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Google announces App Growth Lab to help Pakistani app developers

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Google has launched its first-ever App Growth Lab in Pakistan, a four-month programme aimed at identifying high-potential app developers, studios, and companies that are looking to accelerate and grow their businesses. 

The programme is designed to offer intensive education and support to app developers, who will be able to learn from Google experts in areas such as Ads, AdMob, Firebase, gTech, and Play as well as industry leaders. 

The launch of the App Growth Lab programme follows the success of the Gaming Growth Lab in Pakistan last year. Google said the programme represents its commitment to help grow Pakistan’s app industry locally and globally. The programme will commence in June and run for four months. Interested organisations, app, and development studios may apply until May 22, 2023.

According to a report by Data Darbar, a private markets intelligence platform, Pakistan’s app industry witnessed a 35% growth in 2022 with 3.52 billion downloads. The App Growth Lab programme is based on four core pillars: Build, Develop, Launch, and Scale.

The ‘Build’ component of the programme is aimed at helping participants uncover the global app and gaming opportunity to understand different levers to set the all-around strategy for their company. 

The ‘Develop’ component will bring a user-centric mindset to app and game product development and leverage best-in-class technology to set the app up for long-term success. 

The ‘Launch’ component will help participants learn about strategies to win the launch, set up monetisation models, and maximise Google’s tools for data to achieve measurable growth. 

Meanwhile, the ‘Scale’ component will provide participants with knowledge of opening their app to the world by leveraging market and platform diversification strategies.

Farhan S. Qureshi, Google’s Regional Director for Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, said, “Through our ongoing efforts, we hope to support Pakistani developers in their pursuit of creating great applications for the world.” 

Saad Hameed, CEO of Game District, shared that “The Gaming Growth Lab Pakistan 2022 was one of the most insightful programmes that we have attended so far in Game District. We have learned a lot of information covering all the domains of the mobile gaming industry, from basics to advance. We have optimised our games’ performance by implementing all the intuitive knowledge that we learned from this programme.”

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Google abandons its plans to do rid of cookies in Chrome

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The significant change in course comes as a result of worries expressed by advertisers, who provide the majority of the company’s revenue, that their capacity to gather data for customised advertisements will be restricted due to the removal of cookies from the most widely used browser in the world, leaving them reliant on Google’s user databases.

Due to worries that Google’s proposal would stifle competition in the digital advertising market, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has also carefully examined the proposal.

“Rather than discontinuing third-party cookies, we would launch a fresh experience in Chrome that empowers individuals to make a knowledgeable decision that is applicable to all of their online browsing, and they could modify that decision whenever they choose,” stated Anthony Chavez, vice president of the Privacy Sandbox project, which is supported by Google, in a blog post.

A major objective of the Privacy Sandbox project, which was started in 2019 by Alphabet (GOOGL.O), opens new tab unit, is to phase out third-party cookies while simultaneously improving online privacy and boosting digital enterprises.

Though they can potentially be used for unauthorised monitoring, cookies are information packets that websites and advertisers use to identify specific online users and follow their browsing patterns.

Within the European Union, publishers are required to obtain explicit agreement from users before storing cookies, as per the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Cookie deletion is another feature that most popular browsers offer.

While continuing to fund the Privacy Sandbox programme, Chavez stated that Google was collaborating on the new strategy with publishers, privacy organisations, and regulators like the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office and CMA.

Many responded differently to the announcement.

Analyst Evelyn Mitchell-Wolf of eMarketer stated in a statement, “Advertising stakeholders won’t have to prepare to quit third-party cookies cold turkey.”

One example of how cookies can hurt consumers is when they display predatory advertisements that target specific demographics, according to Lena Cohen, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. According to Cohen, Google’s choice to keep accepting third-party cookies is a direct result of their advertising-driven business model, even though other major browsers have been banning them for years.

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Pakistani cellphone customers are unable to utilize WhatsApp.

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On social media, a number of users have reported that although media files like movies and photographs are not loading or processing regularly, WhatsApp calls and text messages are working as usual. By comparison, WiFi users can seamlessly utilize WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is down.During peak hours after Youm-e-Ashur, the issue with media loading was at its worst. No explanation for the ongoing problem has been provided by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The topic is presently being looked at by major cellphone operators.

Many users had reported frequent breakdowns on X and LinkedIn, and the bug has previously also affected other Meta apps, such as Facebook and Instagram. That disruption, meanwhile, is currently mainly confined to mobile network users’ access to WhatsApp services.

Facebook users had issues across multiple internet service providers (ISPs) after local authorities limited access to the social media platform earlier this week without any formal announcement. WhatsApp and Instagram were also affected by this restriction at the time, according to Downdetector.

Although the administration was meant to know how or if to eliminate the limitation by July 17, it doesn’t seem like they have made up their minds.

Due to major technical issues that Pakistani users have been having since Muharram 9th, Facebook users on July 17 witnessed widespread irritation and conjecture on the social media platform.

People in Pakistan have moved to alternative social media platforms, such as X (previously known as Twitter), to express their worries after reports surfaced that several ISPs have been unable to access Facebook and Instagram since Tuesday.

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Pakistan’s IT industry is expanding rapidly.

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With the assistance of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), the information technology industry is expanding significantly.

This year, the government has set aside seventy-nine billion rupees for the information technology sector, taking into account its extensive potential.

Amounts of 19 billion and 22 billion rupees, respectively, have been set aside for the Pakistan Software Export Board and the development of IT parks in Islamabad and Karachi.

With SIFC’s assistance, the IT industry is expanding quickly, and a large number of start-ups are making their global debuts.

The nation’s IT exports will increase, as Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif had already promised.

A complete package for the IT industry needs to be prepared, the prime minister stressed while chairing a high-level meeting on the industry’s promotion.

Along with forming a committee to study the issue and instructing it to give recommendations as soon as possible, PM Shehbaz opted to include a fixed tax regime for the IT sector in the budget.

The government would invest a significant sum of money in training young people for careers in the IT industry, according to PM Shehbaz. As of right now, he continued, 45,000 youth nationwide are receiving IT-related training.

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