Facebook is copying Snapchat. If you believe the news reports this week (and more specifically this article from The Verge), after Snapchat turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook in 2013 the social giant (the blue one) decided to simply implement the best offerings of Snapchat on its own platform.

We’ve steadily seen a growing trend of features being added to Facebook that replicate the yellow one’s product offering. Last week Facebook announced Messenger Codes. You’d be able to share them with friends, who’d scan them via their camera apps on their phones and be able to add the individual to their messenger list…. Sounds a bit like a Snaptag doesn’t it?

The launch of the Messenger Codes follows on from Facebook’s purchase of MSQRD, an app that allows you to add animated filters to your selfies. Something Snapchat has been offering for some time via their Lenses feature. There was also the introduction of video profile pictures on to Facebook, a feature Snapchat also already offered.

facebook and snapchat

If you broach the topic in a digital agency, you’ll kick-start a debate on the topic. Some will argue Facebook is “scared” of Snapchat and its popularity amongst the youth. The other side of the line can’t seem to wrap their head around the new social craze and will argue that Snapchat has no viable financial offering without opening up their API and allowing some sort of tracking process – so it has a shelf life.

The Snapchat investors and Zuckerberg clearly see something the naysayers don’t because there is an awful lot of greenbacks being thrown around.

But what are they so desperate to own?

Facebook connects people across the world.

Twitter provides information in real time.

LinkedIn offers business credibility.

It could be argued that Instagram is a picture into someone’s life.

facebook and snapchat

Ask a Snapchat fanatic what the platform offers or does and they won’t be able to tell you. I don’t even think Snapchat knows. Maybe that is the beauty of Snapchat. It’s a social network that appears to not take itself too seriously. There is no way to measure results or track campaigns. There is no feasible way for it to make money long term. I think that is why people like it. Content created in real time, while sometimes cool, is not going to live on in marketing journals years down the line (well, it can’t live past 24 hours). While smart strategists harp on about Snapchat influencers and great ideas, the truth is they’re really taking selfies and scratching over them with some crass doodles.

That’s the beauty of Snapchat: it’s silly, it’s simple and it is somewhat dumb. In a world filled with algorithms and an internet saturated with corporate content they so desperately want you to like it’s a breath of fresh air to the user.

Will we be snapping 5 years down the line? I’m not so sure, but we will likely still be tied into Facebook (if only to ensure we have some way of remembering our mom’s birthday). So is that blue network copying the yellow one? Nah. I think they’re doing what any smart business does and building on good ideas. It just so happens that Snapchat has a few.