Snapchat innovates, Facebook commodifies
They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. And over the course of history many businesses have stolen the best bits from their competitors and improved upon them in some way. That’s progress right, Vorpsrung durch Technik and all that.
Facebook is seemingly taking that to it’s logical conclusion, copying the best bits from Snapchat, known for it’s popularity amongst teens and millennials (who it unsuccessfully tried to buy in 2013).
We take a look below at all the features that have been imitated either by Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp, all of which have a strong focus around video.
This was probably the first instance in which most observers, thought “hang on a minute”.
Taking inspiration from Snapchat’ Stories (they didn’t even bother changing the name), it allows users to create images or short videos that only remain for 24 hours after being posted. Users are given access to a number of editing tools to make their content more interesting, including paint type features, text and emojis.
It also made the most of every pixel of a user’s screen in portrait orientation, something brands have been fairly slow to adapt to.
Previously Instagram content was slave to the “fast swipe” down, meaning your content could easily be passed over, especially if it was in anything less than square 1:1 format
Whereas other social media is all about what you have done (and show off about it), Messenger Day centres around making plans and having fun with friends.
Using frames, filters, stickers and painting features, it allows users to create fun content to entice your friends to engage with you
Whereas all of the previous Snapchat imitations have been tested on Facebook’s sister platforms, this is the first rollout that will be visible to Facebook’s huge user base; and could be the one that deals Snapchat a huge blow.
Much like Instagram and Snapchat Stories, it allows users to upload and edit fun images and content using the aforementioned editing features.
And, something that has been expected since Facebook bought camera app MSQRD, new enhanced filters, often seen as Snapchat’s killer feature.
Like Snapchat, Facebook is expected to partner with businesses to create branded filters around product launches and seasonal events. This could be a crucial battle not only for users, but brands too, as Facebook’s ad platform is much more developed and accessible than Snapchat’s.
Undoubtedly, Snapchat will continue to innovate and Facebook will soon follow in its footsteps. For some early adopters this is reason enough to stay with Snapchat, but for the majority they want access to features in their most used product, and that is Facebook 99 times out of 100.
Snapchat may remain a place for brands to talk to their young fan base, and be seen as innovators in advertising formats. However,I believe Facebook will continue to dominate the marketplace, opening up features to the masses and hoovering up advertising spend.
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