Welcome to our new weekly round-up of the latest tech news, where we cover top stories and must-know announcements within the mobile industry.
Xiaomi Surpasses Apple in the Global Smartphone Market
Chinese company Xiaomi is now the second-largest smartphone maker in the world, overtaking Apple with 17% of global smartphone shipments compared to Apple’s 14%. Samsung remains on top with 19% market share. Xiaomi is seeing rapid expansion, especially in Latin America and Western Europe. The company is seeing shipment growth of 83%, compared to Apple’s 1%.
Quick take: Brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, and Oppo are already key players in the global smartphone market, and their presence is only expanding — especially in fast-growing emerging markets. Mobile-first brands that find ways to engage users on these devices, in spite of factors like poor notification delivery rates, put themselves in a position to grow just as quickly.
Netflix Eyes Mobile Gaming as Its Next Big Content Category
The streaming giant is reportedly looking to double-down on interactive projects like the popular Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Stranger Things games, according to a letter it sent to shareholders. After seeing impressive customer acquisition during the 2020 pandemic lockdowns, the company is working to extend that growth by embracing gaming and staying “primarily focused on mobile.”
Quick take: Even if you’re not a games developer, adding gaming elements to your overall brand experience is a smart way to keep customers engaged and evolve your offerings. Even if you don’t have the resources to put behind a full-fledged game, small efforts like giveaways, social media caption contests, and milestone badges can be simple ways to level up your customer experience.
Vimeo + TikTok Pair Up for Video Ads
Vimeo and TikTok announced a new partnership that will allow businesses to use Vimeo’s tools to create and launch video ads on the social platform. According to pre-release tests, brands saw up to 50% higher click-through rates compared to previous campaigns.
Quick take: Short-form video is an essential way to reach customers — especially ads that are integrated into social media channels — and TikTok’s massive popularity and global presence make it an attractive channel for many B2C brands. The impressive click-through rates are just added proof: consumers want to engage with brands that meet them where they are, with content that’s tailored especially for them.
CNN Hops on the Streaming Bandwagon
CNN Worldwide plans to launch a new streaming service, CNN+, in early 2022. This makes CNN the latest in a slew of media companies to build out standalone streaming channels, including competitors NBC News and CBS News. CNN+ will reportedly feature original, live, on-demand, and interactive programming that is unique from its live TV offerings.
Quick take: The streaming wars keep heating up. What separates the leaders from the pack? Vast content libraries paired with the ability to serve up the right content to each user. That level of personalization isn’t easy to achieve, especially for new users who haven’t logged a lot of activity on your platform. It’s one reason onboarding and first-time user experiences are so critical: it’s a key opportunity to quickly learn user preferences so you can deliver the exact content they want from their very first app launch.
Facebook and Instagram Will Pay Creators $1Bn Over the Next 18 Months
Facebook is getting serious about turning content creators into a new source of revenue. Available by invitation only for now, each platform will award bonuses in different ways. Facebook bonuses will be offered to creators with in-stream ads enabled and to select gaming creators who reach certain livestream milestones. On Instagram, creators will get cash rewards by enabling ads on IGTV videos, creating Reels, and meeting livestream milestones.
Quick take: Facebook knows content is king, and it isn’t the only platform to invest in its creators and influencers. Snapchat and TikTok already pay creators who post viral videos: TikTok announced a $200M creator fund in 2020, and Snapchat awards the most popular Spotlight videos $1M each day. But Facebook’s much larger $1 billion treasure chest is a big push for the social media giant to persuade content creators to stick with its platforms through the end of 2022.