Facebook created a mess trying to take on Snapchat

If you use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp, you have probably noticed recent updates that allow you to share a picture that expires after 24 hours.

Stories, Shared Days, or Status, all different names for the same feature across 4 different apps. This is what they look like side by side:

Facebook is trying to suffocate Snap by flooding every app they own with the one thing that made Snapchat special.

Time will tell if this strategy is actually successful (hint: it will be). What is clear today is that those who use several of these apps get an overwhelming experience.

Where do you post your expiring update? What if you want to post the same on WhatsApp and Instagram? What if you are not even interested in the feature?

Perhaps none of these issues matter to Facebook. Saturating the market is a good way of deafening the user and starving Snapchat along the way. But what’s next?

Once Facebook becomes the default service for expiring updates, they’ll have to come up with a way of consolidating the experience.

A new Stories app would be the best option and the ultimate Snapchat killer: an app that connects with your Facebook, Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp accounts, and:

  • Propagates a new update to any connected service.
  • Shows updates published from any connected service.

Power users would have a way of maximizing their reach, and regular users would get a single stop to consume all of their friends updates, regardless of where they originally posted them.

However, this is not a reality yet and it might never be, considering how independent these apps and their respective teams are.

Is it worth duplicating features and creating a messy ecosystem in an attempt to kill the competition? Facebook seems to think so.


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