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Mark Zuckerberg's company tried to purchase Snap for $3 billion in 2013, but the camera company politely declined the offer. Since then Snapchat's popularity and worth have skyrocketed. The company's market cap has been pegged as high as $34 billion, and held its initial public offering on March 2.
But for at least a year, Facebook has rolled out features across its various products that bear a striking resemblance to Snapchat's functions. Not only do they do the same thing, in some cases they look eerily alike. And, it seems the copycat items may be having an effect on Snapchat's slowing user growth rate, even Snap acknowledged Instagram Stories could be a direct competitor in its S-1 filing. (However, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel blamed phone issues during the company's roadshow.)
Instagram Stories (and WhatsApp Status and Messenger Day) vs. Snapchat Stories
In Aug. 2016, Facebook unveiled Instagram Stories (image left). The feature allows users to take a picture or video, and customize it with doodles, a photo filter, digital stickers or a location tag. People could then post the content in their story, where it would remain for 24 hours. Similar disappearing post features are rolling out in WhatsApp and Messenger.
Yep, that's pretty much what Snapchat Stories (right) has been doing since October 2013.
Instagram Stories ads vs. Snapchat Stories ads
At the beginning of 2017, Instagram announced it would allow advertisers to include short photo or video ads in between user posts on its Stories. It's almost identical to one of the ad products Snapchat offers. Snap also allows companies to purchase ads in-between publisher content on Snapchat Discover, as well as sponsor location filters and digital-mask effects called Lenses.
Facebook Messenger's camera vs. Snapchat's Camera
Messenger unveiled a new camera interface in Dec. 2016 (image left), which looks almost identical to Snapchat's camera screen (right), save a few details like the tiny Snap logo in the upper left corner and ability to scroll through and put Snapchat Lens digital effects over people's faces.
Instagram and Messenger filters vs. Snapchat filters
If you want to add a filter on one of your images on Instagram Stories or Messenger (image left) take a photo, touch the smiley face icon on the upper right, choose from a list of categories, and swipe left or right to put a filter on. If you're on Snapchat (right), take your picture, then swipe left or right to see the various filters.
Now, you're ready to post.
Facebook original shows vs. Snapchat original shows
The Wall Street Journal reported Facebook is courting media companies to create original video series, an initiative led by College Humor co-founder Ricky Van Veen. Snap has also sought bespoke programming. There are some slight differences — for example, Facebook reportedly wants shows up to 30 minutes, while Snapchat's series currently clock in at a few minutes an episode — but the quest for exclusive programming seems to be something they both share.
Honorable mention: Masquerade vs. Snapchat Lenses
Facebook bought Masquerade in March 2016, a photo and video filter app that allows people to swap faces with friends, put masks and other garb on their digital images or manipulate their image. It's exactly what Snapchat Lenses currently does. So far, Facebook hasn't rolled out a clear copycat of Lens technology on any of its platforms. However, since it owns the Masquerade technology, it's only a matter of time.