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‘Clone wars’ could suffocate Snapchat

WEDNESDAY LIFE
By Jerry Odumbe | August 10th 2016

In the social media universe, borrowing a leaf from competitors has become normal. For example, for a long time Twitter boasted of its famous hashtag feature until Facebook, Instagram and other platforms began using the idea on their platforms.

Twitter recently borrowed a leaf from Facebook and introduced an algorithmic timeline feed, rendering the real-time feed an optional feature for users. However, there appears to be a new platform taking over. It goes by the name Snapchat. This mobile application, born in 2011, allows users to send and receive self-destructing photos and videos. The app has become increasingly popular, especially among teenagers and platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are drawing inspiration from Snapchat. Case in point, if you have visited Instagram of late, you may have noticed a new feature which the company has dubbed Instagram Stories, and if you are a fan of Snapchat as well, you may have noticed that this novel feature looks, smells, feels and behaves a lot like Snapchat stories. Yes, Instagram didn’t even bother to change the name.

Recent reports reveal that Facebook is also working on a novel Snapchat-like camera atop “News Feed”. Snapchat’s popularity has clearly triggered clone wars, with many platforms getting ideas from it with a view to keeping up with Snapchat’s growth. This may be a problem for Snapchat as its growth could stall. Clearly, if Snapchat wants to keep up, it needs to restrategise and rather than preventing others from copying its features.

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