Facebook has yet again released another Snapchat copycat app. Another one of many attempts and amidst its antitrust case with the FTC, this one has affected Snapchat noticeably, causing a drop in SNAP stock.
On Thursday, after Facebook announced its new Threads app, Snap Inc. (SNAP) stock fell up to 7%. Facebook’s latest attempt to clone features already being used by Snapchat is only one of many, which has since pitched both social media giants together in the public eye.
Even though Threads is a stand-alone app, it allows users already on Instagram to exchange status updates and media including photos and videos, to specific people who make up their “close friends”, an Instagram feature which was introduced in November last year.
Threads very obviously takes more than a few ideas from Snapchat which already runs in the same way, letting users send and receive private messages, videos, and pictures as well. As Instagram’s Director of Product Robby Stein puts it:
“Now you can use Threads to message those people on your Instagram close friends list and you’ll have a dedicated inbox and notifications just for them. If you don’t have a list set up yet, you can make one directly from Threads when you download the app.
Threads is the fastest way to share a photo or video with your close friends on Instagram. It opens directly to the camera and allows you to add shortcuts, so you can share what you’re doing in just two taps.”
Threads’ similarity to Snapchat has obviously not gone unnoticed and has sparked serious conversation. Firstly, Threads has the potential to compete quite seriously with Snapchat due to the sheer size of the customer base. Instagram already boasts of about 500 million daily active users, while Snapchat has less than half of that, at 203 million active daily users.
Secondly, Facebook is known to constantly rip off Snapchat features and has done so multiple times in the past. Back in 2012, Facebook launched a Poke app to copy Snapchat. Two years later, Facebook gave it another shot, with its Slingshot app and this, just like Poke, didn’t do well. Furthermore, Direct was launched in 2017 but a few months ago, Facebook announced that it would be shutting down the app.
Of all these attempts, Instagram Stories is still the most successful. Launched in 2016, the Stories was a direct copy of Snapchat’s main feature which allowed users to post videos and pictures that only stayed on for 24 hours. Today, there are Stories on other Facebook apps including Whatsapp, Messenger, and the main Facebook.
Recently, we reported that Snap surprisingly had a large dossier of files it kept for years, which detailed several suspicious actions Facebook has taken in the past, in its quest to frustrate Snap out of the market. The dossier, dubbed Project Voldemort, was unveiled to support an antitrust investigation initiated a few months ago by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Presently, SNAP is trading at $14.75 and even with its drop, the company’s stock still boasts of more than 150% year-to-date returns.