|As Snapchat Goes Mainstream, We're Entering a New Era In The Smartphone Revolution
By: New York Times
That sound you’ve been hearing in the background but couldn’t quite place it? It’s the sound of Snapchat crossing the chasm. It’s the siren song of the next big thing in media, entertainment and communications. The early majority is showing up. Snapchat is going mainstream. Here’s what you need to know if you’re a brand, entrepreneur or just over the age of 30.
What is Snapchat? Many know it as “that sexting app.” In other words, Snapchat offers ephemeral messaging, where risqué or embarrassing photos disappear. It’s true that this is how Snapchat started. It struck a chord at the right time with the right audience, enabling the app to quickly establish critical mass among innovators and early adopters. Disappearing messages was the killer feature. But Snapchat has evolved past this and now finds itself in a position to disrupt the entire media world.
Looking back, I see similarities with the “social-local-mobile” revolution of the past six or seven years, which was inconveniently labeled SoLoMo for short. Indeed, the mainstreaming of Snapchat really marks an end to this era and the start of a new one.
In 2011, just after closing the seed round for MomentFeed, I wrote The SoLoMo Manifesto, a tongue-in-cheek eBook about the unification of these trends and technologies. At the time, few agreed about how profound the change would be…that smartphones would go from the third to the first screen, that we’d rely on these devices for so much of our daily lives, that mobile was not a channel but a lifestyle, that consumer “moments” would be at the core of the smartphone experience, and that brands needed to take a holistic approach to mobile or risk irrelevance. By and large, this has all happened.
Facebook successfully pivoted to become a mobile company. Google’s transition to mobile was cemented by Android, the Maps and YouTube apps, and its dominance of local search. And Instagram became the most important media brand to emerge from this era. Today, these are the only companies that really matter on mobile. They account for eight out of 10 of the top mobile apps in the world. But Snapchat is on the rise.
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