Up until now, Twitter has been the undisputed king of discussion on live events. Whether it’s a presidential debate or the protests in Ferguson, no other platform has brought us the kind of on-the-ground reporting that Twitter has.
Until now. In this video I explain how Snapchat’s new maps tool has become a powerful curator of live events ranging from hurricanes to mass shootings.
Recent earnings calls have revealed that Snapchat’s user growth is slowing, and many analysts have attributed this to Instagram copying many of its features. But Instagram isn’t the only threat to Snapchat. In this video, I explain why Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, both owned by Facebook, are bigger threats.
Recently, Instagram announced that Instagram Stories, its tool it cloned from Snapchat, has over 200 million daily active users, which is more DAUs than Snapchat has for its entire app (roughly 166 million). Meanwhile, in its most recent quarterly filing, Snapchat announced its user growth has slowed; it only added 8 million users at a 5 percent growth rate. Why is Snapchat stalling out, and why is Instagram running away with all its best features?
To answer these questions, I interviewed David Lee, CEO of video marketing creation tool Shakr. He talked about Snapchat’s UI problems and how its future lies in the growth of its augmented reality technology.
Mashable has a fascinating oral history of the rise and fall of AOL Instant Messenger, a product that was innovative, near-ubiquitous (everyone I knew in high school and college had an account), and, because it was free, completely neglected by AOL’s senior management. With messengers like WhatsApp being acquired for $16 billion and Snapchat turning down a $3 billion acquisition offer, it’s amazing to think of what AOL threw away by marginalizing and ignoring such a popular product.
Early success did little to convince AOL management that a free product was of any good to the company. Bosco, who was eventually promoted to a management position and still worked on AIM, had to fight to keep it afloat.
“My biggest job as a manager was to keep AIM alive internally, because every single executive vice president wanted to shut it down and kill it. They could not understand the concept of giving away for free something that was of real value to the paying subscriber base,” [Former AOL engineer Eric Bosco] said.