Naina KhedekarJun 10, 2014 13:17:52 IST
Every day on the Internet a massive 1.8 billion photos are uploaded and shared each day, according to the latest Mary Meeker report which came out last month. With the predicted rise in mobile and data penetration in developing countries, this figure is likely to increase further. This massive amount of images are shared through multi-platform services such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp.
However, it is Snapchat and not Facebook or Insatgram that is the biggest gainer in terms of shares, with over 700 million photos shared through the app. The key highlights of Snapchat are its ability to share images instantly and send ephemeral photos.This pretty much explains why everyone either wants a piece of Snapchat or are busy building Snapchat-like features.
Among these is social media behemoth Facebook, which wants to be 'the' place for sharing - and lets face it. While entirely too much information by way of status updates is fine, it's pictures that are really worth a thousand words and a lot more page views. It has already got one foot in the door with WhatsApp, but Snapchat is still an unfulfilled dream. After a failed attempt at acquiring Snapchat, there has been buzz around the company rumoured to be building a similar service on its own. The app, believed to be called Slingshot and was spotted on the Apple app store, before it was pulled out.
It is said to be Zuckerberg’s “top-secret” project after the social network company was unable to win over Snapchat’s creators. Facebook has confirmed that the roll out was accidental, further confirming that Slingshot is real after all. At a glance, Singshot looks like an exact clone of Snapchat. The major distinguishing factor that sets it apart from Snapchat, TapTalk and others is ‘is that before you can “unlock” a friend’s message, you must send one back to them.’
TapTalk is also one of the latest service which is trying to be the next Snapchat killer. Available on iOS and Android, it has left no stone unturned in trying to emulate the service. It hasn’t just adopted the self-destructing photos feature, but has also cut down on the number of taps you would require to actually share a photo. As a result, it's a tad faster than the Snapchat app, reports The Verge in an article that calls it the fastest photo sharing app in the world.
“Messages disappear once you’ve read them, but that’s not really the point. The point is to make sharing a photo or video as fast as physically possible. And I can’t imagine how anyone could make doing so any faster — without scanning your brain waves, at least," said the news site.
But Taptalk may have to get in line to fulfill its ambitions of being the next big thing in terms of photo sharing at least. Some massive tech titans are also busy developing their versions of Snapchat in order to get a bigger piece of the pie.
Not to be left out, Yahoo bought Blink, another mobile messaging app that lets users send Snapchat-like self-destructing messages. It also lets the user control who sees their messages and for how long. Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has been stepping up the company’s efforts to build mobile services as apps replace the browser as the window to the Internet. It has already acquired several small, mobile start-ups since Mayer took over, including other mobile apps such as Aviate.
With Yahoo’s decision to pull out Blink from app stores, it is quite clear that Mayer is acquiring the talent and resources for building mobile products for Yahoo. Snapchat-like ephemeral photos may still be coming to Yahoo's apps, or perhaps even for the new Flickr app.
And always half a step ahead of the rest, Apple has already set the ball rolling. At WWDC 2014, the company announced new features, which WhatsApp co-founder felt were ‘borrowed’ from the app, but Apple also took inspiration from Snapchat. Its iMessage app now gets the self-destructing photo feature along with a quicker way to send a photo by just pressing and holding the camera icon, and one can also set an expiration time for the photos shared.
Tinder, the popular dating app, known for its 800 million 'swipes' (the app needs users to pick whether they like the match or not with a swipe) per day, has also decided to pull a leaf or two from the Snapchat app. It has introduced a new feature dubbed "Moments", according to TechCrunch, that allows its users to share photos with matches that will disappear in 24 hours. Tinder is an extremely popular dating app that's set the benchmark as far as mobile dating apps are concerned and with Moments, it too is looking at being more than just a 'swiping' apps.
There are several other Snapchat clones like Confide, Snaphack and Wickr, and we are sure these will not be the last in line. With the increased focus on privacy and secure sharing, and the need to know that services are not storing your pictures forever, apps like Snapchat are the future of sharing.
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