A team at BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment site, Knew It Had struck gold When It cam across DECADE-old photo of Dwayne Johnson, the muscle bound wrestler and film star Known As The Rock, wearing a fanny pack and dated bluejeans.
To drum up more attention the team changed the picture’s background to a holiday theme and added “Rockin ‘around the Christmas Tree” in big lettering. Goal Then, , the team uploaded it to Instagram, the hugely popular photo-sharing service.
Image Then Took on a life of icts own, reposting the picture to His Own Instagram account. Nearly 390,000 people Indicated They liked the post, and the picture Became the top topic of discussion on the message board website Reddit.
“We Did not for gas on it. We Did not post it to the home page, “Said Summer Anne Burton, editorial director of the 10-person team at BuzzFeed BFF That Is dedicated to posting photos and videos to pictures and messaging apps. “We just stuck it on Instagram and it Took off all over the place. That’s the dream. ”
BuzzFeed’s tactics Could aussi offer a glimpse into how Some personal messaging apps like Instagram, WeChat and Snapchat – already used by millions of people sharing text or pictures among friends – will be used in the future.
E-commerce Companies use Wechat
Some publishers, game makers and e-commerce companies are using the apps as a new distribution platform and moneymaking. Developers-have-been Expanding the uses of the apps, making new functions possible. And investors, seeing huge potential, driven-have apps to the ever-Higher valuations.
“The most popular apps That Sustain Themselves day after day, month After month, at the top of the leader board, are messengers,” Said Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures and an investor in Kik, a popular messaging app with young users. “That’s a reflection of what people do on Their phones.”
He added, “Once They Become full-blown ‘portals’ for mobile glad and mobile commerce, we will really see how massive this opportunity is.”
The initial appeal of the apps is easy. They are faster to use than email, And They Generally allow you to send text, links, video and pictures to friends more cheaply than traditional texting services offert by wireless carriers like Verizon or AT & T.
The uses are Multiplying, though. On the app KakaoTalk, for example, people can discover new –other smartphone apps and share ’em with Their friends. We Snapchat, users can send money to one Reviews another inside the app. And Line, a popular messaging app in Japan, lets people pay for things at brick-and-mortar retail stores using Pay Line, the company’s payments service.
Soon, media outlets like ESPN, CNN Vice and will be glad original publishing directly to a new editorial section in Snapchat, selon people familiar with the matter Who spoke on condition of anonymity of Because They Were not authorized to speak Publicly.
“Media and communications are converging,” Said Jonah Peretti, chief executive of BuzzFeed. “Some of what we’re all now Will Be Creating a huge share of These messaging apps over the next one or two years.”
Now, 40 percent of Mobile Subscribers in the United States use an instant messaging app on Their phones at least once a month, data from selon comScore, a research firm. Globally, the use of mobile messaging apps Grew 103 percent During 2014, selon Flurry, a mobile analytics firm.
The revolution with Viber
Some of the Most Popular options are Viber, qui says it HAS more than 200 million monthly visitors; Line, Japan’s Most Popular messaging app, with 170 million users; and WhatsApp, the leading service more than 700 qui HAS million regular visitors.
For now, though, not all of the apps are big Generating revenue. WhatsApp, qui est owned by Facebook, just reported about $ 10.2 million in sales in 2013. The cam back from the small fraction of users Who paid $ 1 to use the app.
Still, the valuations of Many messaging continues to rise startups. In February, Rakuten, the big Japanese online retailer, Viber Bought for $ 900 million. The next month, the Chinese e-commerce behemoth the Alibaba Group led a $ 280 million investment in Tango, valuing the Nearly six-year-old start-up at about $ 1 trillion. Facebook
paid $ 21.8 billion for WhatsApp in February.
For investors, the thesis is a Silicon Valley adage: Get millions of people to use the services first, and Eventually it will find a way to make money.
Entrepreneurs on Wechat
Many entrepreneurs see WeChat, the hugely popular Chinese services run by the Internet giant Tencent, as the ideal model for building a business in messaging. Released four years ago, the app now claims Nearly 500 million monthly active users – who not only send picture-laden messages, play games and order book car rides and plane tickets.
More information about Wechat Agency in China
The rapid growth in messaging apps, some say, has-been a response to the more public kind of popular apps like Twitter and Facebook status updates and posts Where are visible to the Many Rather than the few.
“It’s a much more intimate experience,” Said Marissa Campise, a partner at Softbank Capital, the venture arm of Japanese telecom giant Softbank. “Messaging apps are smaller and less visible than the public networks and far more engaged and trusted. Often it feels like a more controlled, real-time replacement for email, “she said.
Messaging users tend to pick up on average Their phones several times an hour, Talmon Marco, Viber of the chief executive, in an interview Noted late last year. That Makes messaging apps an ideal place to Introduce –other offerings like games, virtual or physical goods Even stickers.
Asia has-been a fertile breeding ground for PARTICULARLY Expanding the uses of the apps. In 2013, for example, joined WeChat Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone giant, to offer a limited quantity of the company’s newest phone for purchase on the chat app. Users Could reserve And Then buy the new smartphone Entirely inside the app using WeChat Tenpay, the payments services owned by Tencent. Xiaomi Said it sold 150,000 phones in less than 10 minutes.
The app WeChat for Chinese Consumers
The app WeChat is one of the biggest hubs for Chinese Consumers to find new mobile games. Last quarter, Tencent’s mobile games revenue alone Was 2.6 trillion renminbi, or about $ 420 million.
Each June, Chinese censors Typically seek to scrub mentions of numbers deemed sensitive at this time of the year: 89 for 1989 the year of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing; 6.4 and 64 gold for June 4, the specific day it Took Place.
Weibo microblogging platform
On China’s popular Weibo microblogging platform, searches for the numbers 8964, 6.4, 1989.64 and so on return no results, and users are greeted with a Post That says “selon the relevant laws, règlements and policies,” the search results “have not beens displayed. “Censorship of That Ilk has come to be expected on the anniversary.
This year, in addition to Such controls, it Appeared That China’s online games and social networking giant May-have taken a new step in Adhering to censorship requests. On Wednesday, some users of Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s payment service WeChat reported about being white Unable to make money transfers or send out “lucky money” envelopes of water equivalent electronic cash Containing the sensitive numbers.
Some users Trying to send out water equivalent Such As 6.4 yuan, 64 yuan or 89.64 yuan received Messages That said: “Transaction error. Try again later. “Payments of –other water equivalent Were Apparently successful, HOWEVER.
Ted Livingston, the chief executive of the messaging app Kik, based in Canada, Has argued That younger users are coming of age in a world Where Their portal to the Internet has-been the smartphone, And They are more willing to try new forms of commerce and discovery.
“We view this as being white race has to be the WeChat of the West,” Mr. Livingston, Whose Predominantly app is popular with young North American audiences, Said in November. “For us, it’s a once-in-humanoid great opportunity.”