Just when you thought you’ve seen enough of the brand war between Instagram and Snapchat, Instagram’s parent company Facebook has managed to throw in another surprise. Facebook’s latest announcement of Snapchat-clone camera tools for Facebook messenger including a range of stickers, masks, and other effects has caught the majority’s attention. This whole duplicating/imitating game that the social media platforms are playing is only turning nastier by the day, or should we say by the updates?
Speaking of which, till date, we have observed that Facebook has replicated its application’s features similar to that of Snapchat’s. This is Facebook’s strategy to practice pull mechanism, meaning, an effort to attract all of Snapchat’s users, slowing down the rate of Snapchat’s growth.
Truth be told, Facebook might be the bigger shark in the sea, but fails to match up Snapchat’s quality standards. On one hand, Snapchat provides more than 20 filters/lenses at present; on the other hand, Facebook has come up with only eight and believe us, not half as good as Snapchat’s.
While I am one of those ardent followers of Snapchat, I would like to argue in favour stating Snapchat’s audience is very dedicated and will remain aligned to the application for a good while. What concerns me really is the future of the same. Facebook’s latest announcements have got me wondering about their probability of coming up with enhanced visual and engagement tools and functions, far more engaging than that of Snapchat’s. For instance, Facebook’s working on new visual tools like ‘reactive filters’ that enable users to push virtual objects around on-screen. And if that happens, where does that leave Snapchat in competition?
From the looks of it Facebook has been taking the brand war to a nasty level. What’s disappointing is a smart social media giant like Facebook is now slowly boring its fans with a pattern. It only has two ways of competing, that is, either duplicating the intelligence of competitor brands or acquiring them. If Facebook, eventually, has the same functionality as Snapchat, with stories, messaging, and image enhancing features but only better, Snapchat will have a tough time upping their application intelligence game. Snap Inc. has anticipated and considered the outcome and has rebranded as a camera company as opposed to being just a social media application. Most of Facebook’s strategies bank on their resources and size of the audience, which makes it all the more likely that Facebook will eventually beat or overtake Snapchat.
Bringing me back to my worries about the future for Snapchat. What irks me is the fact that while innovations and advancements happen a result of creativity, sustainment kills it in the long run. This is no longer the old school creative brand war that brands would indulge in the greed to create a monopoly. What it is in fact that Facebook is turning into a bully! Why can’t Mr Zuckerberg and Mr Systrom leave Mr Spiegel alone!