Call me a late bloomer... I am 26 years old, and for what appears to be since the dawn of mankind, I have been using Facebook as my sole and only social media app.
ok, maybe I did try Google+ back in the day people thought it 'might' compete with Facebook someday, and I liked the temporary exclusivity of it when it was an invite only app in beta.
that may have lasted a month or so... but I quickly dropped it and went back to where my friends were - on FB.
I have heard about other apps like Snapchat, WeChat in China, Twitter, and all the rest of them... but never bothered downloading them. After all, every single one of their functionalities was accessible to me on Facebook.
Over the last few years, I have noticed a dramatic drop in my online friends' activity levels. Out of about 200 friends on Facebook, I have maybe 10 that use FB regularly. The rest have just gone silent, and I just thought it was part of them growing up and being too busy in their lives to post anything.
But then... something radical happened.
I installed Instagram. It was completely by off-chance, after my wife told me she posted something on it. I looked at her in shock and asked her in bewilderment - "you're on instagram?"... "why? Isn't it the same as Facebook, but with less options?"
she told me there were more people there.
so... curious as I was... I downloaded it.
Goodness f**ing gracious. It was that feeling... the kind of feeling you might get if you died at the old age of 150, and found all your relatives and friends partying in heaven and all welcoming you with open arms to the club with that "where the hell were you all this time?" kind of feeling.
Almost every single one of my relatives, friends, colleagues... EVERYONE was posting on it, and frequently!
needless to say, I feel like I have been living under a rock all this time. Sure, I heard 3rd party apps were popular among the younger generations, but I had always been assuming that amongst the older millenials... those who had been on Facebook since teenagehood... FB would still be the app to go to.
This feeling held true mainly because of how everyone had kept using FB Messenger all this time. All my group chats were in Messenger, and I still resort to it as my prime messaging app when iMessage fails.
But still - I fail to comprehend why. Facebook has been around since forever. It had been the go-to app for billions of users. It's where I get lots of my news from (cue the fake news scandal) and where I go to in order to find social information about anything ranging from events to log-ins on various apps and websites.
Like Instagram, it also has a bunch of useful filters and editing tools, and yes, comments as well.
so why Instagram? Didn't it come much later? I know it has been around for years, but I still don't get it. It's just an app where people post pictures... and nothing else. Pictures of themselves. Pictures of their drinks. Pictures of their pets... all this used to be on Facebook too, so why the switch-over?
Anyhow, yes, it is now clear I have been living under a rock. I'm still a geek and nerd at heart. I'm more mobile savvy than most. I play video games way more frequently than I should and spent a fortune on the dozens of gadgets/macs/PCs/Phones/Tablets and smart watch. But here is one sector of the tech industry that eluded me for the last 10 years.