earn Money

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Snapchat paying millions to users

Short-form video applications have increased overwhelmingly in popularity in recent times. The surge in this format of online content, according to most, is due to the precedent TikTok set when it arrived on the market only to dominate it within two years.

All major competitors like Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube consequently came up with their own versions of TikTok’s hyper-successful infinite scrolling video feed. However, Snapchat, the picture-sharing social media app, which possibly had most in common with TikTok in terms of controls and mode only recently joined the race.

But despite being a late-comer, Snapchat’s strategy has rapidly gained success. Spotlight, Snapchat’s very own infinite short-video feed, launched in November last year. Snapchat called all its users to upload videos to this feed, with the promise of paying anyone who attracts a significant amount of views. Whether one had a large number of followers or not did not matter, as long as the Spotlight video did well. Since then, Snapchat is dishing out over $1 million per day to Spotlight creators, purely based on the popularity of their videos.

A Sound Strategy with Communities Already Coming Up Around It

Given the simplicity of Snapchat’s new approach, it’s no surprise that it has garnered the attention of many. According to NYT, many young Snapchat creators, influencers and non-influencers alike, have amassed fortunes due to Spotlight.

For instance, Cam Casey, a TikTok star experimented with Snapchat Spotlight and managed to earn $3 million between November and January.

However, people with no content creation experience have had similar fates. One of them is Andrea Romo, 27, who earned half a million by posting a video of her sister frying Turkey on Thanksgiving. Similarly, a 19 year old ceramist, Dax Newman, made $30,000 through Snapchat. For Katie Feeney, 18, her earnings of $1 million have broadened her options for universities she could attend.

People have already started making groups on the platform based around coming up with strategies to make the best use of Spotlight. Along with this, they boost each other’s content through engagement. For these people, creating collaboration groups is also on the cards, including Cam Casey.

Worthy Competition is Here

With its new move, Snapchat has shown that slow and steady wins the race.

TikTok has been the standard social media aspired to in 2020, but all competitors lacked one crucial feature: monetization. Ventures like Instagram Reels, although well-received in their own way, did not attract original content or businesses due to the lack of monetary incentives provided.

It seems that Snapchat heeded this missing piece and came out with the next best thing in the market, at least for now. Snapchat is very serious about competing with TikTok, as signaled by its recent appointment of Ben Schwerin as the new vice president of content creation and partnerships.

However, the journey has only begun. With the popularity Spotlight is gaining, the monetization for each creator is decreasing and might need a revision sometime in the future. Another hurdle to cross is establishing a standard for what a “Snapchat creator” is. For now, Snapchat Spotlight’s content is similar to TikTok, including dance and song challenges, pranks, unboxing, fashion and makeup, etc. Additionally, Snapchat is gearing up to partner with brands to provide more incentives to creators with its relaunch of Snapchat Partners, its partnership program.

COVID-19 Unemployment Leading To Ageing Indian Workforce, CMIE Reports

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The latest data shared by the CMIE aka Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy has highlighted a huge red flag.

Due to the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the employment scenario of India has been witnessing a surge in job losses among individuals below the age bracket of 40 – this is something that has resulted in the ageing of the Indian workforce in total. Therefore, it is not considered a healthy sign for the country’s economic revival in H2 of the current financial year.

In its weekly analysis, CMIE pointed that job losses have been observed to be concentrated in urban regions, especially among women, the relatively entry-level or young workers, graduates, postgraduates and salaried employees as well.

According to the latest data acquired by the body, India’s workforce aged in 2020-21 during the lockdown. The share of those who are over 40 years of age increased to 60% by December 2020 when compared to 56% in 2019-20. While the share of the young workforce has subsequently shrunk down. Thus, it is a huge red flag for India’s employment scenario.

To break it down, CMIE reported that job losses were seen to be higher among young workers with all age groups that come below the age of 40 suffering a sharp fall in employment till the month of December 2020.

Now, within the same, those who are in their 20s accounted for 80% of the job losses as of December 2020 whereas those who are in their 30s accounted for 48% of job lost till the same time period.

COVID-19 Unemployment: Young Urban Workforce Suffered The Worst

According to CMIE, urban India accounted for a total of 32% of the country’s entire employment in 2019-20. However, observing how there has been a 34% loss of employment in urban India in 2020-21 till December 2020, it does not bode very well for the economic recovery process of the nation.

CMIE further reported that women who account for a mere 11% in the total employment scenario of India accounted for 52% of the job losses, which is something that is highly disappointing.

CMIE stated that much of the country’s growth acceleration relies on the increased and active participation of women in India’s workforce. Thus the COVID-19 is to be blamed for disproportionately hampering the share of women workforce in the country which will now lead to slow economic growth.

Lastly, CMIE analysis said that the total employment in India fell by a whopping 14.7 million by the end of December 2020 when compared to the time period 2019-20. Along with this, the body also reported that employment shrunk by 18.4% in Q1 2021 when the economy took a dive by 23.9%, next when employment contracted by 2.6% in Q2 2021 the economy was down by 7.7% and shrank further by 2.8% in Q3 2021.

In conclusion, the CMIE said that December 2020 not only saw a quantitative reduction in India’s workforce but also a qualitative one as well. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.

The Slip-Ups Keep On Coming: WhatsApp Web Users’ Mobile Data Leaked On Google

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As the developments have unfolded over the past week, the clock for WhatsApp seems to be ticking with every passing minute and every sensitized user. With users forced to confront the grey policies in which Facebook operates its entities, the new privacy policy announcement seems to have opened a pandora’s box of mayhem for WhatsApp. The latest addition to this ruckus comes courtesy of WhatsApp web.

Already under immense heat over its upcoming data and privacy policy in India and elsewhere around the globe, another user data violation from WhatsApp has come to light. The report has come from the WhatsApp Web application for desktop, which has been alleged to expose personal mobile numbers of the app users via indexing on Google Search.

With screenshots to prove and strong condemnation from several analysts to boot, many of these pictures have shown indexing of personal mobile numbers of WhatsApp users via the Web version on the Google Search engine.

Eminent independent cybersecurity researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia has also lent his view, confirming that the source of the leak is WhatsApp on the Web. Detailing further, he has explained that when the users are using WhatsApp on their laptops or PCs, the mobile numbers are getting indexed on Google Search.

Though not all the individual phone numbers appearing online are business numbers, the uproar of concern the news has caused has been huge. Even earlier in the week, when reports of its private group chat links being available on Google Search came out, WhatsApp had reportedly asked Google not to index such chats and also advised users against sharing group chat links on publicly accessible websites.

What had transpired in that incident was that Google had indexed invite links to many private WhatsApp group chats, which meant all these private chat groups could be found and joined through a routine search. All the indexed WhatsApp group chat links have now been removed from Google though.

The issue had actually first surfaced in February 2020, when app reverse-engineer Jane Wong found that Google was spitting out close to 470,000 results for a simple search of “chat.whatsapp.com”.

WhatsApp, which no doubt enjoys the numero uno status as a messaging app in India, is currently in use by over 400 million users in India. According to the features offered by the popular app for users’ convenience, a vast majority of the working professionals and students use the instant chat app on their desktops and PCs via the Web version. The slew of slip-ups and horror shows have resulted in a marked and expected dip in the number of users in India. It has been projected that the contentious privacy policies; slapped on the users without a second thought may well trigger a mass exodus, with the projected number reaching as high as 60 million!

Even though WhatsApp was quick to harp on the fact that it had included the “noindex” tag on all deep link pages, which excludes them from getting indexed in March 2020, there are growing concerns as to how the Facebook-owned chat app has been handling such serious issues. The reports of leaks and dodgy operational practices haven’t helped their cause for sure.

The genesis of all these problems, the controversial privacy policy, has indeed pitted the harried users against the practices and “my way or the highway” approach of the social media behemoth.

As each such event unravels, there slowly seems to be emerging a bigger game at play too. Not just leveraging the user might, is Facebook also hatching a scheme to protect its assets from the lawsuits it has invited in a transitional governance phase in its homeland? What do these unflattering developments mean for India, which comprises so many ardent users? (What then of the JioMart ambitions for Reliance Retail?)

Whatever Facebook is planning with WhatsApp, there are growing signs that it will have to endure several body blows and changed dynamics if it continues down this path. The time ahead is riddled with questions, and rivals steadily gaining ground and WhatsApp better come up with a middle ground to counter those, or else these ungainly developments pull it down.

Stay tuned to this space for more updates. And WhatsApp users (all of us!) – stay cautious!