Today, there are many new social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc.. however, the social apps such as Fling, Cuddlr, Whisper & 20 Day Stranger have form what many of us dare already qualify as a new stage in the history of the social web. In the last decade, the social web encouraged us to share our lives with friends, family photos hanging on Facebook or selfies in their Instagram accounts. But, in reality, we have marked a new trend, completely opposite. More and more applications want us to connect with strangers instead of acquaintances. Why?
There are millions of studies on social networks and all agree on one thing: that we spend more time online. The problem is that we think we do it because we enjoy when it is not entirely true. In France for example, a study by the National Federation of Telecommunications, evidence that the Gauls adolescents are suffering from social networking fatigue. They have had a lot and now are no longer interested, which is not surprising, right?
And the friends who share your content is predictable: party photos with people you know, you’ve already read articles, YouTube videos you’ve seen… Admittedly, it is almost always the same. In this context, share things with people you do not know and can live on the other side of the planet can be more fun. Of course, this gives us something extraordinary that looked like they’d lost as is curiosity.
Invaded by nostalgia
I must confess that I’ve tried Fling and experience has brought back memories of the past: feelings and images of the origins of the Internet. A new feeling, soon identified as nostalgia. And, to share a very personal picture with complete strangers, questions would you do in real life arise. What is your name? How old are you? Where do you live? The recurring questions that we formulated ten years ago, in pre-history of the Internet, instant messaging, forums or chat rooms.
Algorithms are the problem. Are so powerful that we can not escape them. With data mining strategies and personalizing Google and Facebook, just living in a “filter bubble” in which everything is known to us and we like. Accordingly, we do not expose us to meet new people with different cultures, opinions and lifestyles. Awareness of this isolation lead us to try printing again a random character to our social relations. And that is precisely the reason why we like these new applications.
What Does It Mean for Brands?
The brands talk a lot about friendship these days. Coca-Cola even developed around a brand platform and new marketing around the idea: Share this with friends (#shareacoke). The tendency to emphasize friendship in marketing campaigns has become more popular among companies in different markets. But, is it really new? Remember the video with 90 million views in which “20 Strangers Kiss For The First Time”. The unknown seems ultimately attracts people and apparently succeeds. The video was actually an advertisement for the fashion brand Wren.
Due to such demanding social apps, we’ll have to see if other companies follow the trail.