Snap Works to Stay Ahead of Facebook’s Cloning Practices



Snapchat struggles to stay unique

Facebook (FB) has recently created versions of several features that helped make Snap’s (SNAP) Snapchat unique and compelling to its base of young users. Snapchat Stories, a feature that allows users to collect images and videos to tell a story, has been cloned by Facebook in various forms such as Instagram Stories in Instagram, its photo-sharing app.

Other Snapchat-like features, including disappearing photos, have recently surfaced on Facebook properties such as WhatsApp, Messenger, and the flagship Facebook app. Facebook’s practice of importing Snapchat features seems to be designed to erode its rival’s competitive advantages. This trend would make it difficult for Snap to lure away Facebook’s users.

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Tweaking the duplicated features

How could Snap cope with a rival that continually clones its features? The solution for Snap would be to differentiate its features by making them more appealing than the forms copied by Facebook. Snap seems to be moving in that direction.

Snap (SNAP) recently introduced a feature that enables users to add 3D animated objects to their images and videos. This feature could expand the options for its nearly 160 million daily active users to express themselves on the platform. The 3D animated feature can be viewed as an upgrade of Snapchat’s interactive filters that Facebook had already duplicated. The filters allow users to overlay flat effects on their photos.

Battle for subscribers and advertisers

Social media companies continually roll out features and services to attract and retain users and advertisers. Facebook, Snap, Twitter (TWTR), Yelp (YELP), and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google are all fighting for Internet advertising budgets.


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