You don’t become the biggest most powerful social network in the world by being the nice guy all the time and Facebook look like they are set to flex their muscles once again and “borrow” some features from an upcoming competitor.
Techcrunch has leaked photos of Facebook’s new photo sharing app that is set to be released in what will be a much needed update to the current iPhone app. The app seems to draw heavily on apps like Path and Instagram and Facebook are clearly feeling the heat in this photo sharing space and want to come in and own the market quickly.
This is the big debate that is happening around Facebook at the moment because due to the fact that they have 700 million users and pretty much control the social graph as soon as they see something they like they can pretty much copy it, roll it out to all the users and it stunts the growth of the smaller company. Facebook did it to Foursquare and it looks like they might be about to do something similar to Instagram…
Instagram A Threat To The Social Graph
I’ve been saying for some time that Instagram were a very serious threat to the big social networks because with 5 million users on one platform alone (iOS) within their first 6 months and plenty of social interactions they are flying. With a new app for Android and a website on the way Instagram is starting to be a place where people share more and more photos and have social interactions and that is eating in to Facebook’s turf once again! I said months ago that Facebook needed to copy Instagram style filters and it looks like that’s what they have done with this app and it also leans heavily on some other features from the likes of Path.
Remember Foursquare’s Traction
Pretty much the day before Facebook launched their places product Foursquare were riding high and creating unbelievable buzz and turning down offers of $100 million for the company from Yahoo. It looked to all intents and purposes that they had the location war sewn up but Facebook quickly borrowed some of their features and launched Places which quickly help to stunt Foursquare’s buzz. Foursquare is by no means dead and continues to grow and be relevant to a smaller audience but with Facebook at the races and putting checkins in front of their 700 million users that is just not a battle that you can ever win.
Facebook The Only Winner Here
You can argue all you want about how right or wrong it is to “borrow” features from smaller companies and implement them in to a platform the size of Facebook. I think it’s morally dubious but if you are a platform that size and a business that is growing then I think you just have to do it. Twitter, Google, Apple and all other big tech companies do it on a regular basis. The other option was snapping Instagram up but I have a feeling just like Foursquare they would have been to pricey with their spectacular growth. What do you think of this move by Facebook? Looking forward to using the app and couldn’t care less where the idea comes from or bothered about people in start ups like Instagram?
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