Social Detox

There are a lot of great insights in Benedict Evans’ most recent report. It’s worth a read. One that stood out to me is this one:

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Because a lot of our social network lives at the phone OS layer (contacts), and because mobile social may be “sticky like nightclubs, not like banks”, perhaps the switching costs among mobile social networks are low.

At USV, we’ve been talking about this a lot in terms of how a network’s policies (e.g., user privacy, share of economics) relate to its ultimate ability to retain users.  And the idea that perhaps the most sticky networks are NOT the ones that are the most heavy handed in terms of attempting to lock in their users (e.g., by making data export/import hard).  

This would suggest that in many cases (at least in mobile / social), data lock in is less of a “lock” than you might think, and in fact, there may be something cathartic and cleansing about walking away from your data, i.e., “detoxing”.

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