Here’s How Facebook is Trying to Keep Pace with Snapchat

Image of a camera lensFacebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has done a good job at maintaining and growing its relevance in recent years, but as the pace of photo manipulation and sharing has accelerated, the company is forced to seek out ever-more-creative ways to keep its massive user base on its platform.

As TechCrunch notes, FB has more competition than ever in its core offering, which is photo sharing:

The hot trend in consumer social networking has progressed from text update sharing to gaming to one-off utilities to basic photo sharing to now, when content creativity apps have taken the spotlight. People are tired of sharing the same old picture of their face, food or sunset; they want tools that help them make and share something unique.

Its biggest nemesis right now is clearly Snapchat, which has seen incredible user growth in a remarkable transformation. What began as a way to discreetly (and temporarily) share naughty photos has grown into the hottest image sharing app in the world.

The king of these creation tools is Snapchat — a single app that tries to do it all. Photos, videos, filters, text, drawing, emoji, Bitmoji, 3D stickers, face swaps and, most memorably, animated selfie lenses.

Snapchat quickly grew its community by offering outlets for creativity no one else had, always staying one step ahead.

While Snapchat leads the pack in terms of innovation, Facebook has been happy simply to let the trends play out and copy the most popular ones. The company recently launched Instagram Stories, which it readily admits is simply a knock-off of features that have existed in Snapchat for quite some time.

Facebook also acquired video filter app MSQRD, which allows users to create Snapchat-like shareable photos and videos. The company has already rolled out some features of the software in certain countries focused around the Olympics.

Users can also expect FB to place a “Camera Feed” at the top of everyone’s Timeline soon. This section would encourage users to instantly create and post a selfie with a wide array of potential filters — another feature taken directly from Snapchat.

In the never ending quest to maintain its social media dominance, Facebook has either acquired competition (Instagram) or copied what’s out there (Snapchat). So far, it’s working. FB’s profit and revenues have exploded in recent years, but that big overhang of keeping pace with so many companies looking to take a piece of their pie will likely never go away.

Facebook shares rose $0.30 (+0.24%) to $125.18 in premarket trading Monday. The world’s largest social media company has seen its stock gain 19.32% since the start of 2016, more than doubling the performance of the S&P 500 in the same period.

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