Last week I wrote about rampant app inflation in the @Apple App Store. Quick addendum, from the cutting room floor, via thread.

Apple: how app developers manipulate your mood to boost ranking via @FT
on.ft.com/2DVgtng
Apple claims its store is curated and that they heavily invest to make sure apps work and that reviews are accurate. But it’s simple to find examples where 5-star reviews are bogus and the the star ratings are at best questionable and likely fraudulent.
Eg The 50th (now 63rd) ranked lifestyle app is “Make Money - Earn Easy Cash.” It has 26 one-star reviews in the last two weeks alone, with multiple reviewers calling the app “fake,” “a scam”, “horrible” or citing “terrible customer service.”

Rating? 4.9 stars. ImageImageImageImage
Another great example (these aren’t hard to find) is Yo, the “social media” app that has 1 function: it sends the word “Yo!” to your friends’ phones.

Last software update: 3yr ago.
Rating: 4 stars.
Reviews — basically nothing 5 star joke reviews about how Yo saves your life. ImageImageImageImage

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More from @PatrickMcGee_

Mar 29
🚨Scoop in @FT 🚨

Millions of American and European smartphone users are unknowingly sending user, device and IP address information to servers in Russia.

From there, researchers worry it might be accessed by the Kremlin.

Wait whhaaaat???

*Tweet thread follows*
Here's how this is happening: Yandex - aka Russia's Google - has embedded "free and unlimited" coding software into tens of thousands of apps, which collects user data and stores is in servers in Finland and Russia. Yandex confirms this, but says it's not used for surveillance.
The software coding is a 'software development kit,' or SDK. Think of SDKs as the building blocks of apps.

A majority of apps use Google SDKs, for instance, to avoid building mapping tools or advertising tech from scratch.
Read 10 tweets
Oct 31, 2021
*New*: @Apple’s privacy settings caused an estimated $9.85bn of revenues to evaporate in the second half of this year at @Snap, @Facebook, @Twitter and @YouTube, as their advertising businesses were shaken by the new rules

Average impact on revenue: -12%

*Thread*
Lost revenues will extend into the next quarters as the advertising groups rebuild using a privacy-centric paradigm.

“New tools and frameworks need to be developed from scratch and tested extensively before being deployed to a high number of users,” says @eric_seufert
.@apple, meanwhile, reported a “record” quarter for its advertising business on Thursday, as its services segment beat revenue estimates by $700m to reach $18.3bn.

Full story: on.ft.com/3bs7XsV @FT
Read 4 tweets
Oct 28, 2021
A bunch of stats on @Apple earnings:

Finance chief Luca Maestri tells the @FT that supply constraints cost the group $6bn last quarter.

"components shortage" and "manufacturing disruptions in Southeast Asia caused by Covid," he said.

*Thread*
No guide for Q1 but Maestri says “demand is very, very strong”.

"We expect to set a December quarter record in spite of the fact that these supply constraints - the way we see them right now - **we believe they're going to be greater than the September quarter, the $6bn**.”
Q4 Revenues were slightly below forecasts and Apple shares fell 5% on the results.

Not a big miss but in prior 3 quarters Apple blew away forecasts.
Read 7 tweets
Oct 22, 2021
An *enormous thread* on alleged @Google @Facebook collusion based on the just-released *unredacted* complaint from the Texas AG. First filed December.

Anything PURPLE is newly unredacted.

Yellow/Orange is just normal highlights.

1/?
Online advertising is enormous. Google's Exchange process processes 11bn online ad spaces / day.

Google says "more daily transactions are made on AdX than on the NYSE and NASDAQ combined."
Google also owns the largest buy-side and sell-side brokers. "It is pitcher, batter, and umpire, all at the same time," says complaint.

Senior GOOG employee: “[t]he analogy would be if Goldman or Citibank owned the NYSE.”
More to the point -- if NYSE was the only stock exchange Image
Read 45 tweets
Oct 21, 2021
First Snap question is about Apple.... Wants to know if it'll take a quarter, multiple quarters or years to set a new-normal:

"This has definitely been a frustrating setback for us," @evanspiegel says.

1/?
"With these new Apple changes, those tools were essentially rendered blind," @evanspiegel says. "You can only really measure your advertising results using the success parameters that Apple's already defined. The reporting is delayed for a significant period of time ...
and (it's) often unavailable if you don't hit a certain threshold of conversion. Very hard to see performance on a creative level...

So what we've done is built our own solution called Advanced Conversions that allows people to do much more sophisticated things.
Read 4 tweets
Oct 21, 2021
*Breaking* @Snap blames @Apple privacy changes for Q3 earnings miss and says Q4 revenues will come in between $1.16bn and $1.2bn, versus consensus estimate of $1.4bn.

*a Thread*
Chief executive Evan Spiegel says: "the new Apple-provided measurement solution did not scale as we had expected, making it more difficult for our advertising partners to measure and manage their ad campaigns for iOS."
Snap chief of business Jeremi Gorman dismissed Apple's tool (SKAdNetwork), calling it "unreliable as a standalone measurement solution." He said measurements "diverge meaningfully from the results we observed on (other measurement solutions)."
Read 10 tweets

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