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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.

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Results for TWTR
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$TWTR vs. $BABA vs. $LNKD Compared Across 9 Critical Measures http://t.co/5NRh80ZPAh http://t.co/Sn0pWNmsTV
21 Apr 15 05:19:07
http://t.co/UWhEDnhL6i <- THIS GUY CAN MAKE YOU RICH TRADING PENNYSTOCKS #stocks #pennystocks #trading $TWTR $STUDY $FB
$ Hedge Fund AI $
21 Apr 15 05:17:44
Drop your $TWTR! Earn 6% per month with our "Top 10 Hedge Fund" Artificial Intelligence ~ http://t.co/8phRy3QJfL $USD @CNBC $QQQ
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21 Apr 15 05:15:48
$TWTR Retail traders wield social media for investing fame http://t.co/9rFNFmRvKf via @WSJ
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RT @GBaller: @TrendTrader007 it has been said that $fb is about people in your past while $twtr are the people in your future.
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How Click Farms Have Inflated Social Media Currency http://t.co/ZjyT1AajFf The buying & selling of fake social media influence. $FB $TWTR
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James DiPlata
21 Apr 15 05:12:33
RT @tradewithjoe: d/t watch list $IWM $SPY $QQQ $TWTR $BABA $AAPL $FB $PCLN $BIDU $NFLX $TSLA $AMZN $GOOGL $YHOO $LNKD - http://t.co/xmN5yS…
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Tech co's revenue per employee charts.Fascinating $yhoo $twtr $aapl $amzn $lnkd $FB $MSFT http://t.co/eus34tOjQ4 http://t.co/js9t4eYQWL
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21 Apr 15 05:09:43
RT @Cloudnews2013: Placements financiers - Forex: $TWTR $LNKD #twitter #linkedin LINKEDIN http://t.co/nOY6Xjh5hR
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$IBM $APPL $TWTR: Another tough quarter for IBM, but don't blame Ginni Rometty (yet): http://t.co/woVMtXEg6v
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Ted Hearn
21 Apr 15 05:06:26
Twitter Under Fire After Lifting Direct Messaging Restrictions | TheWrap http://t.co/ZjU3z0f0cl $TWTR
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Learn stock technical analysis and charting. http://t.co/6TAu75F3hy $AAPL $GOOG $JRJC $LIVE $INTC $TWTR http://t.co/p1C1DOl4Up
3bac News
21 Apr 15 05:03:06
RT @am_alerts: $TWTR active, relative volume: 2.38, 1H, 8:00 AM, #nyse
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d/t watch list $IWM $SPY $QQQ $TWTR $BABA $AAPL $FB $PCLN $BIDU $NFLX $TSLA $AMZN $GOOGL $YHOO $LNKD - http://t.co/xmN5ySHLBw
Alpha Maven Alerts
21 Apr 15 05:02:03
$TWTR active, relative volume: 2.38, 1H, 8:00 AM, #nyse
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Twitter Now Lets You Receive Direct Messages From Anyone - Forbes $TWTR The next level... http://t.co/7KPDSaQDwH
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Compare brokers to find the right one for you- US Tech Giants http://t.co/F3popAHoym $AAPL $GOOG $MSFT $FB $TWTR #spreadbetting #cfd
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RT @paulwoll: $TWTR weekly look... maybe futures will help this one get https://t.co/fNraAEw1kG to that 55.80-56 target.
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@sellputs @zerohedge $TWTR It is like mixed nuts where you are trying to pick out the cashews. There are a few tidbits of "good" in the mix
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$TWTR: Greek Officials Said to See Decree Giving Time for April Deal: http://t.co/Q3KmmAGXAS
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Monitor your watchlist of assets for tweets- US Tech Giants http://t.co/kdZSg01UFl $AAPL $GOOG $MSFT $FB $TWTR
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$TWTR high open interest range is 50.00 to 52.00 for option expiration 04/24/2015. http://t.co/YfROuR2ziD
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$TWTR Max Pain = 50.00. Maturity = 04/24/2015. Previous close = 51.40. http://t.co/v5sONiUukD
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21 Apr 15 04:33:50
RT @WrigleyTom: $TWTR 51.40 Twitter is selling sports tickets, starting with the NBA playoffs http://t.co/VnNduXH04u
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21 Apr 15 04:29:41
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21 Apr 15 04:20:47
RT @ACInvestorBlog: $TWTR Twitter Begins Selling Sports Tickets, Starting With the NBA Playoffs http://t.co/OFh1DmYObQ
Hotpage News
21 Apr 15 04:19:42
#Twitter CFO made $72 million in 2014 $TWTR http://t.co/x1bXv2H6Cf
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$FB $TWTR: Facebook Inc Owns Two-Third of Social Media Login Market [Report]: http://t.co/7tRjAdyvyM
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21 Apr 15 04:14:09
RT @GBaller: @TrendTrader007 Agreed the thought leaders are on $Twtr. I have gotten so many ideas from this fertile land.
Alok Jain
21 Apr 15 04:13:22
RT @GBaller: @TrendTrader007 it has been said that $fb is about people in your past while $twtr are the people in your future.
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Key economic events in this week. $SPY $AAPL $GOOGL $FB $TWTR $GILD http://t.co/xyXxNtcIl1
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21 Apr 15 04:01:20
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21 Apr 15 03:58:22
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Martin Macke
21 Apr 15 03:55:24
Good move by $TWTR https://t.co/T0QWDa7WNe
PennyStock Zone
21 Apr 15 03:53:58
http://t.co/rExadIifDH <- THIS GUY CAN MAKE YOU RICH TRADING PENNYSTOCKS #stocks #pennystocks #trading $TWTR $STUDY $FB
The Stock Professor
21 Apr 15 03:38:12
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Twitter $TWTR has begun to sell tickets for entry to sporting events #stocks
Ioan Smith
21 Apr 15 03:27:00
$TWTR #Twitter starts selling tickets to sporting events, Re/code http://t.co/Ri5nV2Lv2B
Adriana Cristina
21 Apr 15 03:14:47
RT @ACInvestorBlog: $TWTR Twitter Begins Selling Sports Tickets, Starting With the NBA Playoffs http://t.co/OFh1DmYObQ
David Hegedus
21 Apr 15 03:14:12
Twitter is selling sports tickets, starting with the NBA Playoffs http://t.co/C9ZU5aSXOM via @DelRey $TWTR
21 Apr 15 03:09:20
RT @ACInvestorBlog: $TWTR Twitter Begins Selling Sports Tickets, Starting With the NBA Playoffs http://t.co/OFh1DmYObQ
Antonio Costa
21 Apr 15 03:08:57
$TWTR Twitter Begins Selling Sports Tickets, Starting With the NBA Playoffs http://t.co/OFh1DmYObQ
  +Follow April 1, 2014 1:22PM



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