From mass big tech layoffs to multibillion-dollar acquisitions, 2022 has been a rollercoaster for the mobile industry. As MMR, we continued to bring you, our esteemed readers, the latest developments in this ever changing market.
For you to take a glimpse at what happened in 2022 as it draws to a close, we’ve gathered this year’s top Mobile Marketing Reads that grabbed the attention of our readers the most.
Big Tech Layoffs
Global economic downturn has led many big tech companies to either freeze hiring or reduce their workforce in 2022. One of those companies was Meta, which cut its hiring plans by around 30% in early July, weeks before reporting its first ever revenue drop.
“If I had to bet, I’d say that this might be one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history,” said CEO Zuckerberg at the time.
He later said in September that Meta would freeze hiring, reduce headcount and reorganize its teams due to the economic uncertainty. And in November, the social media company revealed plans to lay off more than 11,000 workers, which accounted for 13% of its staff.
In addition to Meta, companies that cut workforce or froze hiring this year also include Google, Robinhood, ByteDance, Niantic, Shopify, AppLovin and Adjust.
However, none of them grabbed the headlines as much as Twitter did.
Elon Musk’s Twitter Acquisition
One of the hottest and most controversial topics of 2022 was, of course, Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition.
The billionaire offered to buy Twitter for $44 billion in April, and the social media company accepted his proposal soon after. But things started to get messy when he declared the deal ‘’temporarily on hold’’, and accused the company of being not transparent about fake and bot accounts on the platform.
He threatened to end the deal in June, was sued by Twitter for attempting to walk away in July, and countersued the company accusing it of fraud soon after. He then sent his second termination letter in August, adding the claims of whistleblower Peiter Zatko, who said Twitter misled regulators on hackers and spam accounts, and third letter in September accusing it of breaching the acquisition terms by paying the whistleblower $7 million to keep him ‘’quiet”. The company denied all his termination notices saying they were invalid and wrongful.
Surprisingly, a month later, the Tesla CEO offered to buy Twitter for $44 billion again, and completed the takeover on October 28.
And in his first week as the new ‘’Chief Twit’’, Twitter laid off nearly half of its workforce, which reportedly affected at least 4.400 employees.
He also announced that the company would now require users that want to have a verified badge to subscribe to its $8 Blue plan. The service was launched in early November, but new signups were halted as many users tried to impersonate celebrities and companies by changing their names and getting blue ticks. In order to prevent that, the company relaunched Twitter Blue earlier this month, adding different color checks for organizations than individuals.
Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition
In midst-January, Microsoft announced that it would acquire Call of Duty-maker Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. While it would be the biggest deal in the video game industry and the history of Microsoft, the tech giant keeps facing legal challenges around the world.
After the company’s announcement, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States, the Competition and Markets Authority of the United Kingdom, and the European Commission of the European Union all launched antitrust investigations into the deal.
The CMA entered the second phase of its review in September, saying it ‘’could substantially lessen competition in gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services, and cloud gaming services.’’
And the FTC announced earlier this month that it has sued Microsoft to block the acquisition, saying it would ‘’enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.’’
Meanwhile, the proposed deal, which has also been sued by a group of video gamers in the US recently, has been approved by Saudi Arabia and Brazil.
Unity – ironSource Merger
Cross-platform game engine Unity announced in July that it would merge with Israeli app business platform ironSource. Weeks after the announcement, mobile tech company AppLovin offered to buy Unity Software in an all-stock deal valued at $20 billion.
”Before we dive in, I want to address what everyone is aware of, the AppLovin proposal,” said Unity CEO John Riccitiello during a Q2 earnings call with investors. ”I acknowledge we received a proposal, and I want you to know that we aren’t going to make any comments at this time.”
A few days later, Unity rejected the proposal saying, ‘’it is not in the best interests of Unity shareholders and would not reasonably be expected to result in a “Superior Proposal” as defined in Unity’s merger agreement with ironSource.’’
AppLovin then withdrew its proposal saying it ‘’concluded that its path as the independent market leader is better for its stockholders and other stakeholders’’, and that it would ‘’move forward with the intention of continuing to gain market share and expand its platform.’’
The Unity-ironSource merger was completed in early November, and ironSource became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the California-based company.
AppLovin – MoPub Acquisition
While AppLovin abandoned its plans to buy Unity this year, it closed its acquisition of mobile ad platform MoPub from Twitter, which was first announced in October 2021.
Twitter had bought MoPub for nearly $350 million in September 2013, and sold it to AppLovin for $1.05 billion.
Take-Two Interactive – Zynga Acquisition
In January, American video game giant Take-Two Interactive, mostly known as the owner of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, announced that it would acquire Zynga to step into the mobile gaming industry.
The $12.7 billion acquisition was completed in May, and stockholders of Zynga received a cash of $3.50 and 0.0406 shares of Take-Two common stock per share of Zynga common stock.
ironSource – Tapjoy Acquisition
Earlier this year, ironSource also completed its acquisition of Tapjoy for $400 million in January, months before becoming a subsidiary of Unity.
The company first announced the deal back in October 2021, saying it would help grow its SDK footprint, strengthen its platform for mobile app and game developers, and also create new monetization opportunities.
Notable Funding Rounds in AdTech
In addition to acquisitions, we have also seen many notable funding rounds in the ad tech industry this year. 👇
- Mobile ad tech startup Branch raises $300M at a $4B valuation
- Gumball raises $10M for its podcasting host-read ad tech platform
- Cross-platform TV ad measurement firm iSpot.tv raises $325 million
- CTV Ad Platform tvScientific raises $20 million
- MoEngage raises $77 million in Series E funding
- Cross-channel marketing platform Cordial raises $50 million in Series C funding
- VidMob raises $110M in Series D round led by Shamrock Capital
- CleverTap raises $105M in Series D funding led by CDPQ
- OneSignal raises $50M Series C led by BAM Elevate
- Customer engagement platform MessageGears raises $62 million
Telegram CEO takes aim at WhatsApp
Meta-owned WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in the world with over 2 billion users, announced a security vulnerability in September, which could enable users to take control of mobile devices through remote code execution during video calls.
After the announcement, Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov took aim at the app saying it has been a ‘’surveillance tool’’ for 13 years.
‘’You can use any messaging app you like, but do stay away from WhatsApp,’’ said Durov in a statement.
A month later, Cybernews reported that nearly 500 million WhatsApp users’ info were posted on a hacking forum. The company denied the claims saying they were ‘’based on unsubstantiated screenshots.’’
Global Games Market to Decline in 2022 -report
In addition to the latest mobile marketing news, MMR also shares the most up-to-date trends & reports from the industry-leading companies with its viewers.
One of those reports was from Newzoo, which said that the global games market would decline 4% year-on-year to $184.4 billion in 2022, with mobile games accounting for $92.2 billion, down 6.4% YoY.
In fact, the video games and gamer statistics provider previously said the market would grow 2.1% Y/Y to $196.8 billion this year, but later updated its projections citing several reasons.
Global Mobile Ad Spend to Hit $362bn in 2023 -report
Another report shedding light on the near future of mobile came from data.ai, which recently reported that global mobile advertising spend is expected to hit $362 billion in 2023.
It will be driven by new heights in mobile app usage, midterms elections, and global sports events such as the Beijing Winter Olympics & Fifa World Cup, the mobile analytics company said.
As we approach the end of 2022, we wish you a happy and healthy new year with your beloved ones. Keep following Mobile Marketing Reads to stay up-to-date with the latest news in the mobile industry.