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

  +Follow April 1, 2014 1:22PM
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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.

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Results for TWTR
Ketan Shah
27 Mar 15 08:41:08
RT @RedDogT3: So much easier. Vs uploading to YouTube. Could be disruptive $twtr periscope. Quality is good as well
Informer
27 Mar 15 08:40:03
last: $50.42 11:24am EST 3/27/2015 change: +0.50 day high: 50.89 day low: 49.95 open: 50.35 volume: 7107764 $TWTR
Dawn Rinaldi
27 Mar 15 08:39:29
Yellen yapping 345pm est. any worse time as fri options trade thru 415? Will she stick save-again? $IWM $GLD $TLT $FB $TWTR $GDX $DXY etc
Scott Elliott
27 Mar 15 08:38:48
$TWTR perking up
Bobby V
27 Mar 15 08:37:32
@canuck2usa $twtr is a $60+ stock it has a global framework....and under almost every Media Rock
Kevin Tang
27 Mar 15 08:36:39
RT @DougKass: $TWTR Periscope captures New York City fire. Competitor Meerkat sent a congratulatory note to founder. http://t.co/TPyCHo2Uyb
@TradersRule - 25/7
27 Mar 15 08:36:23
$TWTR Double inside, now indecision "✝" 2.1/1 Buyers ⚠️ http://t.co/LSfE62O79C
NY Post Business
27 Mar 15 08:35:54
Live-stream app First Meerkat raises $14M in Hollywood $twtr http://t.co/E3e0AncYXF via @nypost via @jamescovert1
James Covert
27 Mar 15 08:35:53
Live-stream app First Meerkat raises $14M in Hollywood $twtr #nyp http://t.co/4uGB6pCxzK via @nypost
Carolyn B Miciano
27 Mar 15 08:34:58
Get started in the markets with this Intro course http://t.co/Bh1HGAF5bK $AMZN $FB $TWTR
IanCHall
27 Mar 15 08:34:01
5. And IMHO, we have hardly begun to tap the possibilities of tapping into global consciousness in real time #Twitter $twtr. Its brand new
The Stock Professor
27 Mar 15 08:32:47
HBO to more than quadruple Seattle office, take over space in new Hill7 building: http://t.co/Y6Zc8uDM2D $FB $TWTR $LNKD $BAC
Jos Duerinck
27 Mar 15 08:32:28
RT @TWTRticker: $TWTR close: 49.92
FinBUZZ Just-IN
27 Mar 15 08:31:31
Track curated news and tweets for multiple tickers- US Tech Giants http://t.co/kdZSg01UFl $MSFT $TWTR $AAPL $FB $GOOG
Kannan Manickam
27 Mar 15 08:28:18
Out of $AAPL and $TWTR PUTs this morning. Made some good profit in $BABA PUTs short play. In $GOOG and $AXP calls.
Alok Jain
27 Mar 15 08:28:06
$TWTR bollingers look pretty darn bullish Less see how it ends If it ends in green I might periscope this evening
Carter Mansbach
27 Mar 15 08:27:26
GREAT Radio show focus #marijuanastocks $GWPH $INSY Also $TRUE @TrueCar & $GOGO. Impact of @periscopeco on $TWTR https://t.co/jHgxfIfU0m …
Max
27 Mar 15 08:26:13
but what do i know i thought $TWTR wont see 50 again and its still at 50.3 :|
Johnny Trades
27 Mar 15 08:25:49
$TWTR Looks at possible pin figures. could be a either 50.50 due to today vol or 50wkly. Smaller vol in monthly 50c
Alok Jain
27 Mar 15 08:24:39
$TWTR pretty decent action today nothing like $AMBA but hey I am not complaining
Mark Holder
27 Mar 15 08:21:34
$TWTR livestreaming on Periscope is a major catalyst http://t.co/xrixw7PMV5
StockAviator.com
27 Mar 15 08:15:43
Let our gurus teach you to trade. http://t.co/ZaConZJucY. Trial available...$AAPL $TWTR $GPRO $FNMA
Ari
27 Mar 15 08:10:59
@periscopeco is awesome and game changing better product than @AppMeerkat, $TWTR @twitter is a buy
Danny Pisarcik
27 Mar 15 08:09:55
@RedDogT3 you in $twtr stock based on periscope ?
My Financial Wisdom
27 Mar 15 08:09:54
What Happened to Twitter and Facebook? http://t.co/xGUApPEpZt $FB $TWTR #MoneyManagement #Money #Investing #StockMarket #BuyLowSellHigh
Trade9
27 Mar 15 08:08:16
@NASDAQ $TWTR?
Suketu Patel
27 Mar 15 08:08:05
$TWTR nice flag on daily...may break next week
 Heather Parker
27 Mar 15 08:05:34
$FB or $TWTR for long term investment? I was discussing w/ a friend yesterday and I said Twitter. Thoughts?
OM_freebies
27 Mar 15 08:04:50
$TNA $TZA $UGAZ $Z Friday Morning Market Video – $SPY $TWTR $GPRO $AAPL $HD $AMZN http://t.co/JwLfwcyOdu
royfberger
27 Mar 15 08:04:14
$TWTR $FB $LNKD $MA March 27th, 2015 Watch List - Update from Option Millionaires - Stock Options Chatroom Futures... http://t.co/xsPDjYUFAp
royfberger
27 Mar 15 08:04:14
$TWTR $FB $LNKD $MA Friday Morning Market Video – $SPY $TWTR $GPRO $AAPL $HD $AMZN http://t.co/mDyqvTs5cp
LJ Keane
27 Mar 15 08:03:18
$DUST $GLD $SPY $QQQ Friday Morning Market Video – $SPY $TWTR $GPRO $AAPL $HD $AMZN http://t.co/dhMRE5QJz2
Alpha Maven Alerts
27 Mar 15 08:02:14
$TWTR active, relative volume: 3.24, 1H, 11:00 AM, #nyse
Phil
27 Mar 15 08:01:48
RT @timothysykes: Still researching charts for tomorrow...retweet if you're doing the same, let's see who REALLY wants it? Eye of the tiger…
T Johnson
27 Mar 15 08:01:44
Been taking it easy this week, little trading, just watching and studying charts. Anyone see any good long set ups out there? $TWTR $AAPL
Daniel Sokolowski
27 Mar 15 08:01:29
RT @RedDogT3: So much easier. Vs uploading to YouTube. Could be disruptive $twtr periscope. Quality is good as well
FinBUZZ Just-IN
27 Mar 15 08:01:29
See why these assets are trending in 1 watchlist $PBR $TSLA $TWTR $SNDK $FB http://t.co/rJ1HlGwK0e
Timothy Sykes
27 Mar 15 08:00:44
All for my students http://t.co/3ltbCT4cGe in order to avoid this from happening http://t.co/DGbTYPoIG5 happens too often $STUDY $TWTR
K Capital Advisors
27 Mar 15 08:00:41
$NLS Great value play here. Mean analyst target of $19, 0 misses in last 4 earnings rel. technicals showing bullish signals $FB $TWTR $BBRY
PTSD_Trader
27 Mar 15 07:56:44
A close at 49.99 today on $TWTR would be ideal from a market maker's perspective... lets see how it goes down. http://t.co/cHGOZoxLOd
Jeff Monroe
27 Mar 15 07:56:25
$TWTR chart https://t.co/2qLIfA1m8G via http://t.co/vgHm6UI0xk.Possible breakout coming in TWTR?
Scott Redler
27 Mar 15 07:56:08
So much easier. Vs uploading to YouTube. Could be disruptive $twtr periscope. Quality is good as well
ProVesting
27 Mar 15 07:55:04
$TWTR $FNHC: Morning Buzz: Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Oracle Corporation (NYSE ...: http://t.co/XQ2jXy3Q2U
   ramlou
27 Mar 15 07:54:47
RT @ivolatility: RT Options Scanner shows Twitter $TWTR May 60 call option implied volatility increased 2% to 51 according to http://t.co/0…
IVolatility
27 Mar 15 07:53:38
RT Options Scanner shows Twitter $TWTR May 60 call option implied volatility increased 2% to 51 according to http://t.co/03e8hkCR3F
Business Outlook ™
27 Mar 15 07:51:23
RT @SeekingAlpha: Best-Of-Breed In Social Media: LinkedIn Vs. Twitter http://t.co/qHDTiRwAUz $LNKD $TWTR
Ophir Gottlieb
27 Mar 15 07:50:25
$TWTR Still showing technical strength above $48 Chart --> http://t.co/6orRi83FBK
Breaking News Now
27 Mar 15 07:46:02
$TWTR $LNKD: Best-Of-Breed In Social Media: LinkedIn Vs. Twitter: http://t.co/wjgQ3wmDXf
Trade Yodha
27 Mar 15 07:45:29
$TWTR - Best-Of-Breed In Social Media: LinkedIn Vs. Twitter http://t.co/CfFWpT4P7Q
Solo traders
27 Mar 15 07:45:28
$TWTR - Best-Of-Breed In Social Media: LinkedIn Vs. Twitter http://t.co/VPEDHT6rVT
				
				
  +Follow April 1, 2014 1:22PM
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