Facebook still sits atop the throne when it comes to the social media hierarchy. And they keep making strong moves to firmly establish their long-term dominance. Acquiring companies like Instagram, WhatsApp and MSQRD, plus investing heavily in emerging technologies is just part of their recipe for success.
Snapchat stands as the only platform that poses a legitimate threat to Facebook’s social marketshare. While Twitter and LinkedIn have their respective niches, they are nowhere near Facebook’s level. And it’s no secret that Mark Zuckerberg has had his eye on Snapchat for some time now.
Why else would he offer over $3 billion to acquire Snapchat 2013? Since that didn’t work out, Zuckerberg has meticulously picked apart the features that make Snapchat great, reverse-engineering them to work for his products.
In a six-month span, these collective platforms under Facebook have added features that were previously exclusive to Snapchat. Check out this timeline:
There’s strong evidence that these moves by Facebook contributed to Snapchat’s recent stunt in growth, which slowed down by 82% since Instagram Stories launched.
The question becomes: How will Snapchat respond to the competition and avoid sinking below the weight of the Facebook juggernaut?
Their latest move includes releasing their first physical product to the public, Spectacles. All signs still point to Snapchat still having a strong core of young users (average age 17 to 31) that can “grow up” with the platform. Not to mention, they still offer a unique user experience unlike any other social platform right now.
The next major date to watch will be March 1st, when Snapchat is set to file for IPO valued over $20 billion. Stay tuned for an update in the coming months.