A couple of days back, WhatsApp introduced a new feature known as Status. The “Status” feature allows the users to share photos, GIFs or videos overlaid with drawings, emojis and a caption that will be visible to selected friends for 24 hours, before disappearing. If that sounds similar, it’s because it is. The feature is exactly like Snapchat and Instagram stories and immediately after the update, a lot of fans were complaining about Facebook’s obsession with Snapchat. A lot of people made fun and disapproved of the new features, however, this isn’t the first time an app owned by Facebook has tried to emulate Snapchat. In the past, Facebook has made countless attempts to try and bring Snapchat like features to its application and even once tried to acquire it for $3 billion. So today let us take a look at 5 other times Facebook tried to emulate Snapchat.
A year after the launch of Snapchat, Facebook launched poke in order to throttle Snapchat’s momentum. The application was a complete Snapchat rip-off and featured disappearing chats, photos, and video messages. Unsurprisingly, the application failed to attract any attention due to lack of new features and the fact that people were simply hooked on to Snapchat. Eventually, Mark Zuckerberg wrote off Poke as “a joke,” saying that it was quickly built during a hackathon.
Facebook’s second attempt to create a Snapchat like application was Slingshot. Slingshot was pretty identical to Snapchat in terms of features, allowing its users to exchange photos and videos that disappeared after a single view. However, one key feature that differentiated the two apps was that before you could view a message in slingshot, you had to send a message back. Within just three months’ time, this restriction was removed making the application exactly like Snapchat. While Slingshot was a better attempt at trying to topple competition, like poke, the application failed to attract any significant attention and within a year after its launch, the app was discarded by the social media giant.
- Instagram Stories
In another attempt to try and compete with Snapchat, Facebook added a new feature to its popular photo sharing service Instagram, known as stories. Stories, was a new feature that allowed Instagram users to take a stream of photos which expired after 24 hours. In terms of interface, one had to admit that Instagram stories looked exactly like Snapchat. From the way you browsed stories, to the entire concept of the app, pretty much everything had been influenced by Snapchat. However, instead of copying the entire user experience, Instagram tried to take the concept of Snapchat and in some ways aimed to make it better. Perhaps the biggest advantage for Instagram was that was already a well-renowned photo sharing service and stories, was an added feature that user could enjoy by simply updating the app.
- Messenger codes
One of the most innovative features of Snapchat is Snapcodes, a feature which allows the users to add other people on Snapchat when viewed in the app. In April 2016, Facebook introduced something similar with Facebook messenger known as messenger codes. Messenger codes, are a scannable series of dots and dashes around your profile picture that let you add a person as a contact. The feature was exactly like Snapcodes and was added by the fans to the long list of Facebook features that were inspired by Snapchat.
Back in October of 2015, Facebook introduced a new feature called Doodle. The feature allowed the users to draw over their uploaded pictures through a brush. Users also had the option of adjusting the size of the brush and write or draw whatever they wanted. The feature was extremely similar to Snapchat photo editing however, one key difference was that while Snapchat photo editing is addictive, few people like to post weird looking photos on their Facebook timeline.
So have you used any of these features or applications introduced by Facebook or are you a loyal Snapchat user? Leave your opinion in the comments below and follow GenY on both Facebook and Snapchat.