When taking over Snapchat isn’t enough . . .

Facebook desperately wants to win social media. Having mastered the longer-form networking platform, it reached out and bought Instagram to begin playing in the incredibly short (but visual) marketplace. But that wasn’t enough. All too soon Instagram Moments was introduced to try and bring the young users of its largest visual competitor Snapchat to the platform, and now Twitter’s offshoot Periscope is the next app in their sights.

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It is difficult to compete with Facebook. Social media consumers spend so much of their time on this integrated platform searching for entertainment in a multitude of different forms. And if we can get the same functionality within this app without changing to another app then we are more likely to remain on the original platform. At least that is the thinking which is guiding Facebook’s product acquisition and development strategies.

This was first clearly displayed with the introduction of Instagram moments. Capturing pictures and short videos from throughout the day. Adding personalised scribbles and stickers. Sharing them with all your friends. On paper, it sounds very similar to the premise of Snapchat being brought into an existing platform to increase the time users spend on the platform – hence increasing the advertising revenue.

But having mastered the Snapchat product within their own style, Facebook is allowing Instagram Moments to go live. Much like Facebook Live, Instagram Live allows you to broadcast a live stream straight to all your followers but in an environment where you aren’t competing with a whole raft of other pages – Facebook’s number one problem. Instagram Live rises above this because it isn’t yet subjected to the clutter many users complain about in regards to the Facebook platform.

Yet, this latest product development sounds strangely like another competitor’s functionality . . .

Twitter acquired start-up Periscope a little while ago, an app which essentially allowed you to live stream anything you were doing around the world. You could follow influencers in your live, get alerts when the accounts you followed on Twitter began broadcasting and even search through a world map for people periscoping around the world in interesting locations.

At the moment, Instagram has contained this new function to the existing selection of pages you follow (but chances are you won’t have to wait long for this to change!). So, unfortunately for Periscope, it looks like people will be turning to a different app to find their online broadcast content as chances are they are already spending their time on Instagram.

It came as a surprise when Facebook didn’t purchase Twitter earlier in the year, but it seems clear why they passed now. Why waste money acquiring a product when you can build on your competitor’s existing ideas and integrate them into your own programs?

I’d look out Twitter . . . Facebook is running out of competitors to target!  

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