A lot of user behaviour modelling is based on past behaviour - because only with time can we reflect and analyse. So goes the theory.
But user behaviour, to my mind, is subject to cultural inflexion points. Moments when a new behaviour emerges and spreads. Twitter was the last great inflexion point, introducing brevity, access and to varying degrees, inanity.
If you’re older than 24 it’s pretty hard to radically change your behaviour, which I define as how you operate within the cultural parameters of your society. Or if you do, it’s going to take you a lot longer to ‘get it’ - only because by that juncture we’ve gone through our formative developmental years and are now in jobland, where the quest for knowledge gives way to the thirst for soft furnishings.
Snapchat is remarkable. Try describing it to anyone in their 30’s and behold the look of incredulity.
“You take pics, send them to people, they disappear in 10 seconds max”
But amongst the inflexion generation - it’s come to embody a seismic behavioural change.
A total counterpoint to the social web and the notion that everything we do or share is stored, forever searchable.
It helps that stories swirl about it’s sexting status - but don’t let that mask what is really going on with Snapchat. People are fundamentally changing their behaviour and this will ripple through the current social web and influence what comes next.
Tarun Wadhwa’s Forbes piece is a must read with regards this.