You know those apps that seem to be the most popular app ever and then they just disappear? We Young Millennials call them “Pop-up Apps”. Pop up Apps are swarming through high schools. The high school careers of the youngest Millennials are coming to the end and you can expect that many of these social apps will be following them out. Some recent popular pop-up apps include Yik Yak, After School, Ask FM, Vine and Foursquare. Most of these apps are no longer very popular with us, although don’t be surprised if you still hear their names circulating among your colleagues.
So, should marketers be paying attention to these pop up apps? Yes and no. It is important to track potential social platforms, if your company has a large young Millennial customer base. You need to stay on top of these trends, which includes knowing that some will make it big while others will wither away.
Let’s look at a few apps that came and went:
Yik Yak was popular among college students. It allows anonymous posts based on the location the user is in. So, why all of a sudden have students lost all interest in the app? Business Insider surveyed college students. Here’s how one of them talked about its quick rise and fall among them: “I remember going on it a lot freshman year… [Now it’s] ”three-quarters dead.” I believe the reason for its untimely demise was that it was only attractive to college students, and that it offered no way for them to make it their own. Millennials like to show off on social media, but Yik Yak didn’t allow them to do that. The app quickly morphed into an anonymous cyber bullying platform causing schools to ban it. Some students even boycotted the app in efforts to end cyber bullying. In fact, some students entering college today don’t even know what Yik Yak is. “This app was just a trend,” says William Duggan, a student from Marist College, and he is exactly right.
2016 marks the end of the extremely popular social media platform called Vine, which had all the earmarks of long-term success, given how widely it caught on with Millennials. Way back in 2013, Vine was created in a partnership with Twitter. The app allowed people to make six-second looping videos and to export them to not only personal Vine feeds, but to other social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. Vine even created celebrities such as Shawn Mendes and Ruth B, but those celebrities may have actually contributed to its downfall, as they also used other social platforms, taking away the interest from Vine itself. In October 2016, Twitter announced it would be closing down the app, despite a user base of 200 million monthly users. The app simply couldn’t generate the revenue Twitter needed it to bring in and couldn’t compete with the rise of Snapchat, another short-video app. Snapchat is expected to generate ad revenue of nearly $1 billion next year.
The lesson for marketers here is to listen and adapt – quickly. Listen to what is out there and see where you can benefit from it. Be creative and look for ways to use the unique attributes of an app. Or find ways to tap into social media influencers whose rise to prominence may be a vehicle for your company’s message.
These Pop-up Apps are important to grab the attention of Young Millennials while they last.
Ryan Tarko is a member of the Millennial Principle team. His beat is the youngest Millennials.