The tech world runs on established companies acquiring young startups, and with them, the unique features they offer. Snapchat may have rejected Facebook’s $3 billion offer to sell in 2013, but that hasn’t prevented the social media giant from taking the best bits from its fresh-faced rival.
Facebook’s latest addition seems to come straight from the Snapchat playbook. Starting today, Facebook users will have a photo/video journal that is separate from their main news feeds. Stories posted to the new photo/video journal will automatically delete after 24 hours. If it sounds like you’ve seen it before, it’s because it’s taking its cue from “disappearing stories,” Snapchat’s hallmark feature.
Disappearing content isn’t the first feature that Facebook has borrowed. No longer limited to a vertical scroll, Facebookers now have the option of a horizontal scroll of friends’ icons. Tapping the icon makes them unfold just like an Instagram story.
You can also create your own stories à la Snapchat, complete with camera filters and masks. If you’d rather not make your story public, send it as a direct message to a friend — again just like Snapchat (and Instagram).
The odd part about Facebook adding direct messaging to its mobile app is that it wasn’t long ago that the world’s largest social network dropped messages and forced users to download a separate app for messaging.
While social media enthusiasts will no doubt be thrilled at Facebook’s new features, the announcement throws a wet blanket on Snapchat’s future. Snapchat only recently went public, and one of the company’s biggest risk factors is competition from Facebook.
Snapchat’s stock price dropped at the announcement from Facebook. It remains unclear what the longterm effects will be.