Facebook releases Instagram Threads in a move to rival Snapchat…
In a blog post on Thursday, Facebook revealed its release of Threads. That’s a brand new messaging app for Instagram users. Like Snapchat, Threads will allow users to privately send pictures and videos that automatically disappear.
After the announcement, Snap shares fell by as much as 7%, putting a damper on what’s been a great 2019 for the startup.
Facebook is marketing Threads as a messaging app that can promote constant sharing between close friends. Facebook posted on its blog, “… you can communicate what you’re doing and how you’re feeling through photos and videos. That’s why we built Threads, a new way to message with close friends in a dedicated, private space.”
How It Works
Threads is a standalone messaging app that allows Instagram users to share photos, videos, and more with people on their close-friends list.
Like Snapchat, Threads opens directly to your phone camera. It’s designed so that users can quickly share photos and videos as well as use features like filters.
Threads also allows users to set a status — a short word or phrase to let friends know what you’re up to. That can include things like “studying,” “at home,” or “at the movies.” Only those on your close-friends list can see your status.
Not Facebook’s First Snap Clone
Facebook has a long history of competing with Snapchat. In 2012, the social media company released Poke in an effort to take over Snapchat’s user base. A similar Snapchat clone, Slingshot, followed in 2014.
While neither of Facebook’s first two attempts were able to snuff out Snapchat, Threads poses a serious threat due to Instagram’s size, which claims to have 500 million daily active users.
Testing TikTok Competitor
Facebook isn’t just going after Snapchat … In leaked recordings of a company Q&A, Mark Zuckerberg explained Facebook’s plans to compete with TikTok, the extremely popular short-form video app.
Facebook is launching its own app called Lasso to compete with TikTok. In the leaked recordings, Zuckerberg stated, “We’re trying to first see if we can get it to work in countries where TikTok is not already big before we go and compete with TikTok in countries where they are big.”
Challenging Facebook’s Growth Tactics
Facebook’s repeated efforts to take down competitors like Snapchat have caught the attention of regulators and Snapchat itself.
Snapchat’s parent company reportedly has a detailed dossier, called Project Voldemort, to track Facebook’s aggressive tactics. Snap is working with the FTC on an investigation into the matter.
This comes as Facebook faces three antitrust investigations aimed at breaking up big tech.
Snapchat’s 2019 Performance
Snapchat is having an incredibly good 2019. The startup has struggled since its IPO two years ago. But it’s gone up by 183% this year, outperforming the S&P 500.
Snap’s success is due to focusing on younger users and enhancing its augmented reality features, which have produced several viral sensations.
But the company is still far from profitable. Snap’s performance may now face stiffer competition from Facebook.