|The World of Texting Apps|
A world I never really knew existed... But it looks like my idea of "peer to peer" social networking is happening -- but primarily on smart phones.
|The Messaging Apps Taking on Facebook, Phone Giants |
March 27, 2013 (Wall Street Journal)
....These messaging apps—with funny names like WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk—have become an indispensable form of communication for hundreds of millions of people world-wide.
They are also rankling technology giants from Silicon Valley to Seoul. That is because when users like Mr. Dijkland send messages using Line, his mobile carrier Vodafone Group PLC and iPhone maker Apple Inc. don't directly profit from the interaction....
Beware to FB and others who greedily want to monetize user's every page-load, geo-coordinate, contact, keystroke or gesture... many users appear to be skipping the rest and just giving the likes of FB "the gesture", (the one FB deserves).
At first glance, you'd think users are catching on to the commodity aspect that FB and others see of users. I'm not so sure it's that straightforward. I suspect it's that these apps become popular because their friends like them, and they go viral, building momentum until the next app comes along.
The funny thing is "the majors" are buying these guys up, (or trying to)... but I think it's like shoveling sand against the tide.
Look at what happened with Instagram. It got it's 15 minutes of internet fame, sold out, then quietly faded back into the web.
Add a few bells and whistles, and 10 million people (literally) will jump ship.
China's Instagram and Other Tech Startups Look West
Instagram, the photo-sharing app bought by Facebook (FB) last year, offers special effects that can give pictures a weathered black-and-white cast or retro tints. In Beijing, Xu Chaojun’s PaPa app does that, too. But it also lets users add voice messages that can sound like robots or cats. PaPa notched 10 million downloads in five months from iPhone and Android users; the company released an English-language version, Wave, on iTunes on March 10.
(I am still amazed at the scale of numbers tossed around on the web --- 10,000,000 downloads in 5 months -- that's 150 days).
Oh, how tempting it is to say:
Wow. The younger generation has reinvented the one-on-one telephone call. Wonder what else they'll reinvent? ;)
|...the one-on-one telephone call. |
It's not the call what catchs the people, it's mainly the group chat.
It's the new "IRC at hand" and into closed groups of no more than 20 people with a clean interface and no ads, parents or bad people promoting p**n sites.
And, of course is cheap; almost free.
It's getting difficult to spot teenagers that are not messaging or between messaging even while walking down the street and almost everyone is fiddling while commuting. I see it as a sucker market, a bit like dummy-sucking.
|even while walking down the street |
Make that: even while walking down the street in the company of actual living breathing right-there-beside-you human beings.
:: detour to look something up ::
Dang, that was a long time ago. 1993. Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy. "But Daddy! It's the TELEPHONE!"
Had to look that one up. Now I see the context -- a baby's "pacifier" -- good analogy. I've seen teens throw a fit, become all out of sorts, or actually cry if they break or lose their "electronic pacifier".
..a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon it adds up to real money.