Is Facebook taking inspiration from Snapchat?

FacebookImitation is the greatest form of flattery, and Facebook seems to have been doing a lot of that recently.

Brand new features have been springing up all over the place, but we have a nagging feeling that we’ve seen several of them before – mostly on Snapchat.

Facebook: the king of social media

Facebook is undoubtedly the biggest social media channel in the world. There are over 1.94 billion monthly active users – that’s a number too big for anyone to ignore!

It is one of the most popular platforms for businesses as it:

  • Provides its own advertising
  • Reaches a huge audience
  • Is easy to share content
  • Allows for direct contact with customer base
  • Improves online presence

Facebook also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, but despite these mergers other platforms are sneaking up on the giant. That’s why it’s introducing brand new features at every opportunity.

Inspired by Snapchat

Let’s take a look at the latest features from Facebook and how they relate to the offerings from Snapchat:

Facebook Live ‘masks’

This one’s similar to Snapchat Lenses – the filters that make you look like puppies, pigs or photoshopped princesses. Facebook Live can now turn you into a panda in a couple of clicks.

Instagram geostickers

Almost exactly the same as Snapchat’s ‘location-aware’ stickers, this feature tells users exactly what you are through stickers/videos that move around the screen.

Snapchat Stories

24-hour montages have been cropping up throughout the Facebook universe. Here’s where you can find them:

  • WhatsApp ‘Status’
  • Instagram ‘Stories’
  • Facebook Messenger ‘Day’

Facebook Messenger photo editor

The new camera interface is very similar to Snapchat. Scribble on pictures, send it as a message or add it to your ‘Day’. Simple.

Why Snapchat?

Basically, because it’s popular and it offers things that Facebook doesn’t (or didn’t until these updates).

Snapchat is a more private way to share images (without the public likes, favourites or comments). This means users feel free to post without worrying if someone ‘liked’ it or not.

The ephemeral nature of the messages encourages sharing and means that an individual image doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s a quick, easy and harmless way to share images.

What does this mean for small businesses?

If you’ve been using Snapchat for business, you’ll be able to use Facebook’s new features without too much trouble; if not it’s time to learn the ropes.

There are several business benefits you can gain from these features:

  • Stories are a great way to gain a following.
  • ‘Day’ will become a good way to promote products and events.
  • Content creation is much simpler, and doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • The 24-hour limit instills a sense of urgency – perfect for flash sales and offers.
  • A montage of pictures will provide insight into your business (and a human touch).

Snapchat is a great tool for business, so it’s no surprise Facebook wants to get in on the action. Use the features on both platforms to get the best results. A bonus of the similarity between the two platforms is that you can use the same content for both!

To find out more about using social media for business, get in touch with NS Design today!

Share this on social media...