Facebook Inc failed in its bid to buy Snapchat in an all-cash $3B deal three years ago. Since then, the firm has been looking for ways to kill Snapchat or at least water down Snapchat’s appeal. the firm has also made some moves to clone Snapchat or eliminate the threat that it poses to the world’s biggest social media platform. Now, Zuckerberg is out with a camera-centric feature designed to reduce the allure of Snapchat and keep people engaged on Facebook.
Snapchat has proved resilient in the face of increased rivalry from Facebook. Snapchat has remained popular with the younger audience who find it easier to shoot and share pictures or videos instead of the uninspiring text box on Facebook’s status bar. In fact, Snapchat is preparing for a 2017 IPO as it prepares to join the big league by raising money from the public markets. This piece explores how Facebook is desperate to water down Snapchat’s influence in the social media sphere.
Meet Facebook’s camera-centric Snapchat rival
Facebook Inc has unveiled a pilot program to make the camera an important part of status updates in order to encourage users to share more photos and videos. The new feature is equipped with Snapchat-like photo and video filters so that users are explore their creative sides. More so, the new feature allows users to share the content with people in their News Feed or with a specific audience through a direct message.
The new Snapchat-like feature that Facebook started testing in Ireland last Friday is built around the camera. The camera also has a suite of special effects such as frames and masks. The content will also disappear in 24 hours if people are not talking about it in a nod to Snapchat’s self-destruct feature. Facebook has started testing out the Camera feature during the Summer Olympics in Brazil. During the test, people using the site in Brazil could use AR to paint flags on their cheeks or etch a temporary tattoo.
Interestingly, executives believe that the world is moving away from text to videos and photos. Zuckerberg notes that the world is moving to a “video first” content strategy. He says, “Ten years ago, most of what we shared and consumed online was text. Now it’s photos. And soon, most of it will be videos… We see a world that is video first, with video at the heart of all of our apps and services.” Product exec Chris Cox says the end game is AR “It’s an area of work we’re really invested in, which is making it easy for the camera to be an early application of AR.”
Here’s why Facebook must clone or kill Snapchat?
Facebook Inc has a compelling reason to get into the video updates business in order to stay relevant with advertisers. In the last one year, Zuckerberg has had to grapple with a slowdown in the sharing of original personal content on its platform. Users reportedly shared less videos, pictures, and status updates from their friends. Rather, users were mostly sharing news, articles, and stuff from other third-party sites.