Twitter Missed the Boat on Mobile Messaging

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Twitter (TWTR) is the king of microblogging for public display. But it could have been so much more.

That it isn't shows the perils of overly focusing on your "core" business.

While Twitter and Facebook (FB) are the kings of mobile today -- at least in terms of market capitalization -- it's clear that the hottest parts of mobile are in the messaging space.

Snapchat recently turned down $3 billion from Facebook. Tencent's WeChat is growing like a weed in China. Line is doing the same in Japan. Kik has grabbed up a bunch of teens in the western world. WhatsApp continues to be a big daddy of multi-platform messaging and sharing photos. Even BlackBerry's (BBRY) BBM continues to surprise critics with how well it's doing in downloads since it moved to a multi-platform approach.

Why is the messaging space so hot now?

These apps are really the opposite of the traditional public social networks epitomized by Facebook. Instead of wanting to publicly share, people attracted to these alternative messaging platforms prefer anonymity. What's more, they prefer exclusivity. They'd rather only be used by their friends and family.

If we can only limit our communication to behind the velvet rope -- never to be seen by nosy teachers, enemies, or parents -- we can truly share ourselves. There's no fear that a drunk picture of us will surface in the wrong hands.

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