Most social media services/apps start out by targeting niche audiences or are created with a single purpose in mind. Over time, said sites look to expand—adding more complex and varied features with the hopes of staying relevant and becoming profitable.The lead sentence from a recent article in ‘The Verge’ echoed this sentiment, “It’s a truism that all software expands until it includes messaging, and Yik Yak is no exception,” Casey Newton wrote.
As I pointed out during my presentation in this week’s discussion, Yik Yak is one the latest apps hoping to become more social—adding a messaging feature to the service. The addition of the messaging feature on the pseudo-anonymous, location-based microblogging site comes amid slowed growth and a time when executives are leaving the company.
When it comes to Brian Solis’ definition of social media, it almost seems like it could be transformed into a pyramid with messaging being at the very top as the most valuable addition. Several social media companies are throwing lots of money at adding or improving messaging features in a battle to keep young audiences and add to their overall “stickiness”. Along with Yik Yak adding a messaging component Monday of this week, within the last month Snapchat added voice and video calling features to its messaging service. Late last year, Facebook’s Instagram added improved messaging features. It’s becoming more apparent that as companies look to keep audiences around adding a messaging feature is the most valuable way to become more social.