Snapchat boasts an impressive user count, with 41% of 18-34 year olds using the app regularly. Snapchat has been going strong since 2011, and turned down a $3bn takeover bid from Facebook in 2013.
Facebook has been looking at Snapchat as inspiration for their own social media websites, including Whatsapp and Instagram for a few years now. Facebook has introduced several similar features including ‘story’ options for Instagram and most recently, Facebook.
Facebook have just launched a feature very similar to Snapchat’s platform. You can now send images directly to your friends privately and also add them to a ‘story’ which can be seen by all your Facebook friends for a limited amount of time. The feature is fairly new but they already have brand related geo filters including Universal Pictures ‘Despicable Me’ and non branded filters including a rain cloud and a koala.
Although Facebook may be able to achieve more income from brand partnerships, they are unlikely to cause Snapchat to disappear. The beauty of snapchat is that it is its own platform.
Facebook’s core users are between 30 and 40 whereas Snapchats users are mostly between 18 and 34. With this knowledge in mind, it is unlikely that snapchat users will migrate to Facebook for their snapchatting needs. This is because, there are many qualities that snapchat has that Facebook does not:
Snapchat allows for privacy
you don’t tend to add strangers or mutual friends, and if you do you never have to send that person a picture and can ignore snaps from that person entirely. Whereas, I believe a lot of us are guilty of having many ‘friends’ on Facebook that we barely know.
Snapchat has goals
Snapchat is used as an everyday social media platform among young people, but also offers an air of competition. Snapchat uses ‘streaks’ to keep young people engaged. Streaks work so that when two people snap each other in one day they get one point or ‘streak’. This has come very competitive and some friends have got their score up into the hundreds.
Snapchat has iconic features
Stickers and Geo filters are a big part of what makes snapchat so unique. Yes, Facebook can add their own and have different brands create stickers that Snapchat don’t have but they won’t ever have the dog ears that make everyone look cute and flawless, the golden crown of butterflies that make you look tanned or the air brush filter that makes not so great photos look perfect.
In fact, even if Facebook did up their Geo filter game, Snapchat is such a staple among young people that it would simply look like even more of a direct copy of Snapchat.
I tried using the new Facebook feature but I struggled to take a photo I would actually want to share with my Facebook friends. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, I don’t feel Facebook is the appropriate platform to take a silly picture of myself for no reason (I can just imagine my Gran asking why I have a koala on my head). Secondly, the Geo filters left me slightly underwhelmed, they just aren’t as funny or shocking as the Snapchat filters.
It’s great that Facebook is moving with the times and ensuring they have the features desired by consumers, but I believe they will always be separate from Snapchat. Facebook is great at what it does, and should utilise it’s own unique features such as ‘Facebook live’.