As the war between Facebook and Snapchat took a turn for the worse, descending into a bitter rivalry from a healthy competition, this re-enactment of the David and Goliath story became enthralling to watch in 2016.
Not many may have noticed, but Snapchat recently deleted their Facebook page, which could be looked at as a symbolic gesture from the company following Facebook cloning one of the most exclusive Snapchat feature and incorporating it into Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg’s billion dollar adoption.
The t-shirt and denim clad figure, the ideological amalgamation of technological wizardry and an enviable business acumen, Mark Zuckerberg, is known for going to war whenever he felt Facebook’s numero uno status was under threat.
His strategy employs Take Over or Take Out, two of the most prominent examples being Instagram and WhatsApp. Now whatever Facebook could not acquire, became the subject of Facebook’s enmity-Snapchat.
The social networking giant, considering tangible factors such as user numbers and revenue, or intangible ones such as popularity across the world, Facebook is at the summit and holds no intentions of relinquishing the spot.
Going up against five different social media platforms, 2016 was the year Facebook threw the most number of punches. Some they landed, some they missed. Poke, Slingshot, Quick Updates etc all perished rather embarrassingly, and a company of Facebook’s stature, cannot afford to be made to look embarrassed, even more so by their own actions, against a company that has a few million users, and was founded when Facebook had already asserted its dominance in the market.
Let us take a look at how Facebook battled it out with its rivals, in the war for online commitment, ours, yours and mine.
Instagram Vs Snapchat
The younger demographic is a user base cherished by Facebook, which explained their purchase of Instagram, a platform that successfully won the loyalties of the youth.
Then came Snapchat, growing steadily, slowly shedding its unsavory image of a sexting app, transforming itself through Evan Spiegel’s imagination. Its success attracted Facebook’s attention and an offer was made.
Rejecting Facebook? The audacity!?
Considering Snapchat and Instagram direct rivals, what better than the billion dollar hen that had always laid a golden egg, to strategically eliminate Snapchat right? That’s what Facebook thought. Every possible attempt to innovate and give their own spin to picture based features fell flat on their face.
Enter, Instagram Stories.
Not only sounding familiar, but being more than just an inspiration, which Kevin Systrom admitted Snapchat was. Incorporating their rival’s most exclusive feature into one of its own platforms, Facebook left the industry and users from across the world aghast by unveiling Instagram Stories.
But the fuss it kicked up, quickly settled. The massive advantage that Instagram held over Snapchat was the number of users. 500 million (at the time), to Snapchat’s 150 million.
Now, with Instagram Stories, even a 50% adoption rate from their user base would leave Snapchat behind by a 100 million users. A neat clone. It delivered what was expected of it, ganining more than 100 million users within two months of its launch.
The battle is still on, and the bitter soup is still simmering. Snapchat has since branched out to wearable hardware, launching Spectacles, and renaming itself Snap Inc. What next? We look forward with anticipation.
Facebook Vs Youtube
YouTube and Facebook could not be pitted against each other a few years ago. Then came Facebook’s push for more video content, something the company said was the future of social sharing.
Video was a huge hit among Facebook users. But there was one problem. People were hooked. But none of the content was original. It wasn’t making money for Facebook in any way.
YouTube on the other hand, has a comprehensive revenue model in place and is home to millions of content creators on their platform.
Also, the view counter on both the platforms is very different, YouTube employs a more scrutinizing approach to ensure the numbers aren’t simply flattering but also reliable. Videos on YouTube are awarded a view, only after a user watches it for 30 seconds or more.
On Facebook though, the company auto-plays a video when you’re scrolling through your News Feed. When a video is viewed for more than 3 seconds, Facebook considers it as one view, which leads to exaggeration of numbers, which needless to point out, is not good.
Here’s a video explaining the inner works of what we just discussed, to make it easier and interesting since you have already read a lot of text. Thank you!
The opinions expressed in the video are personal and not endorsed by Social Samosa.*
Facebook wanted a piece of the pie, a big piece. The company began to test out revenue models with content creators, testing ads in the videos which is predominantly how revenue is generated. This put the two in direct competition with each other.
Now whenever you imagine video, YouTube is the first thing that comes to mind. Its position is rock solid. Facebook still hasn’t found the right balance, as the company keeps working towards more original content of their own.
Attempting to create a video library of their own, Facebook continues to work towards bringing original content on their platform, which the company intends to buy, or acquire in some manner.
Monetizing would prove as a motivator for content creators, old and new to start uploading their content on Facebook, but that could take a while, unless Facebook comes up with something irresistible.
For now, Facebook is on the back foot against YouTube.
Facebook Live vs Periscope
Live Video was all the rage this year. Twitter and Facebook were the two bigwigs trying to get their audiences accustomed to Live Video. Periscope was acquired by Twitter in 2015 even before it was launched.
Twitter chose to keep Periscope a separate app altogether rather than incorporate their technology into Twitter itself. The people loyal to Twitter did not complain.
Periscope became a huge success. Being named the iPhone App of the Year in 2015, roughly 8 months after it was officially launched, reaching the figure of 10 million accounts in four months time.
Having to download Periscope in order to Live Stream on Twitter was an avoidable necessity on Twitter’s part.
Facebook on the other hand did exactly the opposite and the results too were exactly the opposite of what Twitter achieved.
This year, Facebook did the unthinkable to come to an agreement with the International Olympics Committee, to land exclusive broadcast rights for behind the scenes footage from the Rio Olympics.
Facebook Live and the revolutionary Facebook 360 made sure the company raked in billions of views over the course of the tournament. Facebook Live became the talk of the town, with Facebook subsequently launching Live for all its users, it left Twitter’s Periscope far behind in terms of adoption.
Once again, like between Instagram and Snapchat, the numbers were stacked against Facebook’s adversary. With more than 1.7 billion users compared to Twitter’s 313 million users, the battle was not about the superior product, but about how it was utilized and Facebook excelled in that particular category.
Facebook Workplace/Jobs Vs LinkedIn
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or even YouTube for that matter, are considered recreational social media platforms, but not LinkedIn.
Source : TechCrunch
If one could imagine all the social media platforms as people, LinkedIn would be the person dressed in a suit. The platform that connects more than 450 million professionals from around the world, could never have been perceived as a competitor for Facebook. But Facebook had other thoughts.
Facebook began to test recruitment tools on their platform in November, where businesses could list available jobs on their Facebook pages. It had potential to work due to Facebook being more than familiar to the younger generation, as opposed to LinkedIn.
Additionally, Facebook launched Workplace, a pay-per-user workplace communications platform just like LinkedIn, but modified to suit the workplace so that Facebook use is not frowned upon at work anymore.
‘Connecting’ executives within an organization and others, with Workplace and Jobs, Facebook had two moves in its battle against LinkedIn.
The success or failure of it cannot be decided just yet, although it does put Facebook in direct competition with LinkedIn. Will LinkedIn delete its Facebook page?
Instagram vs Pinterest
The crux of both these platforms is identical, photos, but they are so unlike each other that until recently no one would even imagine the two could be potential rivals. Yet, here we are.
Instagram tested shoppable photo tags on their platform to further monetize themselves, which was only available in the form of advertising. Pinterest responded in a language familiar with Facebook, borrowing from Instagram, and incorporating it into their own platform. The Explore tab that highlights the best on offer on Instagram, now does the same on Pinterest.
Tailored to fuse together what’s trending and posts similar to user behaviour, it offers an attractive visual summary that intends to simplify browsing through thousands of pictures to find the best.
Instagram just hit a mind boggling 600 million users, whereas Pinterest just recently crossed the 150 million user mark.
The contrast is stark, but Pinterest has held its own to this very moment, boosting the shopping experience on their platform with an upgraded rotating showcase for businesses and merchants.
Instagram on the other hand, just unveiled Bookmarks, similar to ‘Save’ which is another highly popular Pinterest feature, it lets users save a post for future reference.
That concludes our summary of how Facebook has been battling it out with fellow social media platforms as it continues its efforts to become the one stop shop for everything social.
This is our first story under the #SocialThrowback series. Stay tuned in to find out what dominated social media in 2016.