You just have to admire the way Facebook is going after Snapchat with such determination as if the app is the devil incarnate. And their mission is to crush it by integrating Snapchat-like features into various products and services or outrightly cloning the app.
The latest Facebook initiative in that mission to crush Snapchat is the launch of a clear clone of Snapchat app known as Flash. First reported by Recode, the app comes complete with features that self-destruct chats after a certain period and of course filters that could be used to distort images the way users want.
The most famous attempt of Facebook to clone Snapchat was with Poke and later with an app, Slingshot, that was a blatant copy of Snapchat. And Snapchat is still standing tall and growing bigger by the day.
In recent times Facebook have decided to clone clone certain Snapchat features instead of actually making standalone apps. First of all, Facebook bought Masquerade, an app that could do weird things to images and just recently integrated it to Facebook.
Snapchat Stories is another feature targeted by Facebook. This time the tech giant incorporated the feature in the vastly popular Instagram app with success.
You could forgive Facebook for thinking that since Stories on Instagram has being a huge success so far, why not go for Snapchat’s jugular and create a complete clone of Snapchat with few alterations, ostensibly to make it better.
Better than Snapchat is one of the things Facebook is using to pitch Flash. According to them, Flash is better than Snapchat because it is lighter and would not use too much system resources. The raw numbers show that while Snapchat at the initial download is 75 MB, Flash on the other hand is just about 25MB.
This clearly shows that the app is targeted at countries where data is hard to come by and high end phones are beyond the reach of most people in the country.
Another advantage Flash should have is also about the problems of accessing internet in developing countries. Flash is built to work very well even if the Internet connection is very weak.
That reminds me of Facebook Lite. The app was launched after many people, especially in third world countries, complained that it is very difficult to use Facebook app on a smartphone in poor network situations.
The answer to that problem was the introduction of Facebook Lite which was was friendly on data consumption, battery power, and other system resources like phone’s internal memory.
However, I don’t know many people who are actually using Facebook Lite. The user experience is just not as good as the main Facebook app.
At this point I wonder where Facebook is taking their obsession for Snapchat to. Or when it is going to end. Only recently Facebook tried to buy Snow popularly known as the Snapchat of Asia.
For those who are interested in history, the consensus is that the Facebook’s dislike for all things Snapchat started about four years ago.
What happened was that Facebook offered about $3 billion to Snapchat to acquire the app. But Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snapchat, refused the offer. Since then, Facebook has being on a mission of crushing Snapchat even if they don’t say it out loud.
But you know how they say, if it quacks like a duck…..
For now Flash is being tested in Brazil only. So interested people there could download and use the app. Testing it in Brazil follows another well known strategy of Facebook in their war against Snapchat.
Only countries outside the US, where snapchat is not very strong get the benefit of these new features or apps. The logic could simply be that Facebook is trying to make sure it had captured the minds and hearts of users in these countries before Snapchat becomes strong there.
For now, Snapchat is very popular only in the US and Canada among teens and young adults.
image credit: entrpreneur.com; recode.net; snapchat.com