Is social media giant, Facebook becoming a little envious? Over the past four years, it seems Mark Zuckerberg’s main business tactic has been to copy the best ideas from all of his competitors. The most successful of these being Instagram’s stories which launched in August of 2016. To date, Facebook has attempted to copy Snapchat features more than 15 times.
What is Facebook up to this time?
The latest development in this saga is Facebook’s release of its new camera filters and stories feature. Released on Tuesday, 28 March, these new features will afford Facebook users the opportunity to share photos and videos with cool new frames, masks, and filters and share them with their family and friends.
Additionally, Facebook users will be able to create their own stories, as with Instagram and Snapchat. These stories can consist of photos or videos that will appear at the top of your news feed and ultimately disappear after 24 hours, just like Snapchat. After experimenting with the feature on both Instagram and WhatsApp, stories are now available on the larger social network in the world.
Why Facebook has introduced new features
Product Manager at Facebook, Connor Hayes explains that they want to make sharing creative photos and videos with friends and family, fast, fun and easy as well as to share them for however long they choose. He further explains that the more content users share, the more open the community is and becomes more connected too.
The new filters can transform you into a wide array of characters from Wonder Woman to one of the Power Rangers, letting you create endless goofy pictures to share with your Facebook friends.
Snapchat’s Stories feature was released in 2013 and follows the same premise- you can apply fun and quirky filters, share them with your friends and family and let them disappear from the internet community after 24 hours. Instagram released its version of stories last year to its 150 million users. This amazing application is gaining popularity among many users throughout the world.
Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel has refrained from commenting on the situation. However, his fiancé, Miranda Kerr has expressed her disapproval on the matter in an interview with The Times asking why they cannot be innovative on their own, and stated that copying someone else’s ideas is in no sense being innovative.
In defense of Facebook, Hayes said in a statement that the stories feature was really pioneered by Snapchat. He continues to explain that Facebook’s take on Stories was to provide a way for people to share and view photos and videos across all their social apps.
Hayes continues to explain that for the last 10 years the Facebook interface has been very focused in the text element as well as the changing way that people create the content and share it. Hayes concludes to explain that Facebook is trying to upgrade the app to cater for this change in behavior.
Despite ‘borrowing’ Snapchat’s idea, Facebook still has a number of creases to iron out for a seamless feature across all their apps. At present, Facebook stories only allow users to respond to friend’s stories within the stories feature and not in Messenger, which also has its own stories feature called Messenger Day.
Facebook now has almost identical stories features across all four of its major social media platforms, although users are not able to cross-post their stories between Facebook-owned apps.
Try it for yourself
Open your Facebook app and take a look at these new features and decide for yourself whether you like it or not. Or do you prefer the good old original Snapchat? Regardless of where your preference lies, Facebook will continue to upgrade in an attempt to be on top, whether it is based on their originality or Snapchat’s genius ideas.