App Store shrank for first time in 2017 thanks to crackdowns on spam, clones and more

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The App Store shrank for the first time in 2017, according to a new report from Appfigures. The report found the App Store lost 5 percent of its total apps over the course of the year, dropping from 2.2 million published iOS apps in the beginning of the year to 2.1 million by year-end.

Google Play, meanwhile, grew in 2017 — it was up 30 percent to more than 3.6 million apps.

Appfigures speculated the changes had to do with a combination of factors, including stricter enforcement of Apple’s review guidelines, along with a technical change requiring app developers to update their apps to the 64-bit architecture.

Apple had also promised back in 2016 that it would clean up its iOS App Store by removing outdated, abandoned apps, including those that no longer met current guidelines or didn’t function as intended. That cleanup may have well stretched into 2017, as app store intelligence firms only started seeing the effects in late 2016. For example, there was a spike in app removals back in October 2016.

Then in 2017, Apple went after clones and spam apps on the App Store. Combined with those apps that weren’t 64-bit compatible and those that hadn’t been downloaded in years, the removals reached into the hundreds of thousands over a 12-month period. Apple later went after template-based apps, too, before dialing back its policies over concerns it was impacting small businesses’ ability to compete on the App Store.

To see the App Store shrink, given these clear-outs, isn’t necessarily surprising. However, Appfigures found that removals of existing apps weren’t the only cause. iOS developers weren’t releasing as many apps as they had during the growth years, it also claims.

Android developers launched 17 percent more apps in 2017 to reach 1.5 million total new releases. But iOS developers launched just 755,00 new apps — a 29 percent drop and the largest drop since 2008.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean developers weren’t creating as many iOS apps — it could mean that Apple’s review team has gotten tougher about how many apps it allows in. Thanks to the spam and clone app crackdown, fewer apps of questionable quality are being approved these days.

In addition, some portion of the new Android app releases during the year were iOS apps being ported to the Google Play platform. More than twice as many apps came to Android in 2017 than Android apps coming to iOS, the report said.

The full report also developed into the numbers of cross-platform apps (450,000 are on both stores), the most popular non-native tools (Cordova and Unity), the rise in native development, the countries shipping the most apps (U.S. followed by China) and the Play Store’s growth.

It can be viewed here.

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Facebook restricts APIs, axes old Instagram platform amidst scandals

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Facebook is entering a tough transition period where it won’t take chances around data privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, CTO Mike Schroepfer tells TechCrunch. That’s why it’s moving up the shut down of part of the Instagram API. It’s significantly limiting data available from or requiring approval for access to Facebook’s Events, Groups, and Pages APIs plus Facebook Login. Facebook is also shutting down search by email or user name and changing its account recovery system after discovering malicious actors were using these to scrape people’s data. “Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way” Schroepfer writes.

Instagram will immediately shut down part of its old platform API that was scheduled for deprecation on July 31st. TechCrunch first reported that developers’ Instagram apps were breaking over the weekend due to a sudden reduction in the API call limit. Instagram refused to comment, leading to developer frustration as their apps that analyze people’s followers and help them grow their audiences stopped working.

Now an Instagram spokesperson tells TechCrunch that “Effective today, Instagram is speeding up the previously announced deprecation of the Instagram API Platform” as part of Facebook’s work to protect people’s data. The APIs for follower lists, relationships, and commenting on public content will cease to function immediately. The December 11th, 2018 deprecation of public content reading APIs and the 2020 deprecation of basic profile info APIs will happen as scheduled, but it’s implemented rate limit reductions on them now.

The announcements come alongside Facebook’s admission that up to 87 million users had their data improperly attained by Cambridge Analytica, up from early estimates of 50 million. These users will see a warning atop their News Feed about what happened, what they should do, and see surfaced options for removing other apps they gave permissions to. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to take questions about today’s announcements during at 1:00pm Pacific conference call.

Regarding the Facebook APIs, here’s the abbreviated version of the changes and what they mean:

  • Events API will require approval for use in the future, and developers will no long be able to pull guest lists or post sto the event wall. This could break some event discovery and ticketing apps.
  • Groups API will require approval from Facebook and a Group admin, and developers won’t be able to pull member lists or the names and photos associated with posts. This will limit Group management apps to reputable developers only, and keep a single non-admin member of a closed Group from giving developers access.
  • Pages API will only be available to developers providing “useful services”, and all future access will require Facebook approval. This could heavily restrict Page management apps for scheduling posts or moderating comments.
  • Facebook Login use will require a stricter review process and apps won’t be able to pull users personal information or activity, plus they’ll lose access if after 3 months of non-use. Most login apps should still work, though, as few actually needed your religious affiliation or video watching activity, though some professional apps might not function without your work history
  • Search by phone number or email will no longer work, as Facebook says it discovered malicious actors were using them to pair one piece of information with someone’s identity, and cycling through IP addresses to avoid being blocked by Facebook. This could make it tougher for people in countries where people have similar names find each other. Of all the changes, this may be the most damaging to the user experience.
  • Account Recovery will no longer immediately show the identity of a user when someone submits their email or phone number to similarly prevent scraping. The feature will still work, but may be more confusing. Facebook believes all its users’ could have had their data scraped using the search and account recovery tricks.

Schroepfer says that Facebook’s goal is to lock things down, review everything, and then figure out which developers deserve access and whether any of the functionality should be restored. The announcements raise questions about why it took the Cambridge Analytica scandal for Facebook to take data privacy seriously. You can expect the House Energy and Commerce Committee may ask Mark Zuckerberg that when he comes to testify on April 10th.

Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer

Facebook’s bold action to reform its APIs shows it’s willing to prioritize users above developers — at least once pushed by public backlash and internal strife. The platform whiplash could make developers apprehensive to build on Facebook in the future. But if Facebook didn’t shore up data privacy, it’d have no defense if future privacy abuses by outside developers came to light.

Schroepfer tells me Facebook is taking its responsibility super seriously and that company is upset that it allowed this situation to happen. At least he seems earnest. Last week I wrote that Facebook needd to make a significant act of contrition and humility if it wanted stabilize the sinking morale of its employees. These sweeping changes qualify, and could serve as a rallying call for Facebook’s team. Rather than sit with their heads in their hands, they have a roadmap of things to fix.

Still, given the public’s lack of understanding of APIs and platforms, it may be tough for Facebook to ever regain the trust broken by a month of savage headlines about the social network’s privacy negligence. Long-term, this souring of opinion could make users hesitant to share as much on Facebook. But given its role as a ubiquitous utility for login with your identity across the web, our compulsive desire to scroll its feed and check its notifications, and the lack of viable social networking alternatives, Facebook might see the backlash blow over eventually. Hopefully that won’t lead back to business as usual.

For more on the recent Facebook platform changes, read our other stories:

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Burst breaks you out of your filter bubble on Reddit

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One of the many accusations about the trouble with Facebook – amid its data privacy concerns and enabling of Russian trolls – is that it keeps people locked into echo chambers where access to other viewpoints are limited. This is a common problem across social media, people are beginning to realize. A new app called Burst is experimenting with how to break people out of their bubbles. But its focus is not on Facebook, as it turns out – it’s on Reddit.

In a way, Reddit has a problem with filter bubbles too, given that users choose which subreddits (communities) to subscribe to. That means than in addition to subscribing to something like r/politics, you may also subscribe to r/liberal or r/conservative, where you’ll hear your own viewpoints echoed and reinforced.

What Burst does is combine everyone’s comments and insights into one place. It works by finding everywhere a post has been re-shared across Reddit, then merges all the comments together.

The app is organized like Reddit itself with sections for Hot, Top, Rising, New and Controversial as well as access to your own subreddits when you sign in. To view the comments on a post, you swipe to the left. And to upvote or downvote, you use Force Touch.

Explains the app creator Alex Duckmanton, currently a product designer in Sydney, Burst has exposed him to different ideas.

“In my own use of Burst while testing, I’ve found that even though I see a lot more stuff I don’t agree with, seeing it helps me empathise with other perspectives. It’s my hope that this will help tone down some of the more toxic aspects of political discussion online,” he says.

While political discussions are often a hotbed for trolling and the general social media-induced lack of empathy, an app like Burst can help in other areas, too. For example, notes Duckmanton, a post about the new iPhone might appear in both r/iphone and r/android, in addition to r/apple or r/technology. This allows you to see a wider array of discussions about the iPhone news, than if you only read the comments from one community.

Duckmanton says he began to build Burst when he had some time off from work in the second-half of last year because he’s been concerned about the impact of filter bubbles on social media platforms.

“Filter bubbles aren’t being addressed in a meaningful way by any of the major social platforms,” he says. “The typical response of banning problem users or removing content is a brute-force approach and isn’t long-term or scalable. Outside of that, users are expected to self-manage the content they consume in order to have a more balanced view. It’s not reasonable to expect that of people, and it certainly won’t happen for people who aren’t already engaged in news and politics,” Duckmanton continues.

“We need to create products in such a way that filter bubbles cannot exist because their design fundamentally prevents them,”he adds.

The project is entirely self-funded and is currently supported by ads with the option to remove them via an in-app purchase.

Now that the app is out in the wild, Duckmanton says he’ll see how the community reacts before deciding if he will transition to working on Burst full-time. If it were to take off, however, he imagines a future where a Burst-like app could be built for other platforms – like Twitter. But in the immediate-term, nothing like that is in the works.

Burst is a free download for iOS. A link to sign up for an Android beta is here.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Tinder begins testing its first video feature, Tinder Loops

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Tinder is getting into video. On Wednesday, the popular dating app will begin testing its first video-based feature, Tinder Loops, with iOS users in Canada and Sweden. The company says it will evaluate how users respond to Loops before making a decision to roll it out to other markets.

As you may have guessed by the name – “Loops” – the feature isn’t focused on traditional video, but rather on a shorter, almost GIF-like looping video format that’s been popularized by apps like Instagram’s Boomerang and, before that, Twitter’s Vine. In Tinder’s case, Loops will be just two seconds long, and can be added to users’ profiles alongside their photos.

The company says it decided to test videos because it believes videos can show more of users’ personalities, and that can increase people’s chances of getting right-swiped (liked, that is). It suggests the videos could be used for showing off your favorite activities – like shooting hoops or cliff jumping. But it’s likely that Tinder users will find other use cases for looping videos beyond that.

Loops represents the next step in the evolution of our classic profile,” said Brian Norgard, Chief Product Officer at Tinder. “With the addition of video, users have a new way to express themselves while also gaining key insights into the lives of potential matches. Whether it’s dancing at a concert, doing cartwheels on the beach, or clinking glasses with friends, Loops makes profiles come alive. We anticipate Tinder Loops will lead to even more matches and conversations and look forward to seeing how our users creatively adopt the feature,” he added.

More realistically, looping videos may better show people as they are – not hidden behind a soft photo filter or snapped from a classic MySpace angle. And that could lead to less surprise on first dates, as people will have already gotten a better sense of who they’re meeting, as well as how they like to have fun.

But at only two-seconds long, Loops are not as intimidating as posting a “real” video for users who are more shy.

To try the new feature, iOS users in the supported markets will be able to go to their profile, then tap the “Add Media” button to upload a video. Once the video is selected, you can drag the time strip to select the part you want to loop, preview it, and post it to your profile.

Tinder Loops currently supports only videos or Live Photos imported from your iOS Camera Roll. It doesn’t allow users to capture Loops directly from the app.

Alongside the option to add Loops, a subset of users in the test markets will also be given the ability to upload nine photos (or Loops), instead of just six. That could encourage more uploads of Loops as users won’t have to remove their existing photos to give the feature a try.

Tinder would not be the first dating app to dabble with video.

Starting last year, a number of its rivals began to support video in various contexts, as well. Hinge started allowing users to add videos up to 30 seconds long to their profiles; Match and Bumble announced Stories-like features involving video (BumbleVID didn’t pan out); and Zoosk tried video in a separate app, Lively, which has since pivoted to trivia. Integrating video, it appears, is not that easy.

The feature’s launch comes at a time when the competition between modern dating apps has been heating up. Specifically, Tinder and Bumble’s battles have gotten nasty, with Tinder parent Match Group suing Bumble over patents, and Bumble suing Match Group back for fraudulently obtaining trade secrets. Tinder also recently said it would roll out a ladies-first option in its app, which is the thing Bumble is best known for.

Now, with Loops, Tinder is differentiating itself further from the rest of the pack. Whether or not users will respond, however, remains to be seen.

Loops is rolling out today to the supported test markets.

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Messenger adds support for sharing HD video, 360-degree photos

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Perhaps aiming to snag some attention away from Snapchat’s big group video call update out this morning, Facebook also announced an update to its chat app Messenger, which will now allow users to share 360-degree videos and HD quality video (720p). In both cases, you’ll have to capture the photo or video outside the Messenger app, the company notes.

The update follows another that rolled out last fall, allowing users to share high-resolution photos through Messenger – something that Facebook said was the result of its significant investments in helping people “communicate visually.”

The idea that mobile messaging is often a camera-first experience isn’t unique to Facebook Messenger, of course – it’s the premise of the Snapchat experience and, these days, Instagram too.

Unfortunately for Facebook, news of improved media-sharing capabilities comes at a time when the company is under siege for its mishandling of user data, and, most recently, another reveal that it had been retaining videos that users believed to be deleted. The broader effect of this news cycle around Facebook’s approach to privacy, is an increased general mistrust of Facebook’s products as the place to share – including sharing through Messenger, which isn’t as distanced from the core product as Facebook-owned Instagram and Whatsapp are.

Facebook says if you want to share a 360-degree photo, you’ll need to first snap it with your camera or another 360-photo app before uploading it to Messenger where it will then be converted to an immersive experience that can be navigated through by the recipients via either tapping and dragging on mobile, or clicking and dragging on Messenger.com.

Similarly, HD videos will need to be first captured from the phone, or re-shared from the Facebook Newsfeed or other messages.

The rollout of the HD feature is limited to select markets for now, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the U.K. and the U.S. on iOS and Android.

360 photos, however, are available worldwide on iOS and Android.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Facebook fights fake news with author info, rolls out publisher context

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Red flags and “disputed” tags just entrenched people’s views about suspicious news articles, so Facebook is hoping to give readers a wide array of info so they can make their own decisions about what’s misinformation. Facebook will try showing links to a journalist’s Wikipedia entry, other articles, and a follow button to help users make up their mind about whether they’re a legitimate source of news. The test will show up to a subset of users in the U.S. when users click on the author’s name within an Instant Article if the author’s publisher has implemented Facebook’s author tags.

Meanwhile, Facebook is rolling out to everyone in the U.S. its test from October that gives readers more context about publications by showing links to their Wikipedia pages, related articles about the same topic, how many times the article has been shared and where, and a button for following the publisher within an “About This Article” button. Facebook will also start to show whether friends have shared the article, and a a snapshot of the publisher’s other recent articles.

Since much of this context can be algorithmically generated rather than relying on human fact checkers, the system could scale much more quickly to different languages and locations around the world.

These moves are designed to feel politically neutral to prevent Facebook from being accused of bias. After former contractors reported that they suppressed conservative Trending topics on Facebook in 2016, Facebook took a lot of heat for supposed liberal bias. That caused it to hesitate when fighting fake news before the 2016 Presidential election…and then spend the next two years dealing with the backlash for allowing misinformation to run rampant.

Newsroom: Article Context Launch Video

Posted by Facebook on Monday, April 2, 2018

Facebook’s partnerships with outside fact checkers that saw red Disputed flags added to debunked articles actually backfired. Those sympathetic to the false narrative saw the red flag as a badge of honor, clicking and sharing any way rather than allowing someone else to tell them they’re wrong.

That’s why today’s rollout and new test never confront users directly about whether an article, publisher, or author is propagating fake news. Instead Facebook hopes to build a wall of evidence as to whether a source is reputable or not.

If other publications have similar posts, the publisher or author have well-established Wikipedia articles to back up their integrity, and if the publisher’s other articles look legit, users could draw their own conclusion that they’re worth beleiving. But if there’s no Wikipedia links, other publications are contradicting them, no friends have shared it, and a publisher or author’s other articles look questionable too, Facebook might be able to incept the idea that the reader should be skeptical.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Snapchat brings back GIPHY after removal due to racist GIF

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After a racial slur GIF caused Snapchat to remove its GIPHY sticker feature, Snapchat confirms to TechCrunch it’s reinstated its integration. GIPHY has apologized, fixed the bug that let the objectionable GIF slip through, and reviewed its GIF sticker library four times in an effort to guarantee that offensive content won’t end up in apps that embed it. Instagram had also removed GIPHY, but reinstated it last week with Snapchat saying it had nothing to share yet.

A Snap spokesperson told TechCrunch that over the past several weeks, the Snap team worked with GIPHY to revamp its moderation systems. Now Snap is confident that the fresh approach will protect users, so its brought the GIF stickers back. They let people embellish their photos and videos with overlaid animated illustrations and video clips.

So ends a month-long ordeal that started when a U.K. user spotted a GIF containing a racial slur for people of color. Snapchat removed the GIPHY feature as press backlash in the U.K. mounted. Instagram wasn’t aware of the issue until informed by TechCrunch, leading it to remove the GIPHY feature within an hour.

Warning: We’ve shared a censored version of the GIF below, but it still includes graphic content that may be offensive to some users.

The situation highlights the risks of working with outside developers that aren’t entirely under a platform’s control. Piping in external utilities lets apps quickly expand their offering to users. But if developers misuse people’s data, deliver broken functionality, or let objectionable content through, it can reflect poorly on the app hosting them. Facebook is currently dealing with this backlash surrounding Cambridge Analytica. Meanwhile, Instagram just severely restricted its APIs without warning, breaking many developers’ apps in what’s believed to be part of Facebook’s push to shore up data privacy.

Favoring news publishers, Snapchat historically never actively embraced developers, banning use of outside apps that require your Snapchat credentials. It’s more recently started letting devs build and promote their own augmented reality lenses. But after this set-back, we’ll have to see if Snapchat becomes any more reluctant to work with partners.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Facebook launches bulk app removal tool amidst privacy scandal

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Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, users have flocked to their Facebook privacy settings to sever their connection to third-party apps that they no longer wanted to have access to their data. But deleting them all took forever because you had to remove them one by one. Now Facebook has released a new way to select as many apps as you want, then remove them in bulk. The feature has rolled out on mobile and desktop, and Facebook also offers the option to delete any posts those apps have made to your profile.

Facebook confirmed the launch to TechCrunch, pointing to its Newsroom and Developer News blog posts from the last few weeks that explained that “We already show people what apps their accounts are connected to and control what data they’ve permitted those apps to use. In the coming month, we’re going to make these choices more prominent and easier to manage.” Now we know what “easier” looks like. A Facebook spokesperson told us “we have more to do and will be sharing more when we can.” The updated interface was first spotted by Matt Navarra, who had previously called on Facebook to build a bulk removal option.

Facebook stopped short of offering a “select all” button so you have to tap each individually. That could prevent more innocent, respectful developers from getting caught up in the dragnet as users panic to prune their app connections. One developer told me they’d been inundated with requests from users to delete their data acquired through Facebook and add other login options, saying that the Cambridge Analytica scandal “really hurt consumer trust for all apps…even the good guys.” The developer chose to change its Terms of Service to make users more comfortable.

The bulk removal tool could make it much easier for users to take control of their data and protect their identity, though the damage to Facebook’s reputation is largely done. It’s staggering how many apps piggyback off of Facebook, and that we gave our data without much thought. But at least now it won’t take an hour to remove them all.

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Google rolls out a better way to search for movies

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Google is rolling out a new feature today that will help you better plan your night at the movies. While the company has supported displaying movie showtimes within Google Search results following the closure of its standalone movie site in 2016, this update will help you narrow down your options more efficiently, thanks to the additions of drop-down filters in the Movies Showtimes interface that appears at the top of Google’s search results.

After you perform a search for “showtimes” and are directed to Google’s Movies Showtimes screen as usual, you’ll notice a new set of drop-down filters at the top.

You can use these to filter the movies near you by a number of factors, including screen type (e.g. 3D or IMAX), the movie’s genre, ratings, the critic scores, language, and preferred chains. That way you could click a few buttons to do a very specific search for something like “Family” movies rated “PG” or “G” at Cobb or AMC theaters in the afternoon on Sunday, for example. Or “R” rated “Dramas” with a critics’ score of 70% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Critics’ Score filter supports reviews from Metacritic and IMDb, as well.

Once the filters are applied, you’ll be shown all the matching results that meet your exact criteria. When you’re ready to go, you can then click on the showtime you want to purchase your ticket using Fandango, MovieTickets.com, AMC Theatres, or Atom Tickets.

In addition to the showtime search filters, you can also now tap over to the “Theaters” tab to see what’s playing at your favorite theaters, that also matches your requirements.

Google says the update is rolling out to the Google Search app on Android in the U.S. and India in Hindi and English, as well as in mobile search in the browser, and soon, the Google Search app for iOS.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Self-care startup Shine raises $5 million Series A

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Shine, an early arrival in market now teeming with self-care apps and services, has closed on $ 5 million in Series A funding, the company announced today, alongside the milestone of hitting 2 million active users. The round was led by existing investor by Comcast Ventures with betaworks, Felix Capital and The New York Times also participating.

The investment comes roughly two years after Shine launched its free service, a messaging bot aimed at younger users that doles out life advice and positive reinforcement on a daily basis through SMS texts or Facebook’s Messenger.

At the time, the idea that self-help could be put into an app or bot-like format was still a relatively novel concept. But today, digital wellness has become far more common with apps for everything from meditation to self-help to talk therapy.

“We’re proud that we were part of the catalyst to make well-being as am industry something that is so much more top-of-mind. We really sensed where the world was going and we were ahead of it,” says co-founder Naomi Hirabayashi, who built Shine along with her former DoSomething.org co-worker Marah Lidey. The founders had wanted to offer others something akin to the personal support system they had with each other, as close friends.

“Marah and I are both women of color, and we created this company from a very non-traditional background from an entrepreneurship standpoint – we didn’t go to business school,” Hirabayashi explains. “We saw there was something missing in the market because wellbeing companies didn’t really reach us – they didn’t speak to us. We didn’t see people that looked like us. We didn’t feel like the way they shared content sounded like how we spoke about the different wellbeing issues in our lives,” she says.

The company’s free messaging product, Shine Text, was the result of their frustrations with existing products. It tackles a timely theme every day in areas like confidence, productivity, mental health, happiness and more. And it isn’t just some sort of life-affirming text – Shine converses with you on the topic at hand using research-backed materials to help you better understand the information. It’s also presented in a style that makes Shine feel more like a friend chatting with you.

The service has grown to 2 million users across 189 countries, despite not being localized in other languages. 88 percent of users are under the age of 35, and 70 percent are female.

Shine attempted to generate revenue in the past with a life-coaching subscription, but users wanted to talk to a real person and the subscription was fairly steep at $ 15.99 per week. That product never emerged from testing, and the founders now refer to it as an “experiment.”

The company gave subscriptions another shot this past December, with the launch of a freemium (free with paid upgrades) app on iOS. The new app offers meditations, affirmations, and something called “Shine Stories.”

The meditations are short audio tracks voiced by influencers that help you with various challenges. There are quick hit meditations for recentering and relaxing, those where you can focus on handling a specific situation – like toxic friendships or online dating – and seven-day challenges that deal with a particular issue like burnout or productivity.

Affirmations are quick pep talks and Shine Stories are slightly longer – around five minutes-long, and also voiced by influencers.

“The biggest thing is that we want to meet the user where they are – and we know people are on the go,” says Hirabayashi. “You can expect a lot more to come in the future around how we combine this really exciting time that’s happening for audio consumption and the hunger that there is for audio content that’s motivational and makes you feel better.”

Asked specifically if the company was considering a voice-first app, like an Alexa skill, or perhaps a more traditional podcast, Hirabayashi said they weren’t yet sure, but didn’t plan on limiting the Shine Stories to a single platform indefinitely. But one thing they weren’t interested in doing in the near-term was introducing ads into Shine’s audio content.

The Shine app for iOS is a free download with some selection of its audio available to free users. Users can unlock the full library for $ 4.99 per month, billed as an annual subscription of $ 59.99, or $ 7.99 per month if paid monthly.

The founders declined to offer specifics on their conversions from free to paid members, but said it was “on par with industry standards.”

With the Series A now under its belt, Shine plans to double its 8-person team this year, launch the app on Android, continue to grow the business, including potentially launching new products.

Now the question is whether the millennials are actually so into self-care that they’ll pay. There are some signs that could be true – the top ten self-care apps pulled in $ 15 million last quarter, with meditation apps leading the way.

“We’re dominating the self-care routine of millennial women right now and we want to keep doing that,” Hirabayashi says.

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app