The Future of Communication: Attention, Trust, and the Next Generation


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 21, 2023

4 min read


The Future of Communication: Attention, Trust, and the Next Generation

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, the demand for effective communication tools and platforms has never been higher. Zoom, the video conferencing app that rose to prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic, is just one example of how technology has transformed the way we connect with others. However, as we look beyond Zoom, it becomes clear that there are deeper considerations at play in the realm of communication.

One key aspect that differentiates successful platforms is their ability to not only capture attention but also establish trust. The concept of the "Attention & Trust Economy" has emerged, highlighting the need for brands and platforms to not only grab users' attention but also earn their trust. This is particularly crucial for Generation Z, who make up a significant portion of the population and possess the power to quickly switch brands and platforms based on trust.

The key to capturing attention and trust lies in understanding the psychology and behavior of users. Platforms like Clubhouse have recognized this, building their success on these principles rather than simply offering another voice communication tool. It's not just about the technology itself, but how it is packaged and presented to users. This is a lesson that Zoom, despite its popularity, has yet to fully explore. Asking why users are in a call and what social purpose certain features serve can lead to deeper insights and more meaningful connections.

While video calls have become ubiquitous, it's important to note that there are few inherent network effects in video communication alone. The true aggregation layer often lies in the calendar, which acts as a bridge between different services and eliminates the need for users to know which specific platform a call is taking place on. The distinction between "room"-based calls, where anyone can join using a URL, and "people"-based calls, which require individual addresses, feels artificial and reminiscent of early internet communication. It's worth considering how future platforms will bridge this gap and create a seamless experience for users.

Looking beyond video communication, we can draw parallels with the evolution of photo sharing platforms. While there have always been numerous options for sharing photos, companies like Snap have found success by delving deeper into the psychology and purpose behind these interactions. By asking unconventional questions and redefining the social purpose of photo sharing, they have created a more meaningful and engaging experience. The same principle can be applied to future communication platforms, where understanding the underlying social purpose can lead to groundbreaking innovations.

So, what lies ahead for communication platforms? The emergence of Generation Z and their desire for access to exclusive content and experiences will continue to shape the landscape. Brands that can control and provide value to those with access and influence will thrive. Building an audience through content and leveraging attention and trust for monetization will become the natural model for the next generation of brands.

Furthermore, the growing popularity of audio-centric experiences, such as voice-based social networks and media, is a natural progression. With the predicted sales of 100 million AirPods in 2021, the demand for constant audio engagement will likely drive the expansion of these platforms. Generation Z, who are accustomed to communicating primarily through voice-based channels like Discord, will also seek similar experiences in the workplace.

As we look into the future, it's evident that the creation of metaverses and immersive digital experiences will play a significant role. Companies like Tencent, with their investments in infrastructure and content, are positioning themselves at the forefront of this transformation. By owning shares in platforms like Epic Games and potentially Snap, they are positioning themselves to shape the future of digital maps, augmented reality, and the metaverse.

In conclusion, the future of communication lies in capturing attention, earning trust, and understanding the underlying psychology and purpose behind our interactions. As we move beyond Zoom, it's essential for platforms to ask the right questions and provide innovative solutions that go beyond the superficial. To thrive in the Attention & Trust Economy, brands and platforms must prioritize user value, community building, and delivering insider experiences. As we await the next generation of groundbreaking communication platforms, let us embrace these principles and create a future where communication is not just convenient but meaningful and transformative.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize understanding the psychology and social purpose behind communication interactions to create a more meaningful user experience.
  • 2. Focus on building trust by aligning actions with brand vision and delivering on promises.
  • 3. Embrace the demand for exclusive access and experiences, and leverage attention and trust to create value for users.

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