Snapchat has become a social media phenomenon teens and millennials obsess over. From applying augmented filters to selfies, to posting personal ‘stories’ about daily life, Snapchat connects users through a friendly interface and comical in-app features. Despite having 150 million monthly active users and plans to go public early this year, Snapchat’s days may be numbered.
The executioner? Facebook, Inc.
Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012, and now the social media dream team is on the prowl. Instagram blatantly copied Snapchats signature ‘stories’ feature in August of 2016, along with some of their other components. Since Instagram has 500 million active users per month, they have a serious leg up on their rival start-up.
What’s worse is Facebook’s new additions to Facebook Messenger – another blatant reproduction of some of Snapchat’s most well-known features! Messenger recently added filters, masks, stickers and frames to the app’s camera, in addition to other updates.
These copies dilute Snapchat’s competitive advantage, which makes brand loyalty the determining factor for the company’s survival. Despite all of these ominous observations, a recent survey conducted with Wishbone stated that 57% of users would NOT delete Snapchat in favor of Instagram (or another alternative) no matter how similar the apps become.
There could be several features contributing to this loyalty, including the Snapchat’s age-relevant, appealing branding, simplified interface and entertaining in-app features.
Snapchat’s last hope for retaining its success is continued, creative innovation.
Based on their track record, they’re more than capable of competing, but the copies will undoubtedly persist.
Lacey earned a B.A. from Baylor University. Sic'em!
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