Tag Archives: Whatsapp

The re-emergence of the human voice in tech

mouth by darwin bell:FlickrIt’s difficult to escape the reality of the ‘always on’ society, that is creeping up on the world as mobile has become the first screen. It may seem that the human voice and the phone call have, in many cases been replaced with a few taps on the screen – a result of mobile payments and shopping, through apps and social networks.

Yet beneath all this, there is still value in voice for consumers; apps like Whatsapp and Apple iMessage have made voice recordings a focal part of their platform. Google has made ‘Ok Google’ the evolution of their platform on mobile as well as through wearable technology. Voice is back on the scene and everyone is using their phones with voice once again. Suddenly, Siri is making some sense. Read More »

Why Messenger’s new role is so important for Facebook

Facebook messengerSuddenly, Facebook’s decision to strip the messaging functionality out of its main mobile app and encourage people to use its dedicated Messenger service is beginning to make a lot more sense.

At the time, we thought it was designed to protect the Facebook brand within a rapidly evolving social networking landscape; as conversations shift away from the major networks towards mobile chat apps, the danger for Facebook was that it could become increasingly sidelined, especially with WhatsApp destined to remain a standalone product. Read More »

Facebook tops the table in the social World Cup

Facebook world cup pageA lot has been written about this World Cup so far. It’s the first truly digital tournament. It’s the one where second-screening has really come into its own. Above all, it’s the most social World Cup to date – one where our favourite networks have been much more integral to our viewing experience than ever before.

So far, so good. But drill down into behaviours in a little more detail and the extent of our “social dependency” is pretty striking. The top networks aren’t just major go-to points, they’ve become the first-choice destination during games. And, despite constant headlines about Facebook losing its appeal (and millions of users), our research shows that it still rules the roost in terms of our social conversations.
Read More »

Vine’s private messaging – what does it mean for marketers and brands?

Vine messagingVine have announced that it will be competing with the likes of Snapchat and Instagram as it unveiled the platform’s new private messaging functionality, which allows users to send a looping six-second Vine to anyone in their address book – even if they aren’t on Vine.

The announcement was made on the Vine Blog, acknowledging the need for the platform to evolve. Read More »

Is the demise of sharing closer than we think?

Photo by Hammerin ManAs humans, sharing stems from our innate need to reach out, share experiences and form a bond with those around us.  Google’s Abigail Posner refers to sharing as an energy exchange that intensifies our pleasure and it is something we are hardwired to do.

Following the rise of social networking platforms through the privacy spectrum, oversharing has reached the extreme, and the signs are indicating it’s about time we moved back to the humble idea of ‘undersharing’. Read More »

Say what? Facebook buys instant messaging service WhatsApp for $16bn

WhatsApp logoFacebook caused a stir last night when it unexpectedly announced the acquisition of popular instant messaging app WhatsApp, for a staggering $16bn at least.

The announcement was made last night UK, and had most of our jaws on the ground, such was the size of the deal, which dwarfs Facebook’s previous acquisition of Instagram for $1bn. Read More »

Short is sweet in the world of digital communications

WeChat logoInstant Messaging (IM) is older than the Internet. The first iterations appeared during the 1960s on operating systems such as CompatibleTime Sharing System (CTSS), not the most catchy of names I grant you. However, IM did not reach mass popularity until the 1990s with the likes of AIM (AOL), and later in 1999 with the release of MSN Messenger – launching instant, free communications to the nascent Internet population.

At its pinnacle, MSN Messenger had over half a billion active users sharing billions of messages (source: Microsoft). MSN, AIM and others created a shift in human interactions, producing a new global behavior for how we communicated peer-to-peer. In a few short years, users dwindled as social media and advancements in mobile devices bore another transition of behavior. Read More »

Ten years after Facebook launched, we’re back to the days before Facebook

facebooklogoBefore Facebook, most social sharing among my group of friends happened on instant messaging via MSN. Depending on your own group of friends you might have used AIM or Yahoo instead. Most of the photos we shared were via e-mail, with large albums uploaded to YouSendIt or another cloud storage server. Most of my friends had social media profiles, automatically created by MSN, but few of us posted there regularly. Then Facebook came along. By 2006, when I started at university, practically every single student in my year had it. We shared everything on Facebook: what we were up to, our relationship status, movies we watched, pictures from events, classes we were attending, our plans for the weekend, everything.  Read More »

What’s next for the world of instant messaging?

WhatsApp logoThe growth of WhatsApp continues at a great pace; its CEO Jan Koum confirmed this week that WhatsApp now has 430 million active users, 30 million new users in the last months, 50 billion messages processed daily and 50 members of staff, 20 of which are customer support.

These impressive numbers showcase the increasing popularity of social messaging apps: whereas before we would send mail, then email, then short-form text messages – now we simply communicate through Whatsapp threads, group chats and second-long self-destructive Snapchats. Before the onset of the Internet, not as many letters were sent in a year compared to the daily billions of messages shared through mobile apps nowadays. Social messaging has made communicating easier and hassle-free and it’s therefore not surprising that apps like WhatsApp aim to be on every smartphone in the globe. Read More »

Is this the end of the text message or just an evolution?

Girls sitting down texting smallThis week it was announced that there had been a year-on-year drop in the number of text messages (SMS) sent for the first time since texting was invented. Younger generations are now using their smartphones to embrace cheaper, more visual forms of communication offered by instant messaging sites like Snapchat and Whatsapp. For younger smartphone users who have witnessed the more open and permanent nature of communication on sites like Facebook, these instant messaging sites represent a return to more private, SMS style communication, but designed with the smartphone in mind. The text message revolutionised the way we communicate and helped to prepare us for the current culture of immediacy before the smartphone emerged. But now that it has, people want more than just text. Read More »