Snapchat has reportedly been testing a feature which allows users to add Group Chat Stickers to their Snaps. Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong discovered this in-development tool which will enable users to join a private group discussion via Chat.
Interestingly, she spotted the same exact feature being tested on Instagram last month. This is not the first instance where social media platforms have replicated features offered by one another. In fact, Facebook and Instagram have been in a back and forth of sorts ever since Facebook Stories was introduced following in the footsteps of Instagram Stories.
Users are demanding for new features like Group Chat Stickers and no social media platform wants to be at a disadvantage by not offering a popular functionality. Also, users exhibit new behaviour and usage patterns in stories and snaps. It is only logical for these social media platforms to match the patterns to encourage users to spend more time on their platforms. These features are easy to implement for major social media platforms and hence, the additions.
This creates a challenge that all of these layouts and platforms come to resemble each other to a great extent. For instance, Facebook Stories composer is almost similar to its Instagram counterpart. The question arises, how do you differentiate between the social media platforms?
This increasing similarity between apps is an opportunity for new apps that offer different features to establish a niche for themselves. For example, TikTok’s offering is different from that of Instagram or Snapchat. It provides users with a new way to express their creativity by putting a different spin on content creation formats.
This is tougher than it sounds. Even if an app can figure out a new angle that engages audiences, major players can replicate those features. They can add them to their platform where users have an established audience. With companies replicating each other in terms of functionality and increasing the similarity with each other, developers may feel there is an opportunity to find and capitalize on a different angle of social interaction.