In the fast-paced world of technology, big-name tech companies often strive to dominate every market segment.
However, their attempts to create one app that encompasses various functionalities sometimes fall short.
We will explore three areas where major tech corporations have struggled, while smaller companies have managed to thrive.
These areas include live-streamed shopping, visual messaging, and peer-to-peer payments.
By analyzing the successes and failures in these domains, we can gain valuable insights into the dynamics of the Creator Economy and the preferences of users.
Livestreamed Shopping: Big Tech’s Missed Opportunity
Despite the backing of major social platforms such as Instagram, Meta (formerly Facebook), and TikTok, live-streamed shopping has not gained significant traction.
In fact, these big tech players have decided to sunset their live shopping investments. However, this does not indicate a lack of demand for live-streamed shopping in the United States.
Rather, it suggests that users prefer alternative platforms that focus exclusively on this niche.
Visual Messaging: A Lesson from Snapchat’s Triumph
While Facebook’s attempt at visual messaging with the launch of Facebook Poke in 2012 ended in failure, Snapchat (now part of Snap Inc.) emerged as a frontrunner in the field.
Despite initially having only a few million users, Snapchat steadily grew its user base to over 360 million daily active users (DAUs) today.
This success story highlights the continuous demand for visual and ephemeral messaging.
It shows that users are drawn to platforms that specialize in providing unique and engaging visual experiences, even when major tech companies fail to capture the market.
Peer-to-Peer Payments: The Victory of Venmo and Cash App
When it comes to peer-to-peer payments, Amazon’s WebPay, which closed in 2014, serves as an example of a big tech failure.
However, Venmo and Cash App have emerged as dominant players in the space. With over 100 million users between them, these payment apps have become go-to platforms for creators to receive fan tips and donations.
Their success lies in offering a seamless and user-friendly experience tailored specifically to peer-to-peer transactions, unlike the cumbersome attempts of larger corporations.
The Power of Diversified Platforms:
The failure of big tech to dominate these niche markets reflects a fundamental aspect of user behavior. Users often prefer specialized apps that cater to specific use cases rather than one app that tries to do it all.
In the American market, users desire separate platforms for photos, ephemeral messaging, dating, socializing with high school friends, shopping, and other activities.
This contrasts with the trend in Asian markets, where superapps like WeChat and Kakao Corp aim to offer a wide array of services in one place.
This divergence suggests that American users appreciate the freedom to choose and prefer a diverse ecosystem of platforms and tools.
Opportunities for American Creator Economy Founders:
The fragmentation of the American market presents both challenges and opportunities for creators and entrepreneurs.
Despite the common question of “What if Meta does this” from venture capitalists, numerous examples exist of upstart companies successfully owning categories that big tech giants have failed to conquer.
American creators have the advantage of selecting from a range of platform and tool options that cater specifically to their needs.
By recognizing the preferences of users for specialized experiences and seizing the gaps left by big tech, American creators can carve out their own niches and thrive in the Creator Economy.
The failures of major tech companies in the domains of livestreamed shopping, visual messaging, and peer-to-peer payments underscore the importance
of specialization and catering to specific user needs. Smaller companies have managed to fill these niches successfully, proving that users prefer dedicated platforms that excel in their respective domains.
The American market’s preference for diversified platforms provides ample opportunities for American Creator Economy founders to build innovative solutions that meet the unique requirements of creators and users.
By staying attuned to user preferences and leveraging the failures of big tech, upstart companies can continue to disrupt and thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of technology and the Creator Economy.