Certain features and capabilities on the various social channels are bound to be similar. Although some overlap here and there in terms of what these platforms provide is to be expected, there are differentiators that give them a competitive edge. While there will always be competition, recently Facebook has aggressively been taking inspiration from other social media platforms to add to its own offerings.
Here is a brief look at how Facebook has been evolving over the past few weeks.
1 – Job Postings
News that Facebook was experimenting with a job posting feature came to light in early November, which poses a direct threat to the likes of LinkedIn, Jobscore and Workable. The feature allows page admins of business pages to drive traffic to their Facebook Page via the News Feed in the hope of recruiting new staff members. These positions will also be available via a Jobs tab on the business’ Facebook page. Users will then be able to apply via Facebook without having to type out all the specifics, as Facebook already has most of this information.
2 – Instagram Stories
Facebook-owned Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, which is basically the main point of Snapchat. Igers can now post photos and videos that expire after 24 hours. Users can apply filters, add text and draw over their content, much the same like Snapchat offers. Disappearing messages to other users is also now a feature. In addition, Instagram gives you the ability to tag people in your stories, which is not offered on Snapchat. Stories does not (yet) allow users to add filters that recognise facial features, however, Facebook has used facial recognition for years, particularly when posting photos, so it’s only a matter of time.
3 – Live Video Filters
There was much excitement about being able to use artistic filters in Facebook’s Live streaming thanks to third-party company, Prisma. This was short-lived as Facebook quickly blocked the app from being able to access its Live API as it did not comply with Facebook’s terms and conditions. The main reason was that the API is only for publishing live video from non-mobile devices such as professional cameras and drones. It has been argued that this is purely a bully tactic as Facebook is working on a style transfer filter feature of its own.
4 – Facebook ‘Collections’
Social media has become a popular source of information and news. The topic of fake news has been a hot topic lately as users consume news from media sources that seem to be legitimate, only to discover that the content is false. The repercussions of this on society and perceptions is a concern for many, including Facebook. The social brand has joined a network of more than 30 international media companies and organisations to filter out fake news and improve the quality of information being shared. Much like Snapchat’s Discover feature, ‘Collections‘ will be curated information from select media partners, inserted directly into users’ News Feeds.
5 – Instant Games
Facebook has just launched Instant Games, which enables users to play games against their friends via Facebook Messenger, however, WeChat has been offering this feature for years. The games will be available for Android and iOS users and will first roll out to 30 countries. The main reason for this feature is to encourage users to discover, share and play games without having to install new apps.
Despite having 1.79 billion active monthly users, Facebook is clearly doing all it can to be ubiquitous. Will any other social platform ever be as agile as the social network giant, or do any of them even stand a chance? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
References & Additional Reading
- Facebook testing a jobs feature, set to compete with LinkedIn, Indeed – Tech Republic
- Facebook’s New Facial Recognition Photo Tagging: How To Use (Or Not Use) – Vital
- Snapchat vs. Instagram: Who’s Copying Whom Most? – The Hollywood Reporter
- Facebook demos art-themes video filters, says it got 2M voters registered – Tech Crunch
- Facebook has cut off Prisma’s Live Video access – Tech Crunch
- Facebook’s being a bully again, this time over Prisma’s live video filters – Mashable
- Facebook might add its own version of Snapchat Discover to your News Feed – The Verge
- Why Mark Zuckerberg Is Copying the Chinese to Put Games On Facebook Messenger – Forbes