In addition to cost-cutting, the rise of messaging apps indicates several key trends:

  1. An appetite for one-to-one or small group communication: Social networks act primarily as broadcast tools built around news feeds filled with friends, family, and acquaintances. In contrast, messengers allow people to talk privately with the people they most care about.

  2. A turn toward privacy: A recent Frank N. Magid Associates survey of U.S. teens found that only 9 percent describe Facebook as “safe” or “trustworthy.”33 Many CEOs of major messaging apps take a similar stance, eschewing the collection of personal information and building platforms free of hyper-targeted advertising. Chat apps may also feel “trustworthy” to young users by offering a reprieve from the watchful eye of parents and employers that have infiltrated traditional social networks.

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