After cloning Snapchat’s Stories in the form of Instagram Stories, it looks like Facebook is all set to steal one more feature from its constantly growing rival. The recent development is suggesting that Facebook is testing Snapchat-like camera filters in its main app, in a feature it’s calling Facebook New Camera.
These Facebook filters will also include Prisma-esque fine art-themed filters along with Snapchat features such as selfie masks, overlaid graphics, and geofilters. First, we will see how this will operate and look before we discuss the hidden intentions behind this act of Facebook. Facebook New Camera will be easily available from your mobile News Feed, with a camera icon in the top left, or you’ll be able to swipe right.
Once Facebook New Camera gets activated, a full-screen will appear with options available along the bottom of the screen. You can simply swipe down to see the different filters Facebook has created, or tap the creative tool buttons to add more effects. Through these effects, you can stick pieces of clothing and accessories on to your photos, you can use geofilters that show stylized graphics describing where you are, or you can make your footage look like a piece of an art.
Once you are done editing your image with Facebook New Camera, you can then post it to your News Feed as normal, or share it via a new direct private messaging feature. The thought behind making it sharable via private message is propelled by the fact that some of those photos may be too funky and unconventional to fit in the News Feed where your family and coworkers might see it. Also, it’s a pretty blatant copy of Snapchat’s formula.
Facebook has tried to do this previously also where it allowed the creation of groups in which people may share what they want to a particular community. But this simple, convenient feature where you pick who you want to share with each time could finally set a smart way to share privately. It’s like creating a strong and personalized outlet for micro-sharing.
Facebook New Camera’s direct message capability is also Snapchat-esque in its ephemeral nature. When you send an image or video to someone through direct message, he will get a notification and see an alert jewel overlaid on the new direct inbox in the top right corner of the News Feed, similar to Instagram’s own direct messaging product. Each image will be viewed once, and then once more within 24 hours using a “replay”. If someone fails to respond and goes 24 hours without creating any communication, the conversation perishes, similar to Snapchat’s direct messaging feature.
It’s not that Facebook is just doing the copy-paste job with this feature. It is putting its own flavor of innovation for which it is revered by everyone who knows what social media is. As stated in this report, this feature will be strengthened by reactive filters, which cover the screen in leaves you can wave around with your arms, or cool little line patterns you can disrupt with your movements. All these changes will be made possible due to facebook’s March 2016 acquisition of MSQRD, a face-swapping and filtering app that had been exploding in popularity.
Naturally, the next question that arises is why the social media giant is doing this. The main reason is Facebook wants a gradual transformation of the News Feed into a home for videos that encourage creative self-expression. But there have been talks of the undercurrent of existential threat that Snapchat might pose to Facebook. And this fear is fed by some cold and cruel statistics.
Facebook has seen a significant decline in personal sharing on the platform. Various reports have indicated that sharing of personal posts – like people’s own thoughts and photos – fell 21% between 2014 and 2015. Sharing of news articles and other links saw a substantial increase. This increase in news has made Facebook information rich, but deprived it of the kinds of photos and videos that keep users engaged with each other…and ad revenue is not even a mere possibility when engagement in on the declining side. It’s important to note here that that was the same time when Snapchat saw its most significant rise, with 10 billion daily video views and more daily active users than Twitter. It was a clear cut sign of the fact that much of the personal information sharing activity was moving across the ephemeral content app. To channelize its ad targeting, Facebook was in a dire need of one such app on its platform which will enable people to share more often.
Consequently, Facebook New Camera, Instagram Stories, and other efforts are attempts to achieve two things at once: Firstly, by giving an outlet to share silly and less important things in the form of personal and ephemeral way, Facebook is trying to avoid its already existing users from moving to Snapchat. Secondly, by creating a better version of the Snapchat app, it is also trying to attract Snapchat users to do the same thing that they have been doing on Snpachat.
To Conclude… Indeed, it’s an attempt to rip apart Snapchat. Facebook reportedly tried to buy it for at least $3 billion in 2013 and now it is rumored to be headed toward a $4 billion IPO in March. No one will be surprised if Facebook directs its efforts towards the same direction. The success that it has had with Instagram Stories proves that such things do work!
Note: We always keep a close watch on each and every happening in the social media world. In this blog also we have discussed Facebook’s recent updates for marketers, including product tags.Here, you can find out everything about Facebook’s launch of Marketplace. To know which new targeting tools Snapchat has added in its arsenal, have a glance at this blog. Similarly, to get acquainted with recent Instagram updates, this blog is a must read.