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Copying Snapchat shows Facebook’s lack of innovation

Sharon Gaudin | March 30, 2017
Is Facebook losing some fire as it hits 13?

Facebook has been struggling to sign up and then retain younger users for several years now.

By copying a page from Snapchat, which is hot among teens and twenty-somethings, Facebook hopes those masks and disappearing messages will act like teenage catnip.

The problem, though, is that younger users already are getting those features with the app they have been using all along. Adding those features to Facebook isn't likely to cause a mass download of the Facebook app.

Why travel across town when you can get what you need at the corner store?

"Facebook is in a segment that needs continuous innovation and reinvention," said Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst. "Without that, Facebook has no growth. Period... Some of these Snapchat features may help them stay hot for a while but they need to continue to feed the fire."

Analysts are wondering whether Facebook, at the ripe old age of 13, is hitting a mid-life crisis. And, relatedly, whether co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, at 32, is not fueling the innovation fire at Facebook these days.

The next features that Facebook introduces will offer some of the answers.


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