Warnings over IDFA changes, Parler CEO fired, Clubhouse goes mainstream

Please join me on TechCrunch for This Week in Apps, where I cover the mobile app industry on a week-by-week basis.

The app industry continues to grow, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android devices alone. And in the U.S., app usage surged ahead of the time spent watching live TV. Currently, the average American watches 3.7 hours of live TV per day, but now spends four hours per day on their mobile devices.

This week, my column features:

  • Clubhouse goes mainstream: This week was a breakout if there ever was one, when Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk showed up on Clubhouse, topping the app’s limit of 5,000 people in a single room

  • Companies (besides Facebook) warn investors about Apple’s privacy changes: So far, it may have seemed as if the only two businesses taking real issue with Apple’s privacy changes, including the coming changes to IDFA, were Facebook and Google. This week that changed

  • Apple updates its App Store Rules: Apple said these were moderate changes — just clarifications and tweaks that had been under way for some time. For example, the new App Store Guidelines now include instructions about how developers should implement the new App Tracking Transparency rules

  • Parler CEO fired: Parler — the app banned from the App Store, Google Play, Amazon AWS, using Okta, etc., etc. — fired its CEO, John Matze, this week after struggling to bring the app back online

Outside these top stories, This Week in Apps rounds up the news from the platforms, products and services that define the app store ecosystem.

It also covers funding and M&A news from the past week and recommends downloads.