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Mobile messaging apps becoming a trend, says FB exec

/ 04:47 PM December 05, 2013

David Ebersman. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Social media users are now shifting to mobile messaging applications, fleeing from “old school social networking sites,” a Facebook official said.

“We did see a decrease in daily users specifically among teenagers,” said David Ebersman, chief financial officer of the popular social networking site, admitting that it has a great impact on its earnings for the last three- month financial calendar.

Ebersman said the exodus may have been brought about by moms, dads, uncles and aunts invading Facebook walls of teenagers and generally bursting their personal digital bubbles.

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Various private communication services are now starting to take over as social media users, particularly teenagers who are clearly growing tired of their conversations being publicly displayed.

Pioneering this trend are fun mobile messaging services like KakaoTalk and WeChat that are giving birth to a new global trend of messaging.

Similar messaging applications like Viber and Whatsapp is also witnessing phenomenal growth.

“The market’s adoption of messaging apps like KakaoTalk, Whatsapp, Viber is being driven by the combination of ease of use, convenience, privacy, and unique messaging options such as gaming and emoticons/stickers – overall heightening one’s mobile communications experience,” said Don Anderson, Senior Vice President and Director of Regional Strategic Digital Integration for Asia Pacific of Fleishman Hillard, a leading global communications agency of the Omnicom Group.

Anderson added that it was also hard to overlook the cost effectiveness that these apps provide for maintaining real-time conversations over traditional, SMS-based interactions.

While Facebook may be approaching the crossroads of relevancy, particularly among teenagers, it is far from being the next Friendster or Myspace.

Facebook, according to Anderson, still has its place in social media as a one-to-many platform, but its future dominance will continue to be questioned as more disruptive, mobile-enabled one-to-one communications technologies enter the picture, and the experiences provided by those technologies are diversified.

Anderson identified Xiaomi, a Chinese handset manufacturer, as already beginning to experiment with messaging apps as platforms for direct sales, and consumers should expect more brands to follow.

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“Messaging apps will reach certain ubiquity, and put further pressure on existing ‘old school’ social networks,” Anderson said.

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TAGS: Facebook, infotech, IT, KakaoTalk, Mobile, Mobile messaging apps, Social Media, technology, WeChat
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