Social media is changing.
Discussions are being had around whether posts should be pre-reviewed by experts before they’re published. Bills are being passed to ban companies from building “addictive” features into their apps. More and more users are getting fed up of Fake News and the negative impacts on mental health are becoming too great to ignore.
The sites that will see in this changing landscape will be the old familiar Twitters, Snapchats, and Facebooks/Instagrams/Whatsapps. More interesting are the platforms who will grow out of this shift and find new and better ways to prosper.
Here we’re going to look at three such sites that are already gaining traction with users, and some already with brands. Could they be the ones to usher in the new age of social?
Chances are by now you’ve heard of Tik Tok. The lip-syncing social media app is the fastest growing of any, with over 500 million monthly active users and 1 billion downloads.
Tik Tok is such a sensation that its creator is moving into the smartphone space to develop one all of its own designed especially for the selfie-conscious Gen-Z. After all, the app is based around being able to use your phone to create quality videos of yourself using AI, AR filters, and music overlays.
With currently no formal way of monetising content, Tik Tok has felt outside the reach of many brands. But some, like The Washington Post and Chipotle, are getting their toes in early and building big followings. Others, like Universal Pictures, are working directly with influencers on the platform. And as Guess demonstrated with its “I’m A Mess” challenge, when used right, you can basically turn users into your own brand ambassadors without any added cost.
Lasso by Facebook
Similarly to Tik Tok, Lasso is an app that lets users create and share short videos with music overlays.
But unlike Tik Tok, Facebook is owned by social media behemoth Facebook. Facebook, with its 2.7 billion monthly active users across all its apps, quietly launched Lasso last year as a competitor and blatant copy of vine-spin-off Tik Tok.
The user base is still small and with its team leader Brady Voss leaving for Netflix just after its launch late last year, its future is somewhat unsure. Facebook has also just hired former Vine head for a newly created NPE (New Product Experimentation) branch, which will focus on developing experimental apps to test new ideas and features. And so whichever way it goes, it’s worth keeping an eye on Lasso and any other apps Facebook launches under the radar to discover how it plans to counter its Chinese rival.
A mix of Snapchat and FaceTime, Houseparty is a live group-video messaging app that allows groups of up to eight to host video chats. With its recent introduction of the in-chat gaming feature, as well as recently being acquired by Fortnite creator Epic, it may also be merging into a hybrid gaming-streaming platform.
Houseparty has a modest user base of 35 million users. The majority of them are under 24, and so it has clearly tapped into the fickle pulse of younger generations. The app is particularly liked due to being private and ad-free, letting its users engage in what’s sometimes known as “live chilling”. As such, it’s yet to really show what its potential is for businesses and advertisers.
One way businesses could harness Houseparty is by hosting video chats for users. For instance, by offering a beauty tutorial for a select few clients or sponsoring a Q&A chat with a social media influencer. Last year, the app also launched Facemail, a feature which allows users to leave each other video-voicemails. This shows the app has potential for not just live but also recorded video, which may make it worthwhile for businesses who would like to host and share their chats.