Facebook Inc. FB launched another offensive in its war against Snap Inc. SNAP when it officially introduced its newest Snapchat-esque messaging feature for Instagram.
Facebook’s photo sharing app Instagram released an updated version of its Direct messaging feature. Instagram’s updated Direct interface allows users to individually or group message disappearing photo and videos in the same individualized chat section previously reserved for texts and re-shares.
The move seems to mimic Snapchat’s direct messaging feature that allows users to send texts, as well as the company’s previously innovative disappearing photos and videos, all in one place.
Instagram’s newest innovation sent Snap’s stock down nearly 3% in intraday trading Tuesday. But Snap’s stock closed down only 1.29% to $20.70 per share, and it is also down marginally in after-hours trading. Still, the new and struggling mobile app company can ill afford to keep up its string of negative trading days.
Facebook first tried to compete with Snapchat’s unique disappearing model in August 2016 when it introduced Instagram Stories, an ephemeral video and photo-sharing feature for its photo-sharing subsidiary. Stories proved to be an instant hit, reaching 150 million daily users within a few months.
Instagram, which started in 2010, now boasts 600 million monthly users. Mark Zuckerberg’s company has added similar “stories” features in its Messenger, WhatsApp, and Facebook mobile applications.
Snapchat noted in its IPO filing that 60% of its 158 million daily users used the app’s direct messaging feature every day. An innovative Snapchat retaliation might be needed in order to bring back some investor confidence as the fledgling company has seen its stock decline steadily in its first month plus.
Snapchat’s user base had been growing steadily, but growth slowed substantially in the fourth quarter. Instagram Direct now claims 375 million monthly users, up from 250 million users in August.
Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram in 2012 could prove to be the turning point in its war against the company it tried to buy only a year later.
If you want to know more about Snapchat’s fight against its competition read: As Snapchat IPOs, Its Competition Is Stealing Its Best Ideas.
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