Earlier this week, Josh Constine wrote an epic piece on Facebook, Google and Apple’s impending messaging war. As Constine explains, we have most likely reached “peak SMS,” that is, text messaging is on the decline and another form of messaging will take its place.

But as the major empires wage total war for glorious messaging spoils, there are far smaller, distant tribes that will make their own windfall of riches from the battle. Man, I miss playing Age of Empires.

As these tech giants extend their reach even further, it is quite possible that users will seek to regain control over their information and embrace applications that quickly erase or encrypt their messages and pictures. Especially if the companies’ battle reduces their respect for users’ privacy—like Facebook’s aggressive email change last month.

The real gold mine for these impermanent apps is that they aren’t in the war. None of them…

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