This Week in Apps: Layoffs at VSCO, Google Play’s new guidelines, TikTok rolls out parental controls

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads in 2019 and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie’s “State of Mobile” annual report. People are now spending 3 hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

This week we’re continuing to look at how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting the world of mobile applications, including a dig into Houseparty’s big surge, layoffs at VSCO, Google’s launch of a “Teacher Reviewed” tag, Bumble’s virtual dating, plus changes to Instagram in support of small business and live streaming, among other things. Also this week, Google changed its Play Store guidelines, TikTok launched parental controls, a report suggested Apple may be expanding its Search Ads and more.

Coronavirus Special Coverage

Instagram adds features for supporting small businesses during pandemic