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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
Juan Carlos Minero
24 Oct 14 09:54:26
$TWTR even @britishmonarchy has an account now.. talk about grow for mondays earning$ and the pay bottom.. great add two.
Leilani Pips
24 Oct 14 09:54:11
geez $twtr turning red as I tweet
Carolyn B Miciano
24 Oct 14 09:54:08
Why you can be wrong on direction with Bull Puts http://t.co/wpecbKYH97 $AMZN $FB $TWTR
Stockaholics
24 Oct 14 09:53:04
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Louie
24 Oct 14 09:52:53
After $YELP and $NFLX, watch $LNKD being killed on earnings. How low will it go? $120? $100? $80? We will see. $AAPL $FB $TWTR $BABA $TSLA
Jared
24 Oct 14 09:48:47
$TSLA has underperformed on this market rebound the last week. Not much beta there or with $TWTR.
Informer
24 Oct 14 09:46:06
last: $49.6974 12:30pm EST 10/24/2014 change: +0.0274 day high: 50.19 day low: 49.15 open: 50.19 volume: 6255493 $TWTR
BUZZ Just-In
24 Oct 14 09:45:02
You may be paying much higher spreads for US Tech Giants http://t.co/TPs272NYdZ $AAPL $GOOG $MSFT $FB $TWTR #spreadbetting #cfd
kenr0966
24 Oct 14 09:44:34
RT @PipsToDollars: $TWTR just like $BABA all over hype...one thing we all know is nothing is easy, and the market never acts the way you wa…
Leilani Pips
24 Oct 14 09:44:04
$TWTR just like $BABA all over hype...one thing we all know is nothing is easy, and the market never acts the way you want.
Philip
24 Oct 14 09:43:55
Worried about $TWTR movement going into earnings. But same thing happened last earnings.
kenr0966
24 Oct 14 09:43:47
RT @Eternity100000: $TWTR $FB $LNKD - all lined up for #earnings NEXT week .. & they all doing weird today
kenr0966
24 Oct 14 09:43:02
RT @PipsToDollars: $TWTR is not that strong, having second thoughts since everyone is calling for a beat
John Michael
24 Oct 14 09:42:30
RT @SeekingAlpha: Earnings Preview: Twitter Q3 2014 http://t.co/aXtLNnwkhn $TWTR
John Michael
24 Oct 14 09:42:30
RT @jimcramer: Actually i said the opposite this morning. It really does pay to actually watch me beyond $TWTR, like where i am paid SteveM…
Robert L Jones Jr
24 Oct 14 09:42:19
#99kansai - Don't forget it. $TWTR - She's a comin'
Leilani Pips
24 Oct 14 09:41:18
$TWTR is not that strong, having second thoughts since everyone is calling for a beat
kenr0966
24 Oct 14 09:41:09
RT @Burns277: Id like to see $TWTR pull back to $44 -$46 area before earnings, would make it a better trade entry.
Leilani Pips
24 Oct 14 09:40:40
RT @Eternity100000: $TWTR $FB $LNKD - all lined up for #earnings NEXT week .. & they all doing weird today
Leilani Pips
24 Oct 14 09:39:33
RT @Burns277: Id like to see $TWTR pull back to $44 -$46 area before earnings, would make it a better trade entry.
Steve Mahoney
24 Oct 14 09:36:22
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Silly Rin PeasVcocyx
24 Oct 14 09:35:53
RT @jimcramer: Actually i said the opposite this morning. It really does pay to actually watch me beyond $TWTR, like where i am paid SteveM…
charlottelai
24 Oct 14 09:35:32
RT @jimcramer: Actually i said the opposite this morning. It really does pay to actually watch me beyond $TWTR, like where i am paid SteveM…
Quantpost Technology
24 Oct 14 09:35:23
$TWTR News: "Earnings Preview: Twitter Q3 2014 $TWTR …" http://t.co/r9ap8vndZA Board view: https://t.co/CzqWIjszsq
Seeking Alpha
24 Oct 14 09:35:20
Earnings Preview: Twitter Q3 2014 http://t.co/aXtLNnwkhn $TWTR
Jim Cramer
24 Oct 14 09:34:45
Actually i said the opposite this morning. It really does pay to actually watch me beyond $TWTR, like where i am paid SteveMahoney_
Trishia Avery
24 Oct 14 09:30:07
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Mark C Johnson
24 Oct 14 09:30:02
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
The Street Mentor
24 Oct 14 09:29:55
Not bad calls on $TWTR this week 4 out of 5 trades all gains.
Gordon Bowman
24 Oct 14 09:28:46
Ha, look what I wrote exactly one year ago today :) "Why MoPub Should Boost The Twitter IPO" - http://t.co/ik6DPOKtza $TWTR
Dan Stewart
24 Oct 14 09:28:08
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Lisa LaMagna
24 Oct 14 09:28:05
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Lon Plasner
24 Oct 14 09:27:54
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Lindsey Cabot
24 Oct 14 09:27:39
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Political Line
24 Oct 14 09:27:31
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
DR JAMES CABOT
24 Oct 14 09:27:31
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Watchhimtrade.com
24 Oct 14 09:26:56
Here's my gains and losses for the week: http://t.co/cntIUKO5SW I traded $PCLN $NFLX $TWTR $GPRO $TSLA $GOOGL $YELP $AMZN
Angry Daenjangnyuh
24 Oct 14 09:26:56
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Tim March
24 Oct 14 09:26:40
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Tyler Marshall
24 Oct 14 09:26:22
RT @ReformedBroker: The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NF…
Downtown Josh Brown
24 Oct 14 09:25:04
The Millennial’s have a different Dow Jones Industrial Average than the Boomers. It includes $FB, $CMG, $UA, $TWTR, $NFLX, $WFM
theWizardofStocks
24 Oct 14 09:22:56
@Burns277 don't worry friend, $TWTR and the market don't care what u think
The Street Mentor
24 Oct 14 09:20:50
Id like to see $TWTR pull back to $44 -$46 area before earnings, would make it a better trade entry.
Ross Gerber
24 Oct 14 09:20:22
Curious about social media stocks. Check out our article on http://t.co/nk8i6ZoOkX #socialmedia $fb $yelp $lknd $twtr http://t.co/YJHdyUwEJd
Eternity101
24 Oct 14 09:20:12
$TWTR ...itching to go to the 52 area
OptionsGenius
24 Oct 14 09:19:33
3 spots filled for my packages today. more requests coming in. remember we are doing free pacakges for different packages. $spy $fb $twtr
John Michael
24 Oct 14 09:19:27
RT @SeekingAlpha: Are Twitter Shares Going Up Or Coming Down? http://t.co/8gGY3ZMD6o $TWTR
Vitaliy
24 Oct 14 09:16:23
$TWTR prepare for takeoff
Stocks News&Markets
24 Oct 14 09:14:21
Big Trader in the News! http://t.co/F3G081e6MW $ISR $CMCO $VTAE $MMSI $FB $TWTR $GOOG we nailed $IBIO !!
Stocks News&Markets
24 Oct 14 09:14:19
Check out this big trader in the News! http://t.co/F3G081e6MW $ISR $CMCO $VTAE $MMSI $FB $TWTR $GOOG
				
				
  +Follow April 1, 2014 1:22PM
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