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Snapchat, Wickr, and Frankly: the Boom of "Exploding" Social Media

  +Follow April 1, 2014 1:22PM
Tickers Mentioned:

A common refrain among people in their late 20s/early 30s is “I’m glad social media wasn’t around when I was a kid.” The implication isn’t that as teenagers, they sure wish they’d been less connected to their peers. There’s little doubt that if given a platform to communicate our deepest, most intimate thoughts and feelings, my generation wouldn’t have been using social media to our digital heart’s content.

Rather, why we say that we’re “glad there was no social media when we were kids” is because when it came to our deepest thoughts and feelings, we’re glad there’s no public record of it.

Little surprise then that the two fastest-growing social media apps, Snapchat, Wickr and Frankly, are ephemeral – and their fleeting nature is representative of the way social media is moving. Permanently.

The Way We Were (is Indexed and Searchable)

When speaking about how we communicate digitally, it’s not that we fear a permanent record of any sort. We all like mementos of our past. Rather, we’re very careful about what goes into that record.

This revelation isn’t unique to my age group. Social media’s target demo, teenagers and young adults, recognize the drawback of permanent social media as well. But for the short history of social media, it’s usually been the only option they’ve had.  

From Twitter (TWTR) to Facebook (FB) to MySpace to Friendster to the message boards from the dawn of social media, all have had one thing in common: communication is, by default, permanently saved for posterity.

It’s not that today’s teenagers are narcissists who want their personal lives on display, as they are commonly branded by so many pundits bewildered by the popularity of social media. Rather, it’s the fact that when it comes to digital communication, Twitter and Facebook had been the overwhelming dominant force in social communication. To be sure, both Twitter and Facebook have personal messaging options. But they are far from being the main attraction of the services, both of which carefully log every interaction, direct message or otherwise.

It’s what social media companies who need monetizable content want. But it’s not what consumers want, as evidenced by the exploding popularity of impermanent social media, of messaging services that have the fleeting quality of a conversation between friends, with nary an advertiser to profit off the “content” of a conversation between friends.

Explosive Growth, Explosive Messages

Growth is slowing for both Twitter and Facebook. With Twitter, the culprit is purportedly Twitter’s somewhat jargon-y infrastructure. For Facebook, it’s an inability to break into emerging markets. But in both cases, it’s not just a matter of getting new users. It’s retaining old ones. But in this case, “old” means the young people, the core that is flocking to Snapchat, WIckr and Frankly.

So what are these companies? The “exploding” photo app Snapchat, developed by 24-year-old Evan Spiegel, has been well-covered before, notably for its unique “sent photos disappear after 10 seconds” feature. Dismissed by his teacher as unfeasible when he originally pitched the idea in his USC class, the app has proven to be one of the fastest growing tech properties in history.

The core appeal of it has been copied and expanded upon by new hot entrant Frankly, which substitutes colorful texts and customizable backgrounds in lieu of photos. Otherwise, the premise is the same: the message disappears after 10 seconds. Frankly received $6 million in seed money in December. Upping the ante is Wickr, who also provide exploding text messages, while additionally promising that the messages are encrypted. This selling point reinforces the secrecy consumers crave – after all, Wickr signups popped after Snapchat’s major security breach in January.

It seems antithetical, that social media is becoming less social, but it’s not about being antisocial. It’s about being anti-public.  

Wait, Are You Recording This?

They’re all simple ideas, ones whose clear appeal is impermanence, a social media that assumes it's rude to record personal communication. That is, that social media should more closely resemble a conversation between friends. Albeit it with the advantages and disadvantages of digital space, but without that forced public display of communication that is the hallmark of Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others will certainly have their place going forward. But make no mistake – they’re recognizing how things are moving. In March, Instagram introduced a direct message feature, allowing customers to tailor who they shared photos with. It wouldn’t be crazy to assume self-destructing images aren’t far behind.

It’s the kind of social media we wish we could have had as a kid.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

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Results for TWTR
Option Zen
2 Sep 14 21:08:46
Done with politics. It's market time!! Asia is up and Europe should follow. I need $twtr over 52 and $yhoo over 40
BUZZ Just-In
2 Sep 14 21:03:08
See why these assets are trending in 1 watchlist $TWTR $AAPL $TSLA EURUSD USDCHF http://t.co/zwqnZbzQ1a
Ski The G
2 Sep 14 20:57:03
RT @PipsToDollars: Here is the PIPS TO DOLLARS 'Be an original but trade like a basic bitch' watch list. $AAPL $FB $TSLA $TWTR $YHOO $GRPN…
Stock Updates
2 Sep 14 20:51:28
$TWTR: Friday's Notable Options Activity http://t.co/RJzE3DLTJW http://t.co/NKM8uH8fiw
2 Sep 14 20:50:21
RT @toddpace: If you missed $DGLY momo you can't afford to NOT subscribe to @super_trades: http://t.co/QlEKHJaOxU 1 trade & its paid for $I…
Day Traders Group
2 Sep 14 20:47:04
MACD Bearish Crossovers http://t.co/wDt06NhbLj $WTR $CNP $SPY $TWTR $FB $MU $AMZN $C $AAA $Q $PCLN $FORD $FUEL $VXX $X & More
Leo Kolivakis
2 Sep 14 20:45:54
RT @scalpthatstock: List of Today's Breakouts to slap on your radar http://t.co/eP0gF5Ti4C $TWTR $FB $YHOO $BBRY $FEYE $PBR $SPLK $SPLS $GR…
♥ @MyOrgone ♥
2 Sep 14 20:45:20
Sell $TWTR! Make 100% a year with our 'Top 10 Hedge Fund' Artificial Intelligence - http://t.co/x7MDlPJXnp $QQQ $SPY
Joshua Payne
2 Sep 14 20:45:17
RT @PipsToDollars: Here is the PIPS TO DOLLARS 'Be an original but trade like a basic bitch' watch list. $AAPL $FB $TSLA $TWTR $YHOO $GRPN…
Ski The G
2 Sep 14 20:41:46
Good move on $twtr can now dm links
R o s y ❀ ♔
2 Sep 14 20:40:28
RT @SKITHEG: $aapl $twtr $f $lqmt $ueps
Walter Live Oak
2 Sep 14 20:39:53
RT @SKITHEG: $aapl $twtr $f $lqmt $ueps
Pilot Flying Johnny
2 Sep 14 20:39:49
just went to google to jump to the video tab but then realized i was actually looking for a vine $twtr #thefuture
2 Sep 14 20:37:20
$FB could go a little bit faster and higher but it just so much noise.Ditto to $TWTR
phiℓip abinya
2 Sep 14 20:36:52
$TWTR 9/3 CandleStick Amplitude @ (High=$53.17/Low=$48.96) Price must oscillate >$50.57 for+Bias http://t.co/qHkTFysSeh
Ski The G
2 Sep 14 20:36:20
$tsla $fb $ueps $exel $f $aapl $twtr $fb
2 Sep 14 20:36:06
can someone please get @Cimmerian999 and @Noahpinion their own private $TWTR
Mark Anthony
2 Sep 14 20:30:12
RT @sellhalf: $TWTR http://t.co/FNuL4ZPbsb
2 Sep 14 20:29:20
RT @sellhalf: $TWTR http://t.co/FNuL4ZPbsb
2 Sep 14 20:27:25
RT @pennies4stocks: firm put a 400 price target upgrade on $TSLA today i want them to put $100 for $TWTR tomorrow that would be awesome
2 Sep 14 20:25:32
$TWTR http://t.co/FNuL4ZPbsb
2 Sep 14 20:24:10
RT @RedDogT3: Here is a link to today's video recap and look ahead $spy $spx $qqq $aapl $tsla $fb $twtr $arwr $ms $bac $gld http://t.co/Cj…
Peter Pan
2 Sep 14 20:23:29
firm put a 400 price target upgrade on $TSLA today i want them to put $100 for $TWTR tomorrow that would be awesome
2 Sep 14 20:22:59
BUZZ Just-In
2 Sep 14 20:18:06
Why access a ticker when you could acesss a group of tickers- US Tech Giants http://t.co/QnTy4vuEs5 $MSFT $TWTR $AAPL $FB $GOOG
2 Sep 14 20:15:55
RT @Abbott: In case you missed this $TWTR #thankyou http://t.co/LxRZxV7aY9
Rob Abbott
2 Sep 14 20:14:37
In case you missed this $TWTR #thankyou http://t.co/LxRZxV7aY9
2 Sep 14 20:13:03
$TWTR Advisory Roles + TE Travis Kelce (KC) - TE Delanie Walker (Ten)
2 Sep 14 20:13:03
$TWTR Advisory Roles + DEF New York (NYJ) - DEF Tampa Bay (TB)
2 Sep 14 20:13:03
$TWTR Advisory Roles + K Cody Parkey (Phi) - K Robbie Gould (Chi)
Diamond Fist
2 Sep 14 20:10:04
RT @chessNwine: I analyzed $FB $ISNS $TSLA and much more in my video market recap from earlier: http://t.co/f0u1p6w8z0 $SPY $TWTR
Biz Headlines
2 Sep 14 19:51:25
$TWTR: Talking Tech: What consumers want in iPhone 6 http://t.co/IbXwhnKAPd http://t.co/y9oeW3prUn
james Bond 007
2 Sep 14 19:40:53
$COMP $TWTR all the M&A s and IPOs coming tell you something It is all gonna end badly #prognosis #fuckin #very #fuckin #poor
james Bond 007
2 Sep 14 19:38:55
$TWTR $COMP the fact that ALibaba IPO is coming makes me very wary of this market too much fuckin SUPPLY coming into the market #alibaba
Daniel Gonzalez
2 Sep 14 19:32:14
Yeahhhh buddy “@jimcramer: $TWTR, congrats on investors whom have stayed in since @jimcramer called the bottom around $31.”
♥ @MyOrgone ♥
2 Sep 14 19:31:28
Sell $TWTR!!! Make 100% a year using our 'Top 10 Hedge Fund' Artificial Intelligence - http://t.co/JnYV7VSLtQ $SPY $QQQ
Mark McCabe
2 Sep 14 19:26:45
Commented on StockTwits: $TWTR was confirmed by you and has exploded to upside. Keep the picks coming. Thx http://t.co/fVe0GASWlv
james Bond 007
2 Sep 14 19:26:18
$TSLA or $TWTR man! That is one tough decision Do you feel lucky today Do ya... #lucky #bastard
james Bond 007
2 Sep 14 19:24:49
$COMP volume today was impressive Bull market is in full swing $TWTR #bullish
Alisa Strategy®
2 Sep 14 19:24:45
james Bond 007
2 Sep 14 19:23:16
$TWTR the heat is on.....
james Bond 007
2 Sep 14 19:20:18
$TWTR portfolio UP today by about $80,000 I made a $1000 bet that i will lose 5 lbs within a week and go down to140 #let the good times roll
2 Sep 14 19:15:39
Do your DD! Feature pieces on Cannabis sector companies: http://t.co/ZNoVBI3187 #stocks #trading $fb $twtr $lnkd
2 Sep 14 19:10:16
$TWTR #traders #trading good names for a band? 'Implied Volatility' - who's next?
2 Sep 14 19:09:59
RT @chessNwine: I analyzed $FB $ISNS $TSLA and much more in my video market recap from earlier: http://t.co/f0u1p6w8z0 $SPY $TWTR
2 Sep 14 19:05:59
I analyzed $FB $ISNS $TSLA and much more in my video market recap from earlier: http://t.co/f0u1p6w8z0 $SPY $TWTR
Grant Finley
2 Sep 14 19:04:14
great news - I'm finally profitable in $TWTR! Only gonna get bigger and bigger too... Still room on the wagon folks
Timothy Sykes
2 Sep 14 19:01:24
Thanks to all my $FB $TWTR $LNKD peeps for the kind words, all these runners today like $DGLY $ISNS are classic cases of my strategy
2 Sep 14 18:57:05
successful vacation .. = did not log into $twtr or $fb once
Business News
2 Sep 14 18:51:43
$TWTR: [video] Back to trade school: Fundamentals or technicals? http://t.co/pKUCvVhql5 http://t.co/kEAE8Hgm0J
  +Follow April 1, 2014 1:22PM



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