The Startup
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The Startup

5 Reasons Private Messaging Apps Are Critical to Social Networks

I could think of more than 5 reasons that private messaging is critical to any social network, but let’s just discuss 5 for simplicity: greater intimacy, more honest & relevant interaction, business deals, personal conflict resolution, and greater efficiency.

I was one of the most vocal about having a built-in private messaging app in the beginning days of the first blockchain-based network, Steem, but at that time, no was listening. With the recent news of Partiko adding private messaging (available now on Android, iOS coming soon), it re-ignited that initial enthusiasm I had several years ago for a Steem private messaging function.

Not many people realize that the user base of private chat apps has recently surpassed the user base of social networks. Most people feel more comfortable communicating in private or in small groups than posting in public. The irreversibility of blockchain makes this even more pronounced because once you publish something, there is no way of completely eradicating it.

“In a recent study by BI Intelligence, they found that the combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than the combined user base of the top four social networks. Chat apps also have higher retention and usage rates than most mobile apps.” —

Here are the 5 top reasons I think private messaging is critical to any social network:

Private messaging is critical to any social network because there are a lot of things people will share in private that they wouldn’t dare share in public (and I’m not talking about sending dirty pics……although that is included, too). Just look at how active the Discord channels are for Steem groups…..wouldn’t it be nice not to have to log onto another network in order to send a private message to another Steemian? Private messaging allows us to share intimate things and form deeper friendships. Without it, we remain in silos, unable to connect deeply with other like-minded people and taking the extra step to log onto another social network is cumbersome.

Getting a private message is similar to receiving a hand-written letter in the mail. It’s custom-tailored to you, and only you. It most likely will be 100 times more relevant to you than any public comment left on your blog. Although some people have gotten used to sharing really personal details on Steem, in comments, etc., there still remains a significant number of people who are uncomfortable with this. The majority of people don’t want their deeply personal information stored on the blockchain forever. Being deeply connected to others is the glue that is necessary to keep any social network together. Without deep social connections, it will not hold together over time. Private messaging on mobile adds the stickiness that Steem currently lacks.

Private messaging is not just for making friends, it’s one of the most essential aspects of business, too. When it comes to hiring people, setting up interviews, or being hired, private messaging is the only way to go. Also, when interacting privately, you can really get a true feeling about a person. The only way to discuss salaries, business deals, or other propositions is in private.

A lot of the warring going on in public could be resolved in private if people were willing to reach out to each other to solve their differences. Taking things private is the best way to resolve personal conflicts because it allows the two people involved to work through things without the public spotlight. Public fighting involves the ego in an unhealthy way, as the person fighting is constantly feeling the pressure of “what people think of me”, or the person is doing the fighting to receive public attention. Removing both those elements, and talking one on one is the best way to resolve differences. You may not become friends with your enemy, but at least you might understand their perspective more.

I could think of a hundred times I needed to speak to a Steemian directly in order to get something accomplished. The time wasted on the following thoughts usually diverted my attention and caused me not to even bother trying to contact them:

“I wonder if they are on Steem Chat, or wait, maybe they are on Discord?….hmmm…does Steem Chat even work right now? Where’s my Discord login? I guess I’ll look up their last blog, and put a comment on there asking which messaging app they use the most….”

This is horribly inefficient. Having a Steem app which I can blog on plus send private messages inside of, would have solved a lot of wasted time and energy. The other thing about a private messaging app as compared to Discord is that private messaging on Partiko occurs only between friends, so you both have to be following each other in order to send a private message. This adds a layer of privacy and control that Discord doesn’t have. On discord, you can get messages from any random person, which does serve a purpose, but also creates a situation where lots of spam messages are received.

“Communication can change a person’s life, in turn the society and so the world.”
-Navaneeth V. Ganesh

The really good news is that private messaging is finally here on Steem with the Partiko app. It’s here now for Android users, and it’s coming very soon for iOS users. If you have not tried out Partiko, give it a try.

Download Partiko Android
Download Partiko iOS

Partiko is a start-up based in San Francisco, California. The founder of Partiko previously worked for Airbnb.



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