3 New Social App Platforms and What They Mean for Marketers

What apps are the cool kids downloading these days and how can your brand get in on the action? Here’s my personal cheat sheet to keep you up to speed with the latest social media trends, for now.

Shot – Think selfies are annoying? Think Justin Bieber is annoying? Well then this may not be the app for you, but your tween daughter is probably already on it. Shot’s functionality is similar to SnapChat but it focuses primarily on selfies, claiming that people engage more with photos of each other than cappuccino art or sunsets. Biebs is an investor and he’s shamelessly promoted the app to his 73MM Facebook fans and 55MM Twitter followers. The upside? The app is making an effort to thwart cyber bullying by disabling photo comments and cracking down on fake profiles. As for brand potential, the limitation of in-app, front-facing-camera-only photos is probably a deal breaker for most marketers.

Whisper – Although it launched in 2012, this app has picked up steam this year due to the launch of a new, nearly identical competitor, Secret. The premise of both apps is to anonymously share secrets, get advice and seek comfort in a community setting. Secret differs only in that the community is made up of anonymous friends or friends of friends, rather than complete strangers. Despite the stiff competition and some harsh accusations from the founder of the original PostSecret app, Whisper is leading the pack on the iTunes charts. Brands may have a hard time showing transparency in this type of setting but could find value in the revealing consumer insights.

Medium – From the co-founder of Twitter comes a writing platform for intellectuals who want to share stories and express ideas without a 140-character limitation. Medium hails its intuitive design and simplicity as a draw for users to join the collaborative blogging community. Rather than amassing followers, the platform strives to surface the highest quality content, despite celeb-status or post frequency. BMW is the first to advertise on the platform by sponsoring a collection of posts about design and pushing articles about the automaker on its brand profile.

Through authenticity, anonymity and simplicity, these apps all show that people are looking for new ways to communicate and express themselves. The days of pre-scheduled campaign posts are dwindling and social media marketers are being pushed to create platform-specific campaigns in an ever-changing marketplace.

For some more inspiration, check out 5 creative ways brands are using SnapChat and learn how Ikea built a website within Instagram.

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