The “digital and commercial war” of social networks

“Do not let your rival dominate the market” is the motto of social networks. It is thus guided by this philosophy that for some time Twitter confronts Facebook and Instagram defeats Snapchat, engaging even a pitiless war, obviously at the expense of their originality.

On November 3, 2015, Twitter announced that it intended to replace its “favorite” button with a “heart” button, “a universal symbol that makes sense across all languages, cultures and geographic areas”
The transformation of the “favorite” button into a “heart” button was aimed at attracting Internet users who did not yet use the social network. Indeed, in spite of 300 million users, Twitter is, in recent years, in loss of speed against its competitors. Thus, the purpose of this change was to reassure users outside the network, which may seem complicated to understand at first sight, taking codes that they already know from other platforms. But many saw there a copy of the button of the same shape already existing on Instagram or of the Facebook’s famous “Like”. And for good reason, the war between social networks is well and truly present and each one does not hesitate to pick up the inventions of others to make themselves more attractive.

The end of the ephemeral for Snapchat

On July 7, 2016, Snapchat announced the launch of “Memories”, a new feature that allows its users to upload content captured directly with their smartphone, even outside the application.
This innovation has come to disturb the network’s image, above all based on the sending of ephemeral contents, often captured on the spot and very little worked. This functioning made Snapchat an “apart” app. With the coming of “Memories”, Snapchat thus came to walk on the turf of Instagram, social ultimate network of the “appearance”, where the photos are modified with great filters.

According to some digital specialists, the application would seek to generalize. So to reach a wider audience, it adapts these codes and copies other networks.

Instagram’s counterattac

On August 2, 2016, Instagram reveals the addition of a “Stories” function to its next update. Modelled on Snapchat, it will now be possible to post videos and photos in a sort of logbook for 24 hours. After this time, the contents will disappear.
Although the co-founder of Instagram defends himself by pointing out that the mission of the network “has always been to capture and share moments”, the application recognizes all the same that “all the merit belongs to the other applications” for having developed the concept of ephemeral contents, of course, without ever mentioning


Snapchat, a real source of inspiration

Instagram is not the only social network that wants to align itself with Snapchat. Indeed, in August 2016, the social networking giant, Facebook, launched an application that closely resembles its major competitor and targets the same audience: young people, even teenagers: the mini social network “Lifestage”.
The application, still in test phase, is only available on iOS and in the United States. Its principle is simple, it allows users under 21 years to publish short videos to express what they feel, love or hate, visible only by students of the same school. Like Snapchat, color customization is possible. A return to the origins of Facebook from the early days, with a « face book » of students, animated this time. At the moment, it is not directly related to Facebook, but the creation of a link between the two applications is provided later. It would make it possible to rejuvenate the image of Facebook, in particular by adapting to the uses of the generation Z, centered around the video.160822120456-facebook-lifestage-780x439


This is not the first time that Facebook runs after the success of Snapchat. In November 2013, Mark Zuckerberg tried to buy the start-up for $ 3 billion. Offer flatly refused by the Snapchat’s CEO. Facebook has therefore opted for a different strategy: to copy its challenger. In 2012, he launched “Poke”, an application to send ephemeral messages like on Snapchat, before stopping it in 2014, due to a lack of users. He also briefly proposed a photo sharing application: “Slingshot”, also abandoned a few months after its launch. But the last Zuckerberg strike seems to work better: new great feature, the “story” on messenger are undoubtedly straight inspired from snapchat.

The risk of disinterest

As the history of the different social networks reveals, each one is trying to copy others and all are trying to unify. In 2013, Instagram launched a private messaging feature similar to that of Twitter. Snapchat and Instagram have about the same user base. By copying one another, the two networks do not take the risk of having these users leave the competition. However, the loss of specificity and originality makes their use more banal and could eventually push their users to lose interest in one or both …

Akhéane Vaucelles



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