Welcome again to Digital World, your weekly look at some of the biggest news stories in digital marketing’s many disciplines. In this week’s update: Flipkart makes its Big Billion Day Sale event app exclusive; Yandex experiences a rocky transition with its new video streaming service; a Mastercard survey of luxury spending intent in APAC; Yandex becomes Microsoft’s default search engine in Russia; and politicians are attempting to meddle with Brazil’s progressive Marco Civil Da Internet.
Flipkart, India’s ecommerce leader, has announced that the discounts of its huge Big Billion Day Sale event (confusingly five days long rather than one or a billion) will be available exclusively via its mobile app. Users are understandably frustrated with the move – and with deals available on Amazon and other ecommerce sites during the festival period, Flipkart may risk leaving money on the table.
However, TechinAsia.com argues that the move is calculated to gain Flipkart a much needed advantage for India’s immediate ecommerce future. Flipkart’s co-founder apparently believes that 90 percent of traffic will come from smartphones and that app traffic takes a significant slice of those interactions. Considering that smartphone owners have few apps – and Indian phones are more likely to be budget models with less space – such an aggressive app-only move may just be necessary.
On October 8, Yandex released an update for KinoPiosk, its film and TV recommendation service (acquired in 2013) that made online video streaming available. Streams promised to be legal and high resolution, available across desktop and mobile. However, it greatly angered users by completely removing functionality from the old site and generally failing to work as advertised. Popular Russian social media channels were full of complaints and by October 12, the original version of the site was back in place and the new service on a “beta” subdomain.
44% of internet users surveyed in June by Mastercard (as featured in eMarketer) say that they plan to increase their spending on luxury goods in the next 12 months. This figure was around three times higher than the average for APAC: only 4% in the Philippines expected to be able to spend more, and this figure was similarly low in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and Vietnam. It was observed, however, that an increase in spending in Indonesia may be relatively low – most currently spend less than $1,000 a year on luxury items. Additionally, 65% of adults in Indonesia would prefer to buy their luxuries locally.
Microsoft’s software team has once again been doing deals that its search division won’t be too happy about: Microsoft has partnered with Yandex in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Turkey to make Yandex the default browser in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer across Windows 10 devices. Meanwhile, Yandex will prominently offer an easy and legitimate route to acquiring Windows 10. Yandex will also provide search, navigator, music, taxi, market and maps apps across Windows platforms.
The move mirrors last month’s announcement that Baidu would be the default search engine on Edge in China. Windows 10 will still use Bing and Cortana search for core Windows 10 functionality.
Brazil is significant in Internet-terms for its establishment of the Marco Civil Da Internet, an Internet bill of rights contributed to by not only government and business, but academics, technologists and net users. However, moves by politicians to introduce bills that change some of these rights are being viewed with concern. Bill PL215/2015 seeks to modify the Marco Civil Da Internet to allow the Government to obtain email addresses, telephone numbers and national identities of internet users without judicial review.
Simultaneously, the bill seeks to implement EU-style “right to be forgotten” controls over web content, with the crucial difference that courts will be given blanket ability “to require any site to take down content using the vaguest of justification”. There is no in-built requirement for the take-down to be measured against “public interest, newsworthiness, critical review, or the need for accurate historical record.”
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Before the ambassador photo by Flickr user Rob Oo
Pushkinsky Cinema photo by Flickr user Sergey Rodovnichenko
Wayang Golek photo by Flickr user micro.cosmic
Russia-Yandex photo by Flickr user Abd allah Foteih
Plenário do Senado photo by Flickr user Senado Federal