In the 1980’s visionary technologists created e-mail as an open non-proprietary messaging system. This allowed anyone to communicate with anyone on open networks.
With Facebook hitting a billion, and WhatsApp hitting 900 million people, we now have a new proprietary network that has the reach that email does.
In the open messaging world, messages were owned by the sender, and the recipient and were portable. Your social network – the set of people you interact with – and your chats were owned by the people who created them.
Facebook and Whatsapp have now up-ended that open communication channel. They own your social network and they own your messages and they have the reach to displace open communications. A private entity owns your friends and the relationship to your friends.
And hence snapchat and wickr. If there is no portability and durability that is independent of the service provider, then you may as well treat the messages as ephemeral.
Who would have thought, my most private and important data would be owned by someone else.
Oh brave new world!