Just days after Instagram received flak from everywhere for blatantly copying Snapchat in its latest “Stories” feature, Facebook has scraped off its own plans of bringing a similar feature. A TechCrunch report says that the Quick Updates feature which Facebook had admitted experimenting a couple of weeks ago would no longer see the light of the day.
Notably, Facebook made Quick Updates available to a selected test group of users. It allowed users to post updates- status, photos, videos- which disappeared after 24 hours (yep, we know where it came from!).
People could access that feature from a separate button at the top of their feeds. They could add text on these photos or videos. These updates would not have been visible in the news feed or timeline of a person but only under a separate section.
The only saving grace of the feature was that it at least sported a new design and had not copied it from anywhere. At that time, Facebook had admitted testing the feature but said that it was just an experiment and they did not have any plans to launch it broadly.
However, after Instagram debuted “Stories” feature a few days back, rumors were running high that Facebook could also go ahead with Quick Updates. But, the company has further clarified that there is no such plan. A Facebook spokesperson said,
“Quick updates was something we were going to test. It’s an idea we’re not pursuing anymore.”
Nevertheless, it would not have been the first time that Facebook tried to emulate Snapchat. Previously, it had introduced 1-hour self-destructing message feature in Messenger. More recently, it came up with News Feed only posts allowing users to post updates without having them in their own timeline.
If we go back a little bit further, Poke and Slingshot come to mind. Poke app was launched in 2012 and allowed people to send 10-second photos or video messages. At that time, Snapchat was there but yet to gain any popularity. Facebook shut down Poke in 2014.
In that year, it introduced Slingshot app to enable people to send messages to multiple people at once. It required a user to send a photo to a friend in order to open a photo sent by him or her. The company shut down Slingshot last year.
Interestingly, Facebook had offered $3 billion for acquiring Snapchat in 2013 but CEO Evan Speigel had turned down the offer. Since then, Snapchat has been able to grow exponentially and become extremely popular among teens and millennials.
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