Messaging apps: The new social media
By Louis Eksteen
Messaging apps on mobile devices are the new social media platforms to watch. With the recent Naspers six-month results came the news that Tencent, in which the global South African media giant has a significant shareholding, is actively expanding its messaging app WeChat’s reach. Speculation is also rife that Tencent is making offers for SnapChat, the current darling of messaging apps.
All the recent hype about messaging apps is indicative of a changing mobile-dominated communication landscape. It’s amazing how quickly technology continues to change our lives. With trendsters already calling messaging apps to be the major marketing trend for 2014, social media all of a sudden seems a bit like yesterday’s news.
For people used to sending and receiving SMSes, messaging apps can seem a bit far removed from social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. But for the WhatsApp generation who grew up on BlackBerry’s once-ubiquitous BBM, the new wave of socially relevant messaging apps, epitomised by SnapChat, represent a short attention-span but high impact universe of constant engagement. Ten-second by 10-second image/video/post/message at a time. (Other popular new messaging apps include Kik and KakaoTalk.)