Flexing Facebook Muscle
Snap has shown a brazen defiance of what to many would indicate a rather suspect level of good sense. However, investment sense and conventional wisdom, wonder how Snapchat will last the race in the face of such monumental odds.
Now, the whole idea that they had something different, something akin to a competitive edge has evaporated. Facebook appears ready to flex its financial muscle to take from Snap what it could not get with a purchase request, everything.
Recently Facebook seemed to send a shot directly at the stubbornness of Snap, by adding an in-app camera to the WhatsApp function. Now Facebook users can basically do the same thing from the comfort of their Facebook account that Snap offers. Share video and images, plus throw in a convenient status update quite similar to Snapchat’s popular ‘Stories’. Facebook gave the feature a test drive in a few countries, before rolling it out to over one billion users.
Feeling the Competition
Late in 2016, Snap already conceded that it was feeling the weight of heavy competition. In an SEC report, Snap admitted that user growth had decreased, especially in the overseas markets. Some think that the drop understated the impact of Facebook’s recent additions and a dramatic decrease would have been a more truthful appraisal of the state of affairs.
Snap’s loss of users may not be from the North American teen sector as much as they are losing the people over thirty. Maybe not the biggest problem when you simply look at raw numbers, but it’s from the over thirty crowd that financial stability comes from. Snap may not show an immediate a loss in the underage market, but they are feeling the competition in the market responsible for investment profits.
So, Goes the Story?
Facebook implemented a similar feature as Stories to Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. All three ironically mirror the popular photo and video capability that was championed by Snapchat. Facebook Stories has the identical filters and masks that Snap called lenses. Users are able to add colorful features, strangely position facial hair, along with a number of other quirky things like glitter.
The Facebook update itself, is the most symbolic change they have made to the social media platform since altering the News Feed in 2006, or the Timeline adjustments in 2011. With a user trend, both young and old, towards more sharing of photographs and video, Facebook deemed these features to be essential to their stay in the market share.
In actuality, with things that are essentially a mirror image of Snapchat, this is just a different way of telling the same ‘Story’. With the tools to give the 18 to 25 year old market the same setup they showed such a fondness for as Snap users, Facebook may have foretold the future profitability of Snap, or so goes the ‘Story’.
With the massive following and market security that Facebook has developed during its existence, it’s difficult to fathom how Snapchat will be able to endure for the long haul. Initial stock prices seemed rather favorable, but no one can come up with a plausible explanation of how Snap will last in what appears to be a steady war of attrition. The battle between Facebook and Snap may turn into a situation where only the strongest survive and Facebook is certainly flexing their muscle.