“Facebook can copy features all day long and they may stem the tide of older users flocking to Snapchat to see what’s going on there… but they haven’t done a single thing to bring back the young people who are spending enormous amounts of time in Snapchat,” he says.
Facebook makes Stories ubiquitous and undifferentiated
Kleinberg says the ubiquity of Stories is going to become a major draw for Facebook, but there is a dramatically diminishing return for users who don’t have a big network of followers on each app. Although Facebook has brought Stories to prominence in a seemingly identical method across all four of its major platforms, cross-posting Stories among these apps is not possible. “To some extent it’s hurting users,” Kleinberg says. “It’s kind of annoying that I have to look around all these apps if I want to consume my network’s video feeds.”
In many ways, Facebook’s logic for making Stories a nearly identical feature in all four of its major apps is less important than the outcome. The company is simply trying to do everything it can to stunt Snapchat’s growth and remove the most obvious points of differentiation between Snapchat and Facebook’s family of apps.
“When you look at the massive ad growth that Facebook is experiencing, I think that it’s hard to describe them as desperate. They are clearly winning,” Kleinberg says. “I think their ambition is insatiable. Pride and invention is not necessarily a core value there. They see that the inherent value is the social graph… It’s just part of the typical Facebook playbook at this point. They are not above being copycats if it makes business sense.”
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