Apps like Snapchat illustrate change in communication for youth

When I first started college back in 2006, one of the most exciting aspects for me was getting my own college .edu email address. Having that meant I could join older friends on Facebook, and I could not wait to be able to have a Facebook account.

Things have changed quite a bit in the last seven years since then. Now it’s not college students who are excited to join Facebook, it’s middle schoolers and those under 13. And Facebook is beginning to lose even that age group.

Because of this, it makes perfect sense for Facebook to begin buying mobile app services like Instagram. Most recently, Facebook attempted to purchase Snapchat for $3 million but did not succeed as Snapchat explores other offers it has received. On the flip side, it also makes sense for Snapchat to refuse the offer, seeking ways to stay as “hip” as possible with youngins. Who would have thought Facebook would ever be considered a social network for “old” people?

Apps like Snapchat show a significant change in the way our youth are communicating. They have learned that parents, family and other adults are on social networks like Facebook, leaving little room for a “private” conversation with a friend. For marketers, this is an interesting trend to consider. If a person leans more toward messaging apps like this and less toward social networks like Facebook, this could mean a shift for marketers is on the horizon. This also continues to prove the idea that today’s consumers are much more interested in short communications (think 6 second Vine vids) and have less interest in the more complicated, lengthy communications. 

Personally, I have started using Snapchat to communicate with a few very close friends from college. We send each other goofy pictures but no truly meaningful conversation takes place there, at least for us. However, the future may show us more implications and uses for this app than we could have imagined. 

Do you use Snapchat? If so, in what ways? What uses could Snapchat have for marketers?


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