For Facebook Inc , two trends stand out as we look back at 2016: its amazing copying of rivals and its amazing financial performance, notes a report from Bloomberg. Year to date, the stock is up over 12%. And last week, ending the year with a bang, the firm announced a new way for people to use its Messenger texting for making group video calls.
The users may recognize this feature from several other digital hangouts for multiparty web video calls, such as Facebook’s own WhatsApp and Microsoft’s Skype.
Facebook copy rivals, but gets it better
Facebook Inc has spent much of its time this year in cloning aspects of Snapchat, one of the most recent social networks to attempt to steal ad money and users from the social networking giant. This summer, Instagram – Facebook’s photo-sharing app – added the ability for people to create a daily digital diary made up of videos and photos, as well as, virtual annotations (the users can do the same in Snapchat), notes Bloomberg.
Of course, copying your rival is pointless, unless it works. Even before, the tech giant tried to emulate elements of Snapchat, but it did not work for and all its plans flopped. However, this time, there is some fresh evidence that Facebook’s Snapchat cloning effort is catching on.
Last month, Facebook said that the Snapchat-like “Stories” of Instagram had more than 100 million daily active users, a little less than the reported 150 million daily users of Snapchat. Recently, Snapchat added some features that were unique to the Instagram Stories. The clone, in other words, is compelling the original to do some copying of its own, notes Bloomberg.
Copying not just Snapchat
In addition, Facebook’s year of cloning did not halt at video calling and Snapchat. This year, the social media giant, followed the lead of apps like Periscope and Meerkat from Twitter as well by enabling all users to broadcast live videos on its platform.
Now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has become the biggest proponent of live videos worldwide. Also, he has been pitching them in the TV commercials as well. Facebook’s live video initiative has poached money from Twitter’s Periscope, compelled Alphabet’s YouTube to play catch up and aid in killing the live streaming service Meerkat, notes Bloomberg.
Additionally, the social networking giant has created a messaging service for office workers as well that looks and feels much like “Slack.” Even Facebook Inc Messenger and its nascent business model are borrowed from the largely popular app of Tencent Holdings, dubbed WeChat, and several other messaging apps in Asia.
People do not get excited over an idea that has been borrowed from other product, but if the copying is done in a smart way then it does get some audience. Smart copying is actually a way of life in the tech industry. It does not matter who came up with the idea first.