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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
Hayes ♥
28 Nov 14 06:27:40
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
Jeff Loesser
28 Nov 14 06:25:15
RT @tradingview: $TWTR - Twitter to glitter! The base is forming. - https://t.co/4Rso6EjFhL
KING ALLIANCE
28 Nov 14 06:24:53
$TWTR #BUY ZONE 40.61 - 40.35 #twtr
-8✨crookids❤️
28 Nov 14 06:24:49
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
Advisory Desk
28 Nov 14 06:24:08
Twitter Is Junk. Why Are You Surprised? $TWTR http://t.co/kc3AnAskN4 via @BV
Mrs. Bizzle ♛
28 Nov 14 06:19:43
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
Ryan M Craver
28 Nov 14 06:19:02
IBM: Thanksgiving Online Sales Up 14%, One-Third Of Sales On Mobile Led By iOS $AAPL $GOOG $FB $TWTR http://t.co/vR90YaM1KZ
P
28 Nov 14 06:18:34
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
OTPicks.com
28 Nov 14 06:15:43
http://t.co/WZ6FGvJQNb read_this_n0w: maybe $TWTR today after FB went past two days: rea http://t.co/cRVEjEUDTb http://t.co/WZ6FGvJQNb
Joseph  Ibeh
28 Nov 14 06:15:41
RT @CBOE: Actives on open @CBOE: $AAPL $HPQ $SDRL $TASR $FB $TXN $NFLX $AMZN $TWTR $PBR
BUZZ Just-In
28 Nov 14 06:15:41
You may be paying much higher spreads for US Tech Giants http://t.co/TPs273ELCb $MSFT $TWTR $AAPL $FB $GOOG #spreadbetting #cfd
OTPicks- OnTimePicks
28 Nov 14 06:15:41
http://t.co/f15mUdD9Cd read_this_n0w: maybe $TWTR today after FB went past two days: rea http://t.co/py51iD7bL1 http://t.co/f15mUdD9Cd
OTPicks.com
28 Nov 14 06:15:37
http://t.co/y0P0rwqW7P read_this_n0w: maybe $TWTR today after FB went past two days: rea http://t.co/W11FOPrCir http://t.co/y0P0rwqW7P
O T P i c k s . com
28 Nov 14 06:15:34
http://t.co/x5EzijWmSl read_this_n0w: maybe $TWTR today after FB went past two days: rea http://t.co/xyyZYxzxaO http://t.co/x5EzijWmSl
Dan
28 Nov 14 06:15:16
$TWTR OI for maturity 11/28/2014. 40.50 Highest put. 42.00 Highest call. http://t.co/DacBMkR1NL
Alexandros Yfantis
28 Nov 14 06:12:47
$TWTR bouncing off the 61.8% retracement. Could test Ichimoku cloud resistance at 45-47$ http://t.co/uBPy1Sc3MT
384
28 Nov 14 06:10:24
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
TradeTexasBig
28 Nov 14 06:10:17
$twtr cofounder sold shares this week :)
- F R I Z Z L E✞
28 Nov 14 06:08:12
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
Uneducated Trader
28 Nov 14 06:06:22
RT @InvestorsLive: Please like/share on $FB and $TWTR this post about our trading community: https://t.co/Q0r1sWfmeS You guys are what make…
Boris Brdar
28 Nov 14 06:06:05
$twtr twitter, clearly I am inspired by the slew of new products and the early uptick action today. will this best Wednesday's high point??
KING ALLIANCE
28 Nov 14 06:04:26
$TWTR CLOSER TO AQUISITION DECISION #TWTR
Chris Versace
28 Nov 14 06:01:26
@Stephanie_Link @jimcramer Two-thirds $TWTR users are women under 24 http://t.co/oU1hlDmzeV #TargetMarket
The Street Mentor
28 Nov 14 06:01:18
Sign up for our daily trading alerts and weekly video lessons here! https://t.co/ZcZhF2AWSE $FB $AAPL $TWTR Peeps
BUZZ Just-In
28 Nov 14 06:00:40
Why access a ticker when you could acesss a group of tickers- Social Media Stocks http://t.co/lHJArhR8df $TWTR $LNKD $FB $GRPN $ZNGA
Dan
28 Nov 14 06:00:30
$TWTR Max Pain is 40.50 for maturity 11/28/2014. Price = 41.13. http://t.co/y73gLTeAXP
Almost a Trader
28 Nov 14 06:00:05
Watching: $VA $USO - 2nd Watch - Airliner Stocks - $SOCL stocks - $P $FB $TWTR $GPRO #stocksinplay #BlackFriday Taking it quiet today!
Cocktail Investing
28 Nov 14 05:59:19
RT @_ChrisVersace: Two-thirds $TWTR users are women under 24 http://t.co/oU1hlDmzeV #TargetMarket
Chris Versace
28 Nov 14 05:58:47
Two-thirds $TWTR users are women under 24 http://t.co/oU1hlDmzeV #TargetMarket
Sdv ? Fback? or Unf
28 Nov 14 05:57:20
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
JUSTIN PLEASE :(
28 Nov 14 05:56:31
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
Investimonials.com
28 Nov 14 05:53:25
RT @timothysykes: Pretty sad that $CURM keeps using paid-for pumping to get attention & even sadder Seeking Alpha allows it on their site, …
The Street Mentor
28 Nov 14 05:53:24
Send me an email for the 75% off trading courses here thestreetmentor@gmail.com $FB $AAPL $TWTR Traders
Profit.ly
28 Nov 14 05:53:15
RT @timothysykes: Pretty sad that $CURM keeps using paid-for pumping to get attention & even sadder Seeking Alpha allows it on their site, …
PennyStock Zone
28 Nov 14 05:53:03
http://t.co/fnBiu3MA1X <-- Awesome trading DVD featuring 3 profitly gurus! #stocks #trading #nyse $FB $TWTR $VSR $MAC $VZ $GS
Timothy Sykes
28 Nov 14 05:52:59
Pretty sad that $CURM keeps using paid-for pumping to get attention & even sadder Seeking Alpha allows it on their site, help expose $TWTR
Steve Mahoney
28 Nov 14 05:52:39
@ReformedBroker @anthonynoto #FF or #FU might work $twtr http://t.co/crpdmYjuoD
SmallCaps
28 Nov 14 05:51:11
http://t.co/t9v4IO2vow <<-- Tandem Trader dvd video #stocks #trading $FB $TWTR $EYES $PTNR $HURC
Abby Nachtomi
28 Nov 14 05:42:32
RT @footnoted: From the pre-holiday SEC filings dump. Big $TWTR stock sale by @ev filed at 9:30 pm http://t.co/oL3bAgctFQ
Victor Tellegio
28 Nov 14 05:40:18
$AAPL and $TWTR look good for today
f
28 Nov 14 05:37:16
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
5 Years Of  B.T.R
28 Nov 14 05:35:11
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
Jùlia
28 Nov 14 05:34:21
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
Sandro Splendore
28 Nov 14 05:32:35
RT @InvestorsLive: Please like/share on $FB and $TWTR this post about our trading community: https://t.co/Q0r1sWfmeS You guys are what make…
Follow me Justin
28 Nov 14 05:32:13
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
OFC Justin Bieber Py
28 Nov 14 05:29:44
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
PennyStock Zone
28 Nov 14 05:28:43
http://t.co/nGpJsAI10D <-- Turn $100 into $1000, $10000 or more in 30 days! $ICAD $FB $TWTR $STUDY $BBRY $YY $HURC
Lefendarty
28 Nov 14 05:23:33
RT @InvestorsLive: Please like/share on $FB and $TWTR this post about our trading community: https://t.co/Q0r1sWfmeS You guys are what make…
John
28 Nov 14 05:21:14
$TWTR long 41.19
omg_z_manuelblynx
28 Nov 14 05:14:11
RT @MelissaLeeCNBC: #dontsellshots is trending higher than #ferguson on this: Beliebers to Twitter: Get your hands off Shots! http://t.co/n…
				
				
  +Follow April 1, 2014 1:22PM
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