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Meet The New Snapchat - It's Called Facebook Stories

11 Apr, 2017
Facebook Feels Threatened Enough To Copy Snapchat

Facebook has taken over such a big part of our lives today that if we don’t check our News Feed at least six times a day, we feel as if we’ve had an incomplete day. Add WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and all the other social media apps into the mix, and the whole day goes by with us still in our little cocoons.

Facebook Stories is the latest attempt at integrating us deeper into this world of the visual. Casually cast on us by Facebook as a ‘new feature’, it’s actually a careless replica of Snapchat.

But why is Facebook so determined to duplicate Snapchat into all of its products? A question the entire world is asking while cocking a snort at Facebook for it’s snarky be-everywhere greed.

Well, I believe there is a simple answer to this. Snapchat did something truly innovative with its Stories in 2013 that gave it a huge push, and Facebook felt threatened. They’d already failed at acquiring Snapchat itself, so much like a lover scorned, they decided to copy Snapchat instead of being left out – just to stay up with the Joneses.

First they introduced Instagram stories in the year 2016. I guess we can give them points for that move – after all, it did prove to be a huge success for the company. They even managed to bring a lot of people over from Snapchat to Instagram.

But they took this competition thing a little too far when they did the same to WhatsApp in February this year. Our good old WhatsApp – a sanctuary from the noise of most other social media apps such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – also became a victim to this foregrounding of the visual. I know I wasn’t alone in feeling annoyed at the removal of the old, friendly, text-based status feature. Thankfully, they heard our protestations and moans, and brought the written status feature back in the end.

The ultimate overkill, however, was when they rolled out the Stories feature in their own (i.e. Facebook) mobile app. It appears right on top of the News Feed, along with a newly updated camera. There is also ‘Direct’, that allows you to share stories privately with a friend.
There may be a few twists, but we see it for exactly what it is – a replica of Snapchat Stories.

Now, Facebook undoubtedly, has a wider reach than Snapchat or Instagram or any other social media app for that matter. It is used by people from all age groups, while the other apps cater mostly to a younger generation. So the feature will be new for a lot of its users. Who knows, it might even be successful…

Nevertheless, this excess of Facebook doesn’t sit well with most people. Twitter has grabbed this opportunity to make fun of Facebook and has come up with hilarious memes saying that even a potato and medieval manuscripts will now have stories.

We get it, Facebook – the world is moving on from the written to the visual. But you can just as easily gain an edge by doing something different. Stories are not the only way to entice your users, are they? And copying your competitors to such an extreme is definitely not the solution to adapt to this changing world.

Remember, innovation is always better than replication.