This week Huawei has taken a step further into a future without Google, while the real war between influencers and Instagram rages on. Here are our winners and losers of the week.
Winner of the week: Huawei
At the Huawei Developer Conference 2019 (HDC), the Chinese tech giant officially christened its new Google-free operating system. Harmony OS is the name of the platform that will power all kinds of devices in the future. Huawei does not need the support of Google for this, and Android apps should run anyway. It’s an exciting development. We have known that Huawei is working on something like this for a while now, but this is the first time we have gotten real, concrete information from the company itself.
Of course, there is still a long way to go before Harmony OS becomes a working, living operating system – especially for smartphones. There was hardly more to see or hear about it at the developer conference than a screenshot and some key data. But a start has been made, and perhaps a signal has been sent to partners and customers as well as to the other side, i.e. the US government. The message seems to be: ‘This won’t be easy, but we won’t let you beat us, and we’ll do it with or without you’. Huawei must be respected for this stance.
Loser of the week: influencers on Instagram
Meanwhile, the numerous influencers on Instagram have little reason to cheer this week because they are seeing their business model threatened. Here’s the background: Instagram is currently testing a change that no longer displays the number of likes in posts. However, likes are cash for influencers, and if they are not reported or easily visible, they are also distributed less frequently. For Instagram, this decision is quite understandable, as my colleague Simone explains in this opinion piece. For influencers, however, this change, if implemented across the board after initial testing, would be a real blow for these social media stars. Perhaps Instagram’s new strategy is a welcome opportunity for one or two influencers to consider whether it really is such a smart business model to rely on a single platform over which they themselves have no control…