YouNow; Beme; Toeter… Know what any of those are? No? Well don’t be concerned these are just some of the more recent social media applications (apps) to hit the app store. Social Media is spiralling out of control, but that’s a good thing. That is what it is meant to do. Web 2.0 is based on the idea of collaboration. Collaboration requires people to have access to one another. Imagine a time when a high school student in Albuquerque could conceptualise a new product and get the funding she needs to roll with it from a group of interested people around the world she’s never met. That time is now; or rather we’ve passed that time a while back. We’ve opened the floodgates, and now we need to just sit back and watch while innovation, ideas, creativity and yes… stupidity reach our cell phones. Some apps will change the way with think and behave, others will help us pass time and entertain us, while others may flop. But all this “new tech” is offering us the same thing, limitlessness.
My team asked me to write an article on new technology and apps that are hitting the market. They made this request about a month ago, and I have been notable tardy in my submission. But the joke of it is that in the time that I should have been submitting this post, two new apps have come onto my radar that weren’t there before. One of which I will be discussing next.
This got a little bit long in the tooth though, so we’ve split it up into a two post series. This first will be this broad overview and one platform, and the second will be the follow up two platforms being discussed in this series.
I’d like to focus this post on content sharing, which is basically the entire Internet. More specifically though, the idea of broadcasting. Most of us have seen the ‘social media revolution’ video, and if you haven’t, do yourself a favour and search it on YouTube. The video shows that it took radio 38 years from its launch to reach 50 million users (or listeners). Television took only 14 years to achieve this, but we were already accustomed to broadcast entertainment at this point right? It took the internet only 4 years before it had 50 million users, and Facebook… well Facebook took only 2 years before 50 million users were posting and sharing every intimate moment of their lives.
But we’ve changed the culture. We’ve made sharing a norm, and privacy a second thought. Broadcasting is now available to everyone. No screening, no consideration, no investigation needed. Opinion is fair game.
Some apps have popped up which drive this more freely. We all know you can open a YouTube account, create your own videos and upload them. There are many example of now popular people being discovered on YouTube and making it big. But that content is stored and accessible. It can be taken down, and there’s a record. Apps like snapchat, YouNow and Beme allow you to live in the moment and broadcast your life as it happens. Are they positive or negative? I’ll let you decide, but here’s how they work:
This app is gaining serious momentum and popularity. Essentially it is a video and image messaging app. It allows you to capture the moment add a short message or tagline and send it off to all or some of your followers. There are two different forms of posts. Direct message or timeline. Direct messages are self-explanatory, you send your picture or video directly to one person or a group of people, but only they can see it. Timeline posts are images or videos that you post to your own timeline which means that anyone who follows you will be able to view them. The differentiator with Snapchat is the time limit. You are able to set a limit to your posts, up to 10 seconds, at which point the post disappears. As a direct message it’s gone for good, and if it’s on your timeline it hangs around for 24 hours, but can only be viewed for the set time limit each time it is accessed. Basically this app allows you to cover your tracks. At least that is the cynical view, it is actually meant to allow users to be more spontaneous and live in the moment. They can share what they are experiencing because it is relevant to them right now, but not sit endlessly on a profile wall somewhere to be used against you in three years time. Sure people can take a screenshot, but this clever little app notifies the sender that the receiver is taking evidence.
Intrigued? Next week we are continuing the trend and looking at two more platforms a little more closely. We’ve touched on Snapchat which many of you will be comfortable with, next we look at YouNow and BeMe.
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