Snapchat is worth billions. Facebook loses teens. Instagram gains brands. Thinkr uses only #hashtags.
Snapchat Worth More Than You Thought it Was
How much do you think Snapchat is worth? Don't be dismayed that the mobile app has yet to turn a profit — remember, this is social media we're talking about. Would you believe Snapchat has been valued at nearly $4 billion? That's four times what Facebook paid for Instagram. This is all coming to light because the US startup is preparing for its next round of funding, which is rumored to be led by "a strategic party from Asia."
Why is Snapchat reportedly worth so much? While its photo messages may have a short life span, its growth has certainly skyrocketed since its launch in 2011. Additionally, it doesn't hurt that it is especially popular with users between 18 and 29. Since Snapchat doesn't have any significant competitors in the short-term photo messaging marketplace, it's just another reason why it's so intriguing to investors.
Remember when the social network that is Facebook debuted? If you were among the first to join, chances are you were in college. Then high schoolers were allowed to join before Facebook opened membership to the public. Considering millions of us joined Facebook to interact with the people who were adamant about keeping us out of their lives (I'm talking about teens), it seems rather fitting that for the first time, Facebook is no longer the place to be for teens.
Facebook's Teen Beat Begins to Fade
During its earning call this week, it was announced that Facebook saw "a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.” Of course this is not to say that there aren't any teens still actively using the network — it's just that for the first time it's not the place teens head first. That would be Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram, according to recent studies.
So what does the decrease in the teen audience mean for the future of Facebook? Well, it could be a real-life test to see how powerful teen influence really is — as teens go, so will the rest of us? It also could present an opportunity for Facebook to revamp its mobile app — a place where most teens spend most of their time — so it an effectively keep up with the simplicity provided by other popular apps they're using.
Brands Continue to Flock to Instagram
Speaking of Instagram, a new report from Simply Measured shows 71 percent of global companies are now using the Facebook-owned mobile photo network. That's a considerable increase from a year ago, when only 40 percent of brands were there. Since then, we've tracked brands' progress on Instagram, but the momentum grows. Why?
For one, Instagram's popularity has continued to grow, especially among teens. If we haven't made it clear already — teens tend to influence the marketplace, so brands want to be whereever teens are. Additionally, Instagram offers a simple interface through which users can connect with brands, not to mention that is also simplifies content messaging. Regardless, the timing is perfect for Instagram, who recently announced that they'll be rolling out ads that will show up in users' feeds.
It's hard enough keeping up with current social networks, so you may not have heard about a new one. Thinkr is a social network designed by a Brazilian startup exclusively for iPhone users (for now). Currently, in beta, Thinkr is described as a social network for hashtags. Yes, you read that correctly.
Hashtags have slowly taken over most every social network — from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram and Pinterest — so it's only fitting that there should be a social network dedicated to them. How does it work?
Users post one-word status updates, which are geolocated and associated with an emotion. For each of the 12 available emotions, users can have a different profile picture or selfie. These status updates are visible to others in augmented reality or can be overlaid on photos as clickable hashtags. The goal of the network is to create a global mood graph through fun and innovative user experiences.