10
Jan

Ephemeral Chat Apps On The Rise

Ephemeral Chat Apps

Ephemeral chat apps and mobile messaging is one of the most interesting areas in social media right now. The main reason is that avid social media users are actively seeking out new alternatives, in a mobile-first world, for discovering and participating in meaningful conversations. Sometimes “meaningful” conversations are not meant to be published on the biggest, public social networks; they’re meant to be ephemeral in nature.

Facebook, Twitter and now even Instagram seem to be becoming mostly a place to watch what other people post – or in so many cases, watch what advertisers post. Not sure about you, but I just don’t feel comfortable posting and sharing into some of the networks like I used to. They feel too impersonal. It’s getting harder to make new “friends” while easier to get more content. Sometimes I want to see the content, sometimes I don’t.  Rarely do I find myself engaging with it. Enter the rise of chat apps.

Chat apps are a way for us to connect with people we actually know and express ourselves in new ways. Sometimes we don’t know the people we chat with via this new wave of apps, but there appears to be a much higher likelihood of relevance in terms of our social graph proximity to other chat users. Maybe it’s because chat apps are smaller? Although, some of the big ones are rivaling the usual social media platforms in terms of users and activity, so that’s probably not it. Maybe it’s because the nature of chat apps that are ephemeral make us feel less inhibited and therefore more willing to participate in the conversations that have meaning in the moment. It also has something to do with our own human limitations on size of a meaningful social graph; a real-life social graph, not a computer generated one.

Ephemeral chat apps convey a sense of security, whether it’s right to think that way or not, that we don’t get from platforms that are more about historical preservation. Facebook and Instagram, and even Twitter, feel like they’re supposed to be part of our longterm digital footprint. But, what if we don’t want a bigger digital footprint? What if we don’t want even more information than is already out there going into the searchable servers of Fortune 500 companies? Well, it seems like that’s what we use ephemeral chat apps for.