19.2.15




I was just tweeting about it and I got inspired so I figured I would write something on the subject of social networks, more specifically Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat, and why they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.


THE NUMBERS

Twitter was created in March 2006 and counts 288 million active monthly users, 500 million of tweets are sent per day. (Twitter owns Vine that has 70 million users). Instagram was created in October 2010 and counts over 300 million active users (Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion). Snapchat was created in September 2011 and counts 100 million active users with over 700 million photos and videos shared by day (Facebook tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion).

Sidenote: the Blackberry became popular in the US around 2006 and the first iPhone came out in 2007.


WHAT THEY ARE

Twitter is a network that allows you to share messages within 140 characters with the people that subscribe to your updates. You can also share pictures (and now) videos on Twitter.
80% of Twitter users are active on mobile. After losing the bidding war for Instagram against Facebook, Twitter added a feature that allows you to add filters to your photos before sharing them on Twitter. (Facebook tried to buy Twitter too for $500 million a couple years ago.)

Instagram is a photo-sharing network that allows you to take pictures and videos (up to 15 seconds), edit them with a filter and/or external photo editing app and share them. Like Twitter, the people who subscribe see your updates. Instagram can be viewed on a desktop computer but you can only share pictures through a smartphone.

Snapchat is a photo and video messaging app. You can share photos and videos (up to 10 seconds) with your contacts and they will disappear as soon as they view them (unless your contacts have jailbreaked iPhones, careful). Another feature of Snapchat is that you can share content in what's called your Story. This content will stay there for 24 hours and can be viewed by your contacts as well as people who subscribe to your channel (same concept as Youtube). Recently Snapchat added a Discover feature that allows brands to have their channel on a special tab and share content, this content changes every day. Today they added a feature that allows you to add music from your library as a soundtrack to your "snaps". Snapchat can only be used on a smartphone as well.


WHY THEY WIN

Twitter wins because the user is the one who makes the use that he wants out of it. Twitter allows you to engage with people you find interesting and find people who share the same interest as you. Hashtags are a great way to find these people and because YOU have the choice between 288 million users, you can change your timeline from one day to the other. You can also create lists to separate your different interests. Instagram works the same way since you pick who you follow and you have millions of options there as well. Whether you're interested in photography, travel, makeup, music, food, fitness, etc. there is a niche for you on Instagram and there's people you can follow to find what you're looking for. 
In my opinion, right now, Snapchat is one of the greatest social networking app. It is such a great tool it's incredible. Whether you're an artist, a makeup artist or someone who just wants to market themselves and show what they can bring to the table, Snapchat is for you. Because the content is limited in length and has an exclusive appeal to it (you can only share a 10-seconds video or post a photo for 10 seconds or less and it's only there for 24 hours), you are 99% sure that the people subscribing to your Snaps will view your content. Which is why Madonna chose this app to premiere her new video. This move was such a win for Madonna (trying to reach millennials - Snapchat users) and for Snapchat (the video premiered on the day they launched the Discover feature - it's Madonna, enough said). The Discover feature of Snapchat hosts channels for some big platforms (CNN, Buzzfeed, Vice, etc.) and is by default on the cellphone of Snapchat user around the world which means that your content being featured there gives you a 100 millions reach (the impressions will depends on who actually opens it). Enough said.


WHY THEY ARE HERE TO STAY

What these networks have in common is that they are optimized (or created) to be used on smartphones and - like the war between Apple and Samsung to have the monopole of that market shows - these are not going anywhere anytime soon. Another thing is the fact that they are a blank canvas, when you first create your account, your timeline is empty. You create your experience. You're the one who pick and choose who you follow and therefore the message you're exposed to and what you see. You can always switch things up by unfollowing/following different people and you have millions of options. The final reason is that most people love to share their opinions, what's going on in their life, etc. Plus, there is no denying that they are great networking tools, by following someone on Twitter and/or Instagram you can get an idea (idea) of their mindset and if you share the same mindset as them and possibly make new friends (sorry Drake).



There really is no denying the importance these social networks have in our society today, from being at the heart of debate about relationships to being mentioned by the likes of Kanye West, J. Cole, Drake & Big Sean to only mention artists I've been listening to recently.



Facts: