Facebook often seems to be playing catch-up. They released Poke, a video-communication app similar to Snapchat just days ago, and they payed nearly a billion dollars for popular Photo-Sharing app instagram. What do these apps have in common besides the use of the camera? A large portion of their original users were teenage girls. Their biggest partner, Zynga wasted hundreds of millions to buy DrawSomething- another application first populated by teenagers, and now they’re about to go out of business. Any teen player of that game, regardless of gender could have told them that Drawsomething was going to get very old, very fast.
From my observation and survey, teenage girls know when an app is going to be big, and when an app is going to die off. I first learned about Snapchat from a teenage female friend of mine in April of this year (I wrote about it here). It seemed so obvious that this would soon be very popular that you’d think Facebook would have taken notice earlier. Reports show though, Facebookers only learned of the app a few weeks ago, and spent every available man hour rushing to build and launch Poke after their attempt to buy the social photo app was refused.
If you want to capitalize on a trend, start from the source. Teenage girls are (sadly) at the center of society. The music and movie industry capitalizes on the predictable buying power of teenage girls through such trends as Jbiebs (makes my ears bleed), One Direction (makes Justin Bieber look like Billy Joel), and Twilight. Teenage girls drag their friends, male friends, and family into whatever they’re doing, so when an app is popular with them, it will soon be popular with everyone.
So, I may be crazy, but I think that if Facebook wants to be at the top of the social app world, they’ve got to get more girls than Mark Zuckerberg did in High School (not hard- but Just Kidding). Anyway, that’s The App Store Chronicle for today. And speaking of sharing, help me out and share this on Facebook, Twitter, G+, whatever makes you happy.