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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.

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
TheDayTradingAcademy
26 Jan 15 07:44:41
Definitely headed higher with a few areas lining up $SPY $FB $TWTR $LNKD http://t.co/82D8d4fPwN
Roger Attick
26 Jan 15 07:43:13
@CNBC @carlquintanilla @SquawkStreet @jimcramer : Too bad $TWTR doesn't surge during tweet-storms like $GNRC surges during snow-storms...
ProTradersNews
26 Jan 15 07:41:04
$SMT $TWTR: Ever Green Stocks: Smart Technologies (NASDAQ:SMT), Golar LNG ...: http://t.co/la0r5SrLWr
Mowiwowi
26 Jan 15 07:39:54
RT @Catalystrader: $TWTR chart http://t.co/Y2vKMj8yKf $TWTR fighting the tape & bearish sentiment. Consolidating above previous resistance …
TakingStock614
26 Jan 15 07:39:22
RT @Catalystrader: $TWTR chart http://t.co/Y2vKMj8yKf $TWTR fighting the tape & bearish sentiment. Consolidating above previous resistance …
Hyer Office Furn mfg
26 Jan 15 07:37:44
RT @atlantechatlbiz: Tweet this: Twitter spreads wings in Atlanta with office expansion; lands at @PonceCityMarket. 70 jobs. http://t.co/uJ…
Barrett Brooks
26 Jan 15 07:36:42
RT @atlantechatlbiz: Tweet this: Twitter spreads wings in Atlanta with office expansion; lands at @PonceCityMarket. 70 jobs. http://t.co/uJ…
Gary Nielson
26 Jan 15 07:35:03
Why #Apps for Messaging Are Trending #chat $FB $TWTR $LNKD $VZ $T http://t.co/ckf15X8JXA
Catalyst Trader
26 Jan 15 07:34:58
$TWTR chart http://t.co/Y2vKMj8yKf $TWTR fighting the tape & bearish sentiment. Consolidating above previous resistance & looks ripe for $50
Matthew Whiz Buckley
26 Jan 15 07:33:34
$twtr iron condor sell 100 Jan-30-15 37.5/38/40.5/41 Iron Condor @ .25 credit +/-.02 $aapl $msft $xlk
Vetr
26 Jan 15 07:33:31
LinkedIn: Priced to Perfection? $FB $LNKD $TWTR http://t.co/6mb4BhJ6XD
TheDayTradingAcademy
26 Jan 15 07:31:13
Invest In The Future With Kazakhstan http://t.co/uFhnnL4iOc $FB $TWTR $LNKD http://t.co/d50YxoEqOc
Danny Tiseo
26 Jan 15 07:31:08
Gogo gadget $TWTR.
Dor David Makmal
26 Jan 15 07:29:43
RT @WrigleyTom: $TWTR 39.42 - needs to break of $40 level - $FB earnings Wed, poss pin-action off $FB if good - still Long calls http://…
Tom Wrigley
26 Jan 15 07:29:28
$TWTR 39.42 - needs to break of $40 level - $FB earnings Wed, poss pin-action off $FB if good - still Long calls http://t.co/Q8qcWrv2C4
aaplalert
26 Jan 15 07:29:09
Trade -- $TWTR : Flip from Short to Long at 39.58, Date = 1/26/2015, Time = 10:29:6:0
JosephRusso44
26 Jan 15 07:28:21
RT @canuck2usa: I dont have anything negative to say about anyone on $TWTR unless they atttack me first... Block and Trade on $Simple
Ani Anirudhan
26 Jan 15 07:28:19
RT @CBOE: Actives @CBOE: $AAPL $AMZN $FXCM $STX $NFLX $TWTR $GILD $FFIV $TSLA
DK1
26 Jan 15 07:27:53
I dont have anything negative to say about anyone on $TWTR unless they atttack me first... Block and Trade on $Simple
ProVesting
26 Jan 15 07:27:03
$TWTR $TGE: Traders Are Gambling on: Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), McDonald's ...: http://t.co/7jCQXlMzKX
Go Browns
26 Jan 15 07:24:26
How much per share do you think $GOOG would pay for $TWTR? I would imagine at least $60/share.
T Johnson
26 Jan 15 07:23:05
$TWTR is holding up relatively well here
Financial BUZZ Just-
26 Jan 15 07:22:02
You could be paying 5x higher spreads for Social Media Stocks http://t.co/xBiy46yR4e $FB $LNKD $TWTR $GRPN $ZNGA #spreadbetting #cfd
Tom Hendrickson
26 Jan 15 07:19:29
Side note: the 'view tweet activity' feature on $twtr is awesome. One of the best new features in a long time. #insideETFs
Mario Casado
26 Jan 15 07:17:39
He abierto una posición en $TWTR a 39.30$
PolgarStocks
26 Jan 15 07:17:36
$MCD Financials Updated Monday, January 26, 2015 10:07:04 AM $XIV $ETFC $TWTR $AMD http://t.co/dFyxMQokdH
Marty Morua
26 Jan 15 07:15:36
"NOOOOO!" "Marty! What?" "Damn Rumors!" "What now??" " $GOOG buying $TWTR. Read here: http://t.co/uxcBFM1foq"
I Believe
26 Jan 15 07:15:34
RT @sinisterstock: $MINE - Once it hits .01 she will run quickly. Nothing but buys on L2 - Long here. #stockaction $TWTR $FB $LNKD $GOOG
Syd Weedon
26 Jan 15 07:13:38
RT @CBOE: Actives @CBOE: $AAPL $AMZN $FXCM $STX $NFLX $TWTR $GILD $FFIV $TSLA
$MoMoney4me1
26 Jan 15 07:13:30
RT @sinisterstock: $MINE - Once it hits .01 she will run quickly. Nothing but buys on L2 - Long here. #stockaction $TWTR $FB $LNKD $GOOG
danrocks
26 Jan 15 07:13:15
$TWTR Starting to get interesting $USG $JNUG $WMIH $RMTI $DIA http://t.co/1j11VHac9T
Lauren Holmes
26 Jan 15 07:11:22
$TWTR For anyone looking to increase their twitter traffic, its working for me! Read our review at http://t.co/VrsGMCgPOC
Lauren Holmes
26 Jan 15 07:11:12
$TWTR might be BO candidate for $MSFT now.. than $GOOG! We share our opinion here http://t.co/VrsGMCgPOC
lookn4wins
26 Jan 15 07:10:55
$BIB Chart $BIB Most recent stock chart and technical analysis. $TWTR $KR $JDST $LEXG $XLB $AAPL http://stockc http://t.co/59eqmpp1YQ
SmallCaps
26 Jan 15 07:08:22
Tandem Trader: http://t.co/t9v4IO2vow review video #stocks #trading #nyse $FB $TWTR $EYES $RIBT
RX King
26 Jan 15 07:07:31
$TSLA & $TWTR Looking good @STAUNCHWEALTH ;)
The Stock Professor
26 Jan 15 07:07:12
Google and NFL deal puts football highlights on YouTube: http://t.co/3lz3BsULhH $FB $TWTR $LNKD $BAC
ProTradersNews
26 Jan 15 07:06:02
$TWTR: Twitter plans Atlanta expansion, picks Ponce City Market: http://t.co/uvBUsjcI0p
Paul Kessler
26 Jan 15 07:03:33
I'm predicting a huge spike in the following thanks to #juno : drunk $twtr usage and babies being made. Let the fun begin!! #snowpocalypse
Informer
26 Jan 15 07:03:11
last: $39.32 9:48am EST 1/26/2015 change: -0.10 day high: 39.83 day low: 39.04 open: 39.33 volume: 1316564 $TWTR
Lauren Holmes
26 Jan 15 07:01:56
$TWTR might be BO candidate for $MSFT now.. than $GOOG! We share our opinion here http://t.co/VrsGMCgPOC
Brett Cooper
26 Jan 15 06:58:19
RT @Urvaksh: Tweet this: Twitter spreads wings in Atlanta with office expansion; lands at @PonceCityMarket. 70 jobs. http://t.co/gSGhFtFFpZ…
Eternity101
26 Jan 15 06:56:06
watch Tweedy Bird $TWTR explode to the UP side in a few hours. fly.. baby fly !!! to the NEW moon !!! :) ;)
StockNewsWires
26 Jan 15 06:56:03
$TWTR $GOOGL: Can Twitter Inc (TWTR) Stock Be One Of The Best Mean-Reversion ...: http://t.co/Lw2UxR8YYf
TV_Trading Ideas
26 Jan 15 06:55:30
Lets bridge the gap $TWTR http://t.co/cw5etJr5dd
Perfor Mance
26 Jan 15 06:55:05
Option Millionaires: jimmybob: $TWTR hanging in there ~ http://t.co/Mgv0iqn37D
Sinister Stock
26 Jan 15 06:52:23
$MINE - Once it hits .01 she will run quickly. Nothing but buys on L2 - Long here. #stockaction $TWTR $FB $LNKD $GOOG
Kyle Van Pelt
26 Jan 15 06:50:36
RT @Urvaksh: Tweet this: Twitter spreads wings in Atlanta with office expansion; lands at @PonceCityMarket. 70 jobs. http://t.co/gSGhFtFFpZ…
Eternity101
26 Jan 15 06:50:36
RT @CBOE: Actives @CBOE: $AAPL $AMZN $FXCM $STX $NFLX $TWTR $GILD $FFIV $TSLA
Richie Moku
26 Jan 15 06:49:41
@DannyTiseo Good Morning ! Are you surviving the blizzard ? $TWTR has a lot of room in kumo.Call option volume is +. Just bought $GHL $38.83
				
				
  +Follow April 1, 2014 1:22PM
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