Embracing intimacy

Last week, Twitter added photo-sharing to its direct messaging functionality, and Instagram gave its users the ability to share messages plus photos and videos with a single person or small group. “It’s not about spamming everyone you know,” said Instagram founder Kevin Systrom. “It’s about sharing a moment with your friends.”

Maybe, says Noreen Malone in The New Republic, after years racing to make everything public, we could be seeing companies responding to a desire to make things a little more private:

The service is gambling (probably correctly) that people crave the chance to carve out private space online. It's a shift away from the public-broadcasting instinct that drove the creation of so many social networks just a few years ago. For years, the social Internet seemed determined to strip away the possibility of privacy. Now, it seems to be reversing course.