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Social Networks Businesses Facebook

Facebook Copied Snapchat a Fourth Time, and Now All Its Apps Look the Same (recode.net) 88

Facebook is copying Snapchat again. From a report on Recode: Today it launched Stories, the 24-hour photo and video montages that ultimately disappear, inside of its core Facebook app. This is the fourth time Facebook has cloned the key Snapchat feature in the past nine months; the social giant has already copied it into Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. On the surface, Facebook's move simply looks like an unabashed defense strategy against Snapchat, the company's most obvious threat since 2011, when Google tried to dive into social with a service that turned out to be much more like a bellyflop. This is getting serious. What many people don't realize is that even if Facebook manages to get half a percent of its users to use its copycat tools, Snapchat will lose a substantial number of potential customers that could have joined its service. With Facebook, which has over 1.8 billion users (+ the possibly tens of millions of people that use WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger app and don't have a Facebook account), increasingly offering all of Snapchat's features on its apps, the future of Evan Spiegel's company doesn't look all that good.
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Facebook Copied Snapchat a Fourth Time, and Now All Its Apps Look the Same

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  • In what universe is your competitors trying to copy you and failing translates into "he future of Evan Spiegel's company doesn't look all that good."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In what universe is your competitors trying to copy you and failing translates into "he future of Evan Spiegel's company doesn't look all that good."

      Established user base is key. According to one report [https://www.recode.net/2017/2/2/14492182/snapchat-user-growth-slowing-ipo] Snapchat had 158M active users by Q4 2016. Facebook on the other hand had 1.86B [https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/]. If 1% of FB users drop Snapchat, they lose over 10% of their active base.

      • by johanw ( 1001493 )

        IF. On the other hand, the existing WhatsApp and Messenger users are usually annoyed about the changes, so they might loose users too.

    • The universe in which Evan Spiegel's product can't be patented and can be copied by larger, better funded companies in a week or two (tops).

      Facebook is doing Snapchat's potential investors a favor by clearly demonstrating that there is no value in Snapchat since it can't differentiate itself and therefore can't compete.

  • For those of us who don't obsessively follow every development in so-called social media:

    What the fsck is Snapchat?

    • Re:Stupid Question (Score:4, Informative)

      by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @03:32PM (#54129623)
      Photo/short video/messaging app. Posts automatically go away after some amount of time. Has automatic filters that make us of face tracking for funny pictures.
      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        but do they really go away?

        • Is it secure enough to send state secrets? No. It's fairly trivial to circumvent. But not archiving practically everything by default is enough of an improvement for a lot of people.
        • No worries, the messages are stored in Gitlab.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Since you can screenshot, no

        • but do they really go away?

          Ha ha, silly user- of course they don't! All the messages are kept so they can be mined for ad metrics and to "improve the user experience".

          They "go away" the same way files in Dropbox "went away" when you deleted them, which is never.

      • Photo/short video/messaging app. Posts automatically go away after some amount of time. Has automatic filters that make us of face tracking for funny pictures.

        Wow, how could anyone live without that?? Besides everybody, I mean.

        • Wow, how could anyone live without that??

          That's a facile point. For pretty much anything except for food, oxygen and water, you can literally live without it, as did the earliest of humans. Beyond that...

          It's actually not a terrible idea, and honestly, I'm kind of impressed with the people on my dang lawn for preferring it. No, it's not "secure", in that it's "trivially" defeated with a screenshot. Howver the default is that it's safe.

          In other words whatever inane ramblings one hurls out into the void by d

    • by hackel ( 10452 )

      It's just some silly sexting app teenagers use. Ignore it and eventually it will go away.

    • An app for sending nudes.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      For those of us who don't obsessively follow every development in so-called social media:

      What the fsck is Snapchat?

      Here you go, you lazy idiot. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=snapchat [lmgtfy.com]

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      "What the fsck is Snapchat?"

      Take a picture of someone, press a button, and make them puke a rainbow. They just went public. They're valued at over $20 billion.

      Go figure.
      • "What the fsck is Snapchat?"

        Take a picture of someone, press a button, and make them puke a rainbow. They just went public. They're valued at over $20 billion.

        It's this kind of thing that makes me realize I'm in the wrong business. I usually work at doing something good or useful or sensible, but that's clearly not the way to make money these days.

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      It's an app kids use to share videos of themselves posing on your lawn. But it doesn't store videos for you to use as evidence, so you'll have to catch them in the act.

    • You're being obtuse. Snapchat isn't "every development" in social media. It's not exactly obscure what with being over the finance pages in all the newspapers for being the largest IPO in about 3 years.

    • for me, that's mostly what Snapchat is -of course I only use Signal already :-)

  • It already doesn't look good - SNAP is insanely, stupidly over-valued and we all know it. The only ones who don't seem to be the ones hurling money at it.

    Obviously, this is just my opinion - worth what you paid for it.

    • SNAP is insanely, stupidly over-valued and we all know it. The only ones who don't seem to be the ones hurling money at it.

      While you do make a good point, I think the investors in SNAP do know it is insanely overvalued. I think they hope to off-load their shares at a profit before the crash comes.

      After all, there is one born every minute.

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @03:29PM (#54129607)

    Why would anyone trust Facebook not to store the content? Even if they don't store the video itself, I'd expect them to run voice recognition on it and store and index the text so they can send you ads about whatever you talk about.

    • Why would anyone trust Facebook not to store the content? Even if they don't store the video itself, I'd expect them to run voice recognition on it and store and index the text so they can send you ads about whatever you talk about.

      And from where exactly do you think Snapchat's revenue [businessinsider.com] is supposed to come?

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        There's a difference between regular advertising and the creepy follow everyone to every website and profile them that Facebook does.

  • I can't actually decide which is worse. My hatred of Snapchat makes me want Facebook to crush them. But my hatred of privacy-killing Facebook makes me want them to fail just as much. Why can't any of these hot, new companies push open protocols and interoperating standards?

    • by Voyager529 ( 1363959 ) <voyager529@y[ ]o.com ['aho' in gap]> on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:22PM (#54130029)

      Why can't any of these hot, new companies push open protocols and interoperating standards?

      To be blunt, because it's boring work that, by definition, other people can make money off of.

      Who makes money off SMTP? Basically nobody that wrote the protocol.
      Who makes money off HTTP? Basically nobody that wrote the protocol.
      Who makes money off SIP? Basically nobody that wrote the protocol.
      Who makes money off SSH? Basically nobody that wrote the protocol.

      Nobody who makes interoperable standards is going to do so in a way that doesn't make them vulnerable to EEE by someone else, and you're basically signing up to allow any installed base to leave and take their data with them. These things are features to us (otherwise the world would still be using AOL e-mail), but for investors willing to value a company with a ten-figure dollar amount, minimizing the likelihood of a mass exodus instills a level of safety that straight protocols don't enable.

      If you make something anyone can use, you won't be a rockstar. If you want to be a rockstar, you can't become one making a standardized protocol. ...but that's just how I see it.

      • you're basically signing up to allow any installed base to leave and take their data with them.

        True. Remember Facebook's chat started as an open XMPP system

    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      Because those things don't make lots of money. And they're usually more boring.

    • I can't actually decide which is worse. My hatred of Snapchat makes me want Facebook to crush them. But my hatred of privacy-killing Facebook makes me want them to fail just as much

      Out if interest, why do you hate Snapchat so much? I don't use it myself, and I don't know anyone who does, but I don't really feel any strong emotions about it. I mean, it doesn't have much effect on me. Facebook on the other hand... I used to use it a little (but no longer), but they're creepy-evil and have nasty tracking jvasc

    • I'm not sur Signal covers all and every features of snapchat, but it's open, and in the tradeoff I made before adopting it there were a couple of others too...

  • ...it assumes that all potential users of Snapchat would actually use Snapchat. That is *never* the case. So yes, FB might take *some* real potential users of Snapchat, but the majority are probably people that would never use Snapchat any way and only use it because it is in the FB app.

    Personally, I won't use it either way - thus I'm not in that "potential user" category...but you shouldn't make that assumption - it's a really bad one.
    • I would go even further and say that just because instagram has some feature (like stories or whatever) doesn't mean that all users utilize that feature... I can't stand them, and I wish there was a way to disable them in instagram altogether. It's just an annoyance and consumes screen space that could be used for something interesting. That, plus the "live" (also stolen) feature are designed to keep you perpetually engaged in the platform through FOMO, "maybe you won't see something if you go offline for

      • I would go even further and say that just because instagram has some feature (like stories or whatever) doesn't mean that all users utilize that feature... I can't stand them, and I wish there was a way to disable them in instagram altogether. It's just an annoyance and consumes screen space that could be used for something interesting. That, plus the "live" (also stolen) feature are designed to keep you perpetually engaged in the platform through FOMO, "maybe you won't see something if you go offline for a few days."

        Like FB's new "Your Story" and "Direct" taking up 3/4" (20mm) of screen space? Yeah...just as annoying.

  • by drew_kime ( 303965 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @03:39PM (#54129681) Journal

    My teenage daughters, and all their friends, live and breathe SnapChat. Not one of them is on Facebook. This could change, but I don't anticipate any of them switching.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The long-term objective of Facebook's blatant Snapchat copying isn't to stop current users from moving to Snapchat (although I'm sure that's something of a concern in the short-term). They know that the engagement of young people is near-zero on Facebook and is off the charts on Snapchat. To remain the dominant social platform, Facebook needs to get those users off of Snapchat and onto Facebook. Their prior strategy of buying the up-and-coming platforms (Whatsapp, Instagram) didn't work with Snapchat, so no

    • by uohcicds ( 472888 ) <darren@gestaltweb . m e.uk> on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @06:07AM (#54133483) Homepage

      Bingo! And that's the killer.

      To use those features, users would have to be inside the fb ecosystem, but Facebook's problem is that it is now the indoor plumbing of social media. A necessary evil, weird if you don't use it at least some of the time, but hardly fun for most, and certainly not for the people they are targetting. Snapchat's user base probably won't bite.

      Snapchat's demographics, and some of its use cases (let's be honest, sexting and porn are part of this), just don't overlap with Facebook. And the introduction of products like Spectacles points this up even more.It's also (from a personal point of view) interesting that I do use snapchat a little, but I have absolutely no inclination to use those features on any of the fb services - that's not what I'm there for. I could be an edge case, but I suspect that I'm not unusual enough for it to cause major problems for snap.

    • Does that mean "Ughh that's so Facebook!" is actually now a thing

      I've been waiting for this for years

  • by LionKimbro ( 200000 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @03:44PM (#54129711) Homepage

    There's something bothering me about the article and Facebook's announcement [fb.com] --

    It talks as if photographs and content are deleted forever, but it's carefully carved out the language in a way such that they never directly say that:
    * "The Instagram community has shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day, so in the main Facebook app we’re also introducing Facebook Stories, ..."
    * "Your friends can view photos or videos your story for 24 hours, and stories won’t appear..."
    * ...We’ve also added Direct, an option that’s designed for sharing individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time."
    * "When you send a photo or video via Direct, your friends will be able to view it once and replay it or write a reply. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, the content is no longer visible in Direct."

    "view ... for 24 hours," "...a limited time," "...view it once..," "...no longer visible..."

    OK, but nowhere does it ever actually say DELETED.

    Given that there is likely going to be sexual and personally sensitive (black-mail?) content here, isn't this a big deal?

    • "view ... for 24 hours," "...a limited time," "...view it once..," "...no longer visible..."

      OK, but nowhere does it ever actually say DELETED.

      Given that there is likely going to be sexual and personally sensitive (black-mail?) content here, isn't this a big deal?

      Exactly, which is why more people should pull out the needle and walk away from this evil. I have no problems with Snapchat. Regardless of the silly shit kids will get up to on it (we all should be allowed to make mistakes and move on), at least it won't be on file somewhere to be held against them later in life.

  • Is extremely risky business.
    Unless you can get them to quickly buy you out, you can easily get run over. A few win, a lot lose.

  • This is getting serious. What many people don't realize is that even if Facebook manages to get half a percent of its users to use its copycat tools, Snapchat will lose a substantial number of potential customers that could have joined its service.

    How, exactly, is that "serious"? What's going to happen when people find out what's happening?

    Bugger all, I suspect.

  • I'm pretty sure Facebook's Poke app was out before Snapchat. It let users send view once messages/photos/video. So there's that.
  • Copying Snapchat's key gimmick, that photos/etc. are ephemeral, is missing the point. People join Snapchat to communicate with their friends that're already on Snapchat. Also, Snapchat is 'the hot new thing' while Facebook is yesterday's news. Facebook is so big it resembles a corporate behemoth, rather than something coded in someone's spare time in their bedroom that only a few people know about. Key word 'resembles', I know Snapchat is no longer actually that.

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