A couple of weeks ago, Snapchat announced that they would soon be offering a service that will facilitate user-to-user payments. While an interesting integration, the news got me to thinking… What place does an ephemeral messaging app have in the financial services space? And at the end of the day, will any social media platform stand apart from all the others???
When they first launched, Facebook and Twitter were extremely different.
Twitter messaging was strictly limited to 140 characters, there were no images and certainly no videos and everything was organized chronologically.
Facebook was more verbose, there were visuals and things were organized by algorithm so that they seemed random even if they weren’t.
Now, Twitter has introduced Twitter Cards that allow users to embed visuals.
And they have reorganized their feed so that tweets are served up according to relevance, both causing the platform to more closely resemble Facebook.
On the other hand, Facebook now serves up auto-play videos in your feed, resulting in a more YouTube-like experience.
Even business-focused LinkedIn is getting into the newsfeed race featuring tons of content to keep users on their site longer.
And who doesn’t see the commonality of the infinite scroll of imagery in both Pinterest and Tumblr???
As Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all add “Buy” buttons to incentivize purchase, what will truly set them apart?
And where will the true payment platforms like Square and PayPal end up?
So many questions…
But seriously, I have spoken in the past about the different platforms serving different purposes.
Twitter is ideal for getting your news and Facebook for catching up with friends.
But what happens when Twitter isn’t organized by most recent tweets first any longer?
Then, you might get your news updates a few hours (or even days) later.
And if Facebook is going to present us with ads to support their payment platform, it will be challenging to weed through and find your friends’ updates.
I think it is going to be extremely interesting in the next few years to watch the various platforms attempt to differentiate themselves as they offer an increasing number of similar features.
As always, let us know what you think in the Comments below…