By Chris Lee
In late 2013, both Twitter and Instagram both launched private photo messaging services, in a move seen as an attempt to compete directly with popular rival Snapchat. In November 2013, Snapchat – who recently rejected a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook – reported that more photos are shared daily over its network (400 million) than Facebook’s (350 million) and, as NMK recently reported, is becoming a new battleground for marketers.
The popularity of the ‘selfie’ – short for self-portrait – also grew in 2013 in the social messaging sphere, largely driven by celebrities.
It is into this emerging market that a new photo and video messaging service launched in December 2013, which claims to offer a new slant on the social messaging boom.
New slants on social messaging
The TimeAppsule app allows users to send each other photos, video, audio, location and text, in a time-locked message. The sender chooses how long the message they are sending is locked before it can be opened, adding a different slant on the messaging space.
NMK met up with Louise Orpin, co-founder of TimeAppsule, to learn why it is getting into this space.
Orpin expressed surprise that two leading social networks like Twitter and Instagram were getting on the photo sharing game so late. She also believes that 2013 was the year of the selfie and jumping on the trend earlier should have been a “no-brainer” for these social giants.
“Single-purpose apps have become more popular than simple SMS for sending messages and the more creative the content, the better,” she told NMK. “WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tango and many more are now the first choice for sending messages.”
Data-focused mobile plans will aid message sharing
Orpin believes mobile network operators have been forced to start evolving into means of messaging or changing their plans to be more data focused. App developers on the other hand are benefiting from this shift in message sharing, as this social messaging boom gives way for new apps to surface, such as Popcorn Messaging and TimeAppsule to introduce new and innovative ways of messaging friends and loved ones.
“The rising underdogs like Snapchat are seen as a threat by social giants, as made evident by Facebook’s huge offer of $3bn to snap it up, so to say,” Orpin argued. “The potential future for Snapchat and other social messaging platforms is huge – as people increasingly crave for new and innovative ways to send personalised messages. As we already have self-destructive message sharing, sharing photos and voice messages all-in one – what the social messaging space is missing is to have more control over your messages, which is what we try to introduce with TimeAppsule. The power is in the sender’s hands as you can set a time-lock for a specific date and time and the recipient must wait for the clock to count to zero.”
TimeAppsule is available to download from iTunes.