Sequoia’s Aaref Hilaly Says Messaging Apps Are A New Kind Of Social Network


Messaging Apps a new kind of Social Network? I’m not so sure, but this looks like an important argument to consider in terms of communications tactics.


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Investor Chamath Palihapitiya’s skeptical comments about the current wave of tech startups (comments that included a not-too-veiled dig at Snapchat), ended up fueling plenty of discussion at our Disrupt NY conference earlier this week. In fact, when I interviewed Sequoia Capital partner Aaref Hilaly backstage, Palihapitiya’s remarks provided a springboard for Hilaly’s take on messaging apps, including Sequoia-backed WhatsApp:

To us, they’re a pretty significant change. We see a company like WhatsApp as reimagining the social network. And the way I think about it is, What’s your real social graph? Is it the people you communicate with and spend time with, or is it the 100 people you barely know on Facebook? We think it’s pretty clearly the first of those, and that’s what mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp capture.

Hilaly went on to praise WhatsApp’s growth (users are supposedly sending 20 billion messages per day)…

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