Facebook’s war on Snapchat is almost over with Facebook edging closer to victory. Just last week the social media giant launched the following three new and exciting features that must have Snapchat CEO, Even Spiegel, a little on edge: an in-app camera infused with filters, effects and masks; A 24-hour Stories feature; and direct messaging with set self-delete times. The source of inspiration is clearly evident, but Facebook added a few personal touches, including the ability to post picture and videos that are worthy of more air-time straight from the camera to News Feed. Between Facebook and its Instagram and Whatsapp subdivisions, they seem to have the Snapchat market fully covered.
In a generation where everyone wants to share everything they’re doing, but not necessarily leave a trail of it, Snapchat hit the nail right on the head. The app reimagined photo and video sharing by making the messages short-lived and self-deleting. The simple concept quickly made Snapchat one of the most popular social media apps among millennials and caught the attention of competitors.
By the end of 2016, Snapchat had over 156 million users worldwide, which prompted many others to try and integrate the app’s recipe for success into their service. Soon enough, Instagram was introducing their ‘stories’ feature, and WhatsApp Status was embracing disappearing photo and video messages. Now, the social media giant, Facebook, has taken note and is the latest to unveil a blatant Snapchat-inspired feature.
With Snapchat’s previously unique features becoming integrated into multiple other social media platforms, it can be hard to tell them apart. However, one thing that can be taken from this chain reaction of imitation is that “snapping” is clearly the future of communication. Unfortunately for Snapchat, it will be difficult to broaden their base when big players like Instagram and Facebook can easily surpass it with their much larger audience.
When Snapchat first entered the social networking arena, the usability took a little navigating before it could be fully understood. Facebook has eliminated this issue with their story bubbles appearing right at the top of the News Feed, making familiarity just one click of curiosity away. It won’t be long until a long stretch of story bubbles start decorating atop the News Feed from every demographic.
As of yet, Facebook hasn’t begun monetizing the new camera features, but it undoubtedly will. How celebrities and social media personalities (influencers) will begin utilizing this feature, and Facebook’s unparalleled reach, could further develop the rise of influencer marketing. The selfie lens has become a dominating method of communication, and the mimicking of these social media monsters should spark the interest of marketers looking to take advantage this new avenue.