Clash of the Stories: Will Facebook really kill Snapchat?
Snapchat vs Facebook — Who is going to win?
It’s been tough for Snapchat since its big competitor Facebook released the stories feature on almost all of its apps.
The only feature that makes Snapchat unique is brutally copied by Facebook and it just makes me think about what’s going on with them.
In 2016, Instagram launched Instagram Stories and their CEO openly admitted that the feature was copied from Snapchat.
Everyone in the tech industry lost their minds when they saw this happen. Many people claimed that Snapchat is going to lose.
From that day to now, we have Instagram Stories, Whatsapp Status, Messenger Stories and Facebook Stories.
What’s going on with Mark Zuckerberg? Whenever I go to Quora to answer questions, I find people asking:
“Is there something personal between Mark Zuckerberg & Evan Speigel?”
“Why is Facebook copying Snapchat?”
“Will Facebook kill Snapchat?”
Today I want to share what I think about this war between the two. But before I do that, let’s take a look back and see how this all started.
December 21, 2012: Facebook releases Poke
Long before Instagram Stories, Facebook released Poke. The app let users send messages, photos, or videos that disappear after up to ten seconds.
But the app never gained traction and was shut down in 2014. This was just the beginning of a war no one saw coming.
August 2, 2016: Instagram launches Stories
It was a shocking day for Snapchat when Instagram introduced the stories feature on its app.
People were shocked to see how openly Instagram copied Snapchat. Their CEO Kevin Systrom even admitted that it was a rip off and said “ They deserve all the credit”.
Snapchat suffered a major blow as many celebrities and influencers noticed a decline in their story views. This was all because of Instagram Stories and its fast growth.
Many people even ditched Snapchat because they found Instagram Stories simple to use.
Instagram Stories has now over 150 million users and is growing faster than Snapchat. They recently launched skippable ads in between stories.
January 25, 2017: Facebook launches Stories
When the dust settled, Facebook cloned Snapchat once again. But this time, the feature was copied on Facebook itself.
Facebook first launched the stories feature in Ireland to test it out. It then became really clear that Facebook wants to overthrow Snapchat in this game and become the one-stop shop of social media.
With over 1 Billion users, Facebook stories can really kick Snapchat out of the market.
Now there were two apps by Facebook that had the stories feature. But Mark Zuckerberg thought it was not enough.
February 20, 2017: Whatsapp launches Status
This is the day I got really pissed off. The copycat released the stories feature on Whatspp now and they removed the good old text status.
Whatsapp CEO Jan Koum says “ The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you’re up to.”
Wasn’t Snapchat doing this?
Many people expressed their annoyance when the feature was launched on Whatsapp.
But this is a big opportunity for Whatsapp to monetize the app. Just like Instagram stories, they can show ads in between stories.
Now, Snapchat has to compete with Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp.
Everyone thought it was over, until it wasn’t.
March 9, 2017: Facebook launches Messenger Day
Glad they didn’t use the word “stories” again. Messenger Day is also a Snapchat clone. There’s nothing else to say.
Why Copy The Same Feature On Different Apps?
All Facebook’s apps now have the Stories feature. At first, I thought that this was happening because Snapchat CEO Evan Speigel refused Facebook’s offer to buy Snapchat for $3 billion.
And it kind of makes sense. Facebook is big and they can easily replicate any product that has potential (which they actually did).
But when Facebook announced that they will be introducing stories feature on it’s other apps, I was shocked.
Why would they add the same feature everywhere? It doesn’t makes sense.
Well, it does.
Many people have been looking at this as a war between Facebook & Snapchat. It is a war but not the way you think.
The stories feature is the evolution of social media. It’s the new way of communicating.
And this communication medium is far more personal than any other.
On top of that, Facebook can really crush Snapchat’s revenue. How?
The first thing I checked when I used Facebook stories for the first time was the stickers and lenses.
Snapchat’s revenue is built around it.
Facebook has a very large user base. Brands that have been paying Snapchat thousands of dollars for lenses and filters can ditch them and go with Facebook.
Snapchat’s growth is declining and this is a major problem they have now. With so many apps like Snapchat, it will be difficult for them to scale and grow.
And if they fail to do so, advertisers will leave them and go with other apps.
But there’s still something unique about Snapchat:
The platform itself.
Will Facebook Really Kill Snapchat?
Okay so Mark Zuckerberg introduced the stories feature on all apps. But many people will still love using Snapchat more than anything else.
Not everyone will share on Facebook what they’re up to. At least not yet.
That’s why Snapchat was invented. It still is an underground social platform where people can relax and share their daily activities.
Of course we now have Instagram Stories, Messenger Day and Whatsapp Status, but I don’t think many people will share everything that they’re doing on these platforms.
Let’s talk about Facebook for a while:
I have over 1500 friends on Facebook and I haven’t met or talked to 500 of them. Will I share what I am doing right now with them?
Probably not. I am friends with my friend’s friends. Do they even know I am a marketer? I guess not.
When I saw who viewed my first story on Facebook, I didn’t even knew many of those people.
When it comes to being casual and private, Snapchat still wins the game.
I really like Snapchat more than anything else. I got pissed when Snapchat was cloned many times.
But as I marketer, you can’t let your emotions drive you.
You can hate it, but you can’t ignore it.
I use all these platforms now and find Snapchat and Instagram Stories the best.
If you ask me will Facebook kill Snapchat, my answer will be no.
Yes, Snapchat will face problems with its growth and revenue. But it will still remain an important social platform.
Besides that, I really look forward to this clash of the stories.