When Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, spurned an offer of $3 billion cash from Facebook Inc (FB) CEO a few years back many, myself included, thought he was mad and a bit arrogant. Now, when the company poised for a 2017 IPO looking to raise $4 billion on a $25-$35 billion valuation that could see $40 billion he’s looking pretty smart and Mr. Zuckerberg continues to follow his lead in services offered.
Facebook (FB) in testing of very familiar Snapchat features according to reports
Yesterday we reported on Facebook Inc (FB)’s limited launch of “Masks” for iOS that allows users to go Live with Facebook Live sporting a skeleton, pumpkin or witch costume in a manner awfully reminiscent of Snapchat’s filters.
One could call it borrowing or stealing, but it’s nowhere near the scale that Snapchat works with when it comes to the effects, filters, and fun that Snapchat enjoys. Facebook Inc (FB) has been making a conscious effort to push its Facebook Live service in recent weeks including a massive advertising campaign to bring attention to the service. By adding masks, Facebook likely though that some otherwise shy users might be tempted to start streaming themselves live where they might not otherwise or just have some fun on iOS ahead of Halloween.
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All that said, it’s looking more and more like Facebook Inc (FB), which continues to see a gain in users but a decline in photo and video sharing (partly due to the successes and originality of Snapchat especially with teens and those in their early 20s) is truly looking to emulate Snapchat with both more and more filters for photos and videos as well as self-erasing messages and shares.
Facebook testing familiar features from Snapchat
As far as taking a page from Snapchat, they are and Facebook Inc (FB) should. It’s not the worse choice of companies to emulate given that come next year when Snapchat goes public it will surely be the highest valued social application to go public since Twitter did in November 2013.
Facebook Inc (FB) appears to have built a new camera as well as beefing up its messaging capabilities to encourage its users to “share moments as they happen and express yourself more.” That’s hardly theft despite the addition of numerous filters that will give Facebook Inc (FB) a distinctly Snapchat feel.
However, disappearing messages and photos is distinctly borrowing from Snapchat and the original reason that the company surged to popularity and for some reason was never used by New York politician Anthony Wiener who could have saved his job, family and himself a whole lot of embarrassment if his “dick pics” and “sexting” went “poof” into the ether after viewing.
Many don’t love the dual need for Facebook Inc (FB)’s core app and another for Facebook Messenger, and Facebook Inc (FB) has created a new inbox for these new camera photos in the primary app and won’t require the use of Messenger.
Again, these products are simply in testing and outside of yesterday’s launch of “Masks” in the United States and New Zealand for iOS, but it’s easy to think that Facebook Inc (FB) will release them to the public as soon as they are ready to try to make the social network cooler or at least less stale to its youthful audience.
Few get rid of their Facebook Inc (FB) accounts, but for many, it’s being used less and less as a messaging service because, well, it’s just not as fun as Snapchat.