Could One of These 4 Apps Be the Next Big Thing?

These four apps are earning early buzz (& they’re not copying Snapchat)…

It’s no secret that as platforms try their best to capture Millennials and Gen Z, the battle of the apps has turned into a bit of a copycat fest. In November 2016, messaging app WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) began testing a new Status feature that allowed users to share pictures and videos within a separate channel, instead of just inputting a message. Just like Snapchat, users could add drawings, emojis, and captions to their images and videos, share with all contacts or only a few, and the content also disappeared after 24 hours. (While they’ve tweaked the tools since, much of that functionality has remained.) In February, we reported that Instagram had launched Instagram Stories, an ephemeral feature that closely resembles Snapchat Stories. In the beginning of March, Facebook Messenger launched Messenger Day, a feature that allows users to post images and videos with “Who’s up for?” filters that last for 24 hours. That’s right—more ephemeral messaging just like their ghostly competitor. Just weeks later, Facebook’s main app officially launched their own story feature. Facebook Stories, (also known as a “Snapchat clone”) resembles Instagram Stories and can now be found “front and center” at the top of the platform’s app along with Facebook Camera and Facebook Direct, where messages can be exchanged using the in-app camera. Just like Snapchat Lenses, “masks” and other animated effects can be added to images.  

In other words, the biggest messaging and social apps are all starting to look a lot alike—so what’s next? We know young consumers are always on the hunt for something new: our 2016 mobile behavior survey and report found that 68% of 13-17-year-olds and 49% of 18-33-year-olds are always looking for new…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I think we’re already seeing alcohol lose its health halo. Next, the assumption that alcohol is essential to a good, sophisticated life will fade.”—Joy Manning, Deputy Editor, Edible Communities (Medium)

“The doofus dad” TV stereotype is being remade for role-resisting Millennial parents. Inept at care-taking and almost everything else, the tired stereotype is saying its last “D’Oh!” as The Simpson’s Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig’s Daddy Pig get replaced with a new wave of capable fathers like Bluey’s Bandit. The switch could have a real impact on the way kids understand family life, with one research fellow explaining, “The media reflects reality and also constructs reality.” (SMH)

Apple's new subscription gaming service Arcade will cannibalize its own App Store downloads—and that’s a good thing. Downloads in the App Store are on the decline, despite mobile gaming maintaining popularity and raking in revenue. If Apple can turn Arcade into young gamers’ go-to for mobile play, they’ll be poised for success that could outstrip even Apple TV and Apple Music. (The Motley Fool)

Gen Z music artists are “post-genre.” Mixing several influences into one song has become a way for rising artists to set themselves apart, and thanks to self-upload services like SoundCloud, they don’t need music industry exec’s approval. Meanwhile, the Genreless Generation can curate blended playlists via Spotify to fit moods and occasions rather than “rock” or “pop” and are streaming has also globalized their content consumption, so U.S. genres are no longer a limit. (Vice)

Carl’s Jr. has a CBD-infused burger that costs exactly $4.20. The chain restaurant is giving fast food a Cannabis Infusion, but only at one Denver, Colorado location, and only for one day. The Rocky Mountain High Cheese Burger Delight packs 5 mg of the chemical that won’t get you high. CBD is the trendy ingredient du jour, with 57% of 18-36-year-olds telling us they’re interested in trying it, and the chemical has made its way into everything from lotion to La Croix-like beverages. (LAT)

Axe is challenging masculinity with “bathsculinity.” The brand has been blurring gender lines for the Genreless Generation for years now, and their latest series of YouTube spots is showing that men can take baths, too. They’ve enlisted comedian Lil Rel Howery, who takes bubble baths surrounded by candles in the humorous videos. And they couldn’t be more on-trend: bath time is seeing a surge as a salve for Millennial anxiety. (Marketing Dive)

Quote of the Day: “I think for a cohesive strategy and for really helping to build awareness as well as grow the market size for new things, there's definitely digital and social media. But also, there has to be this in-real-life element.”—Alicia Yoon, Founder, Peach & Lily (YPulse)

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