Facebook Unveils Yet Another Potential Snapchat Killer -- Barrons.com
11:29 am ET March 10, 2017 (Dow Jones) Print
By Emily Bary and Mohammed Kabir
Facebook isn't done finding ways to rip off Snapchat.
The company debuted a new feature Thursday called "Messenger Day," available to users of its Messenger app. You take a photo of yourself or your surroundings, draw on it, add a filter, and post it as a status of sorts that's viewable by your friends for 24 hours.
Sounds a lot like Snapchat Stories. And much like Facebook's own Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status. Messenger, in fact, is the third Facebook property to launch a clone of Snapchat's popular Stories feature.
Facebook's attention has become risk for Snap, Inc.'s newly-public shares
. Investors will get to see the competition play out every day in the stock market.
Facebook doesn't seem worried at all about being a copycat, and though users may mock the company's lack of originality, they're not staying away from the new features. Shortly after the launch of Instagram Stories, it amassed as many users as Snapchat had -- about 150 million. The WhatsApp version, launched last month, could gain traction internationally, where Snap isn't as strong.
In order for Snap to gain new users, it has to convince people to download its app, add their contacts, and learn to navigate the service. But Messenger already has a billion-plus monthly active users, and they'll get pushed an automatic update with the new "Day" feature. Many of those users are sure to give it a try.
This isn't good news for Snap. Potential users who haven't yet tried the disappearing-photo app will now have one built into yet another app they already use often. If they end up liking it, there won't be much incentive to download an additional app that does the same thing.
We will say this: Snapchat's unique "streak" feature, which lets you see how many days in a row you've snapped each friend, has a cult-ish popularity. Friends take their streaks seriously, and, so far, the Facebook doesn't appear to have made this a part of their services. But it might just be a matter of time before the social networking giant copies that, as well.
Big Picture: By taking Snapchat's ideas, Facebook won't win awards for creativity. But the social-networking giant could win over Snapchat's potential users.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 10, 2017 11:29 ET (16:29 GMT)