Welcome to This Week in Social. This week we discuss Facebook’s new secret conversations, Snap Inc.’s IPO, and wish Instagram a happy birthday!
Facebook has launched a new function inside of Messenger that adds a bit more privacy. The new “secret conversation mode” makes it so that only the two people involved in a conversation can see the message. Additionally, secret conversation messages can only be viewed on the device that initially viewed/sent the message. So if you open a secret message on your phone, you’re unable to open the message on your desktop later on. The sender can also make messages disappear after a certain amount of time, similar to Snapchat. Secret conversation mode is a result of the end-to-end encryption research that Facebook launched back in July. Messages sent in secret conversation mode won’t even be visible by law enforcement, creating some concern that the service may be used for nefarious reasons.
Snap Inc. is reportedly working on an IPO valuing the company at up to $25 billion. A predicted value of $25 billion would put Snap Inc.’s IPO one billion dollars ahead of Twitter’s $24 billion 2014 IPO. Snap Inc.’s signature service, Snapchat, is one of the most popular social media platforms, now with even more users than Twitter. This is the latest major Snap announcement, who, as we previously reported, recently rebranded as Snap Inc. and launched its first hardware product, Spectacles. Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel has been pretty open about the need for an IPO, recently stated in a blog post that “Changing our name also has another benefit: when you search for our products it will be easier to find relevant product information rather than boring company information or financial analysis. You can search Snapchat or Spectacles for the fun stuff and leave Snap Inc. for the Wall Street crowd :)”. If things move forward accordingly, the IPO could take place as early as March 2017.
It’s been an interesting run for Instagram so far. Instagram, which celebrated its 6th birthday on Thursday, has grown from a photo-sharing app popular with hipsters to a platform used by politicians, entertainers, and everyone in between. Initially touted for its vintage filters, Instagram now offers so much more, as it has grown to include direct messaging, videos, stories, and even has advertising. Just this week Instagram announced that its story feature now has 100 million daily viewers after launching just two months ago. Happy birthday, Instagram! We are excited to see what your future holds.