Although the two differ greatly in size, Facebook (over 1 billion users) and Snapchat (around 150 million users) are considered rivals. With Snapchat introducing features like Geo-filters, businesses have more of a reason to spend on advertising on the image and video sharing platform and Facebook is keen to protect its own ad revenues.
One way in which Facebook plans to do this is redesigning its camera. Business Insider reports that Facebook is currently testing the redesign and it “puts a Snapchat-like camera interface front and center alongside the News Feed.” The publication also explains that users are then “encouraged” to use the camera to send selfies that “disappear after 24 hours.”
Although Facebook’s camera update is currently only available in Ireland, it will be released globally “sooner rather than later,” according to Mark Zuckerberg, who spoke during the company’s latest financial briefing.
The redesign, which is a clear copycat of Snapchat’s unique selling point, isn’t the first time that Facebook has ‘borrowed’ an idea from its rival. Facebook-owned platform Instagram recently introduced ‘Instagram Stories,’ which is obviously inspired by Snapchat’s own ‘Stories’ feature. Facebook notes that Instagram Stories is now used by 100 million people each day.
With usage figures like that, the incentive for Facebook to continue to look at its rivals for inspiration is clear. And although few expect Facebook’s methods to lead to a total death of Snapchat – or any other app that it gets ideas from – Business Insider does suggest that it could certainly slow the app’s growth.
As for what this means for businesses like yours, it just drives home a point that we have pushed before; don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. In order to create a truly effective social media marketing strategy, you can’t rely on just one platform.
Facebook clearly thinks that Snapchat has a subset of users that it is currently unable to reach and so businesses should take notice. Different groups of people use different social media platforms and to reach them all, you should promote your business and engage with people across several social sites instead of just one.