The youth are leaving Facebook. Four new social networks you should look at.
Social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter have become integral parts of our lives. These social networking services do far more than communication tools. You might notice that TikTok has become a social e-commerce platform for Generation Z. Social media business needs young users who engage more with the service. That’s why every social media platform evolves to avoid a decline in popularity among young people. However, not all of the social media giants can stay in an industry-leading position. New social networking players are changing the market.
Facebook Wins and Fails
There’s little surprise that Facebook has the most active users worldwide. According to the Digital 2022 Global Overview Report published in partnership with We Are Social and Hootsuite, Facebook has an overwhelming user base, mounting up to 2.91 billion active users.
The world’s most-used social platforms from the Digital 2022 Global Overview Report
Social networking services have grown even faster than Internet users over the past decade, with 4.62 billion users today, tripling the number of users from 2012 (1.48 billion) and a CAGR of 12% over the past decade.
Social media users over time from Digital 2022 Global Overview Report
Big success comes with challenges. One of the issues surrounding social networking services is data privacy, which many people discussed during the 2016 presidential election and later featured in a Netflix documentary. These issues that affect and threaten Human Rights are being actively discussed, especially in the US and Europe.
Additionally, Facebook, the social platform with the world’s largest user base, has recently been reported to have an aging user base and a decline in the number of daily users.
Newborn Social Media
The global Internet user base is growing rapidly, so does the number of social network users. The interesting part is that not all of them are on Facebook. We see the younger generation is using different platforms, such as TikTok, the most popular short video app, and other new platforms. Let’s see what are those traction-gained new social networking services in the past year.
Dispo is a photo social networking service that started gaining attention around February 2021, when clubhouse became a hot topic in Japan and was one of the first to enter the Japanese market.
The main feature of Dispo is that you can’t view your photos until 9:00 a.m. the next day after you take them, just like how people use film cameras. It allows users to enjoy the moment instead of spending time struggling to take a good picture, which is the cause of Instagram fatigue.
The founder was David Dobrik, a popular creator who makes creative videos, with 18.3 million subscribers on Youtube (as of February 14, 2022). He had to quit the board as a scandal was released a week after the official launch in March.
Since then, Dispo’s boom has slowed down, but with the app reaching the number one spot in the Spanish AppStore’s free app rankings during the New Year holiday season, it may be poised for growth in the future.
A tweet from Dispo CEO Daniel Liss that shows Dispo ranked first place in Spanish AppStore.
The home page of Poparazzi
Poparazzi, as its name suggests, is a social networking service that allows users to upload photos of their friends rather than their own photos. It became the number one app in the US AppStore in late May, thanks to a huge buzz created by its marketing tactics on TikTok and others.
Poparazzi Now Apple App Store’s Number 1 Application
Only a few days later, it is reported to have raised about $20 million in Series A funding led by Benchmark, the VC has also invested in Snap and Twitter at a valuation of $135 million.
Late last year, Lapse raised $12.4 million in a seed round with Octopus Ventures and GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) as lead investors.
Lapse, like Dispo, allows users to view images 24 hours after the photo is taken, but the camera roll is only shared with close friends. 10,000 beta users launched in September 2009, and another 150,000 have since signed up for the waiting list.
Screenshot of Lapse interface, from our investor Isamu Nishijima
Our investor Isamu Nishijima has downloaded it once, but at that time, the app did not allow the user to use it before the user gets three friends to download the app and sign up on it. It seems like many people on the waiting lists are not their fans. Those people are just invited by people who want to use the app.
Last but not least, I’d like to introduce Locket Widget. It’s an app that allows you to display photos sent by your friends on a widget on your iPhone, or send photos to them.
Developed in the summer of 2021 by Matt Moss as a birthday gift to his girlfriend, it turned into the number one app with over 2 million users at the beginning of 2022. Moss posted a video on Tiktok of some of the images he and his girlfriend shared to the song “I Love You So” by The Walters, gaining popularity and around a million views.
Will the next social media giant come from the metaverse?
As a reaction to the relatively mainstream and public nature of Facebook and Instagram, it seems that more and more people prefer private social networking platforms. With the rise of the metaverse and crypto, visual avatars from apps, wallets, and NFTs might replace modern social media platforms in the future. We’re excited to see a new world of social networking come.
*This interview was translated from Japanese and edited for clarity.
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