Here is a breakdown of three potential causes in geolocation data fluctuation:
Each of the sources that Near gets data from offers SDKs that collect location data. These SDKs are placed into various apps by the app publishers as a mechanism for monetizing their app audience. App publishers might jump from one SDK company to another for an increase in monetization.
Monetizing apps is a tough business. Publishers seek out various monetization options and are constantly working to improve their monetization options. As a result, publishers will experiment with different types of monetizations in their apps–offering ads, incorporating location SDKs, pursuing in-app purchases or subscription models. Additionally, for apps to be approved in the app store (iOS), the publisher must ensure it has additional functionality available to “prove” it needs access to the user location for more than just monetization. The desire and capability to do this will change over time, and thus the supply of the number of apps that use location-enabled SDKs will change over time for a suite of apps from any one publisher.
Over the course of time, some apps will go viral and see huge growth in install and active user numbers. Remember when everyone was playing Pokemon Go or Angry Birds? While app publishers do all they can to keep their usage numbers up and growing a natural cycle will occur of apps gaining and losing users. This is reflected in how much data is flowing to the publishers, to the SDK companies, and thus to Near.
Needless to say, these changes can have significant impacts on the level of data available within the Near system. In order to help track the volume of data being seen, this page will serve as a change log to help understand how our data volumes have changed over time.
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