For a little while now, I’ve been saying the future of social engagement is the messaging app. That’s where the real sharing is taking place now as more and more people grow wary about sharing content publicly.
It seems the New York Times agrees.
They are now sending users content through the messaging app WhatsApp.
For example, the Times’ Vatican reporter is sending live updates about Pope Francis to people who want to follow this news.
WhatsApp has more than 800 million monthly active users and is infinitely more popular with the twenty-something crowd than Facebook or Twitter and ranks on par with Instagram as that demo’s preferred communication tool.
HOW THIS IMPACTS CONTENT MARKETING
I believe as marketers, we must explore ways to integrate our clients’ content into existing messaging apps and/or develop apps around specific topics in order the drive the kind of sharing, commentary and calls to action that social used to deliver.
That’s not to say that social platforms don’t still play a vital role. They do. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram are so immersed into our daily lives and online and mobile behaviors, they aren’t going anywhere. And, as these sites are more immersed with SEO, they will continue to play a vital role in filling search engines with branded content.
But, as more and more people turn to private forms of content sharing like messaging apps, brands that don’t embrace this trend will soon be left talking to an increasingly smaller audience and will wonder why their content isn’t being share anymore.
Whether you explore ad integration, content integration and partnership or developing your own topic-specific app, if you aren’t on the messaging app train, you’ll soon be left alone at the station wondering where everyone went.