“How often are you on Snapchat?”
“There’s not a time when I’m not on it. I do it while I watch Netflix, I do it at dinner, and I do it when people around me are being awkward. That app is my life.”
Messaging apps are social networks now. We’re not only connecting with each other there more than we do on old school social networks, we’re also shopping, surfing and consuming the news in these apps too. More WhatsApps are sent than SMS, more money is spent on WeChat than PayPal. More time is spent on SnapChat, it seems, than everything else put together*.
This week alone we’ve seen the BBC strike up deals with WhatsApp and Viber, Snapchat rolling out live stories on the web, and if you ask any teen, you’ll see the future today, like Buzzfeed’s Ben Rosen did when he asked his sister about how Snapchat is used by her and her friends, which is where the opening quote from this post came from.
The same way social media disrupted mainstream media, messaging apps are now disrupting social, and everything else. The way we consume media and connect with one another are now the same thing. Maybe not for everyone yet, but it’s on its way. Teen social media trends do tend to become mainstream within 2-3 years. And this Snapchat thing isn’t actually new, after all. Last May Vodafone announced that 75% of its UK chat data traffic is Snapchat.
I personally use Instagram and WhatsApp to keep up with the news more now than Twitter, which is a big shift for me. Twitter was my go-to for the news for years. At Battenhall we’ve been running Battenhall WhatsApp channel for well over a year now, and it’s proving hugely popular and engaging. Many mainstream media and brands also do this now, the most recent being Vogue and ABC who launched theirs in just the last few weeks.
We actually don’t surf the web any more, says this Forbes data-packed long read. We are now in the messaging apps, they are our social media, our media and our phone book. Do have a read, it’s a further 3mins of your future gazing life well spent.
*if you are Ben Rosen’s sister on a weekend.