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Home arrow Communication arrow Value Creation and the Internet of Things: How the Behavior Economy will Shape the 4th Industrial Revolution
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A Platform for Now: Snapchat

Snapchat is 'the fastest way to share a moment with friends.' You control how long your friends can view your message—simply set the timer up to ten seconds and send your photograph. Your friends will have ten seconds to view your image and then your message disappears forever. Snapchat is not a new behavior—it is what we were doing already, sharing our photographs with our friends on any number of social platforms. The difference now is that the author of the picture has to let go of the image at the same time as his audience does. So this is not about photography or about memorialization, as the 'memory' is erased in seconds, but about building a community of experiences with synchronic collective moments, on a scale as small or as large as one's network of friends. This again, is intensity value. There is no past and no future in the Snapchat collective. There is only the now, this moment in which we all share the same image. Snapchat maintains the ephemeral quality of each moment while adding unprecedented scale.

In celebrating the moment with friends, something larger happens to us: our sense of plurality deepens, and our connection to the other deepens as well. This has nothing to do with an image that disappears in ten seconds, but with allowing us a new dependency to participate with others in our own life.

What can we learn from this? Snapchat is a temporary front allowing people to share themselves one moment at a time, the way they want to be seen, as a measure of how they see the world in this very moment.

 
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