Friday, June 22The Voice of London

Facebook needs to accept that it’s not Snapchat

The reason the big name social media apps exist is because they all offer something different to their users. Instead of capitalising on what makes them stand out, they try and imitate what the other is doing to monopolise a social media market.

Reporter: Ryan Yeo | Sub-Editor: Joe Carey

Facebook has continuously sought to take on Snapchat directly, ignoring the fact that users loyalty with Snapchat derives from it offering an instant gratification that can’t be achieved with Facebook. It’s like when the kid in the playground has a newer toy than you, so you want to either steal it or convince mummy and daddy to buy you a better one; it never ends.

Facebook tried to steal Snapchat’s thunder over the Halloween weekend, but it wasn’t just the once.

On Friday, it was revealed Facebook was testing a new camera in its main app, something that’s already available to Ireland users, that exhibits a Snapchat lens-style formula.

On Saturday, Facebook also launched Halloween themed Snapchat-style filters within Facebook Live.

Today, TechCrunch reported that Facebook tried to buy the Asian Snapchat mimic – Snow. But the company saw how big Snapchat has become without the help of already established corporate giants and refused to sell.

You’d be forgiven if you thought these were the only times Facebook has tried to emulate the same success as Snapchat; either by replicating features or attempting to purchase the company itself. It’s actually the eighth, ninth and tenth time.

  1. It created Poke in 2012, a semi-clone of Snapchat focusing on picture messaging. Even though it saw small success and was created in just 12 days, the app disappeared shortly after.
  2. Facebook then tried to buy Snapchat in 2013 for a reported $3bn, but Snapchat refused.
  3. In 2014, Facebook launched its own ephemeral messaging app, Slingshot. Despite containing unique features of its own that Snapchat didn’t possess, it was taken down a year later.
  4. Facebook then trialled, without much public awareness, incorporating ephemeral messaging into its own messenger app in 2015.
  5. It did this again in 2016, but this time included it in an update for the app, which still exists to this day.
  6. Facebook attempted, again, in 2016 to clone Snapchat by adopting the ‘stories’ feature into their subsidiary company Instagram.
  7. That same month, Facebook released Lifestage which encourages a younger demographic to create a series of videos showing different facial expressions and detailing their trivial facts.

Although the last two were in the same month, the latest trio of Snapchat cloning happened in a weekend. Here’s a word of advice Mark Zuckerburg; you have 1.71 billion users. Can’t you just take that and be satisfied? You’re not, and never will be, Snapchat.

And if you still don’t want to accept this, take a selfie with the dog filter and plead Snapchat to let you put in another offer.