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Instagram Stories hits 200M users, surpassing Snapchat (techcrunch.com)
330 points by misiti3780 on Apr 13, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 190 comments

I think this is well deserved. Instagram Story's experience to me is way nicer and more complete since it integrates perfectly with their core photo sharing product. After I'm done viewing snaps I have on Snapchat, what else is there left to do? With Instagram, I can look at my photo feed and go to people's profiles, and all of the back-navigation works perfectly. Meanwhile, Snapchat's app is slow, buggy, and doesn't even take nice pictures. Other than the more gimmicky features, such as face filters which will inevitably come to Instagram, the product feels way behind.

Instagram is oriented towards consumption; when you open it, it takes you to your feed, and as you mention after posting or viewing stories it makes it easy to consume more.

Snapchat is oriented towards creation. When you open it, it starts on the camera.

There's more to consumption and creation. Snapchat is ephemeral and fun - so you're somewhere and thinking "this would be a great snap" so it makes sense to open to the camera.

Instagram is so much more self-regulated and bound in crafting identity. You're right in that it's much more focused on consuming since the barrier to posting is much higher than snapping.

I'd agree with you but in the past year there's been a trend of making fake Instagram accounts (finsta's).

Snapchat is becoming a replacement for texting here as well. I've now overheard twice people say things like "I'll snap at ya" as they part directions and wave.

Absolutely. I give out my snapchat before I give out my phone number.

100%. It's going to be hard to kill Snapchat with a clone if you don't open on the camera. Which you can't really do without ruining the experience for existing users.

The only few times I used Facebook's "My day", I just posted my saved snaps. (and I only did it to see who'd open!)

I don't even use the regular camera app. It's always Snapchat. It's the best casual camera app out there.

Not entirely true, both IG/SC let users create/consume.

Not sure I would call it creation when going through 10 minutes of Stories from friends @ Snapchat...

hammock is referring to the orientation of the apps. The way they're designed make the creation vs. consumption balance vastly different experiences.

I've always been amazed by the product adaptability of Snapchat in spite of the apps technical shortcomings, so much so that I believed the buginess of their app may have only applied to myself. In a world where Amazon loses X% of dollars from milliseconds of latency, the poor performance and bugs of Snapchat apparently do not matter to most users which is quite surprising.

People are more tolerant of buggy and/or slow tech if said tech might increase their chances of getting laid. A more direct example is Tinder and other dating apps like it: the quality of those apps are somewhat lower than others with similar popularity, but people just deal with it anyway.

Just out of curiosity, what are your issues with Tinder? I haven't really used it a lot, but it seems very nicely-designed. Its performant, the UI is intuitive, it does one thing and does it well. I would almost use it as a case-study in good mobile-first design thinking.

I experience regular UI glitches and occasional full app hangs that require a force kill to reset, the latter most notably in poor connectivity situations like the subway. It's not terrible, it's just not that good either. It's tier-2 app quality with a tier-1 size userbase.

Mostly, but you swipe left to get rid of someone, and swipe left to see the next image a person has if you are on their profile. occasionally I get this mixed up and swipe left on someone I was interested in.

Seems okay to me on Android.

There are a few issues though I have noticed:

* Cards can sometimes glitch out. I've had overlapping cards get stuck and had to restart the app a few times.

* Bios take a long to load compared to photos etc. for some reason.

Are you on Android? I switched back from Android to iOS a while back, and my impression is that their android app is the much crappier version.

I'm actually on iOS. I used to be a version or two behind, but with an iPhone 6 I expect the camera to open & be ready to shoot video within 2 seconds, which doesn't happen currently. It's much slower and I usually don't end up capturing the moment I want to capture

BTW, the same with Instagram. When I used Android version, most videos were unplayable or freezing in the middle. When pressing photo shutter button actual taking of photo occured 5-10 seconds later so it was a challenge just to take photo (builtin photo app worked well). And it was on older Nexus, not on some random chinese phone.

Did you by any chance move to a newer iphone than your nexus was?

I read (a long time ago) that Android Snapchat takes a screenshot of the image on the screen projected by the camera, while the iOS Snapchat actually uses the image produced from the camera.

My bet is that Apple's review procedure blocks a lot of "alternative" things Snapchat did

Snapchat has never seemed buggy or slow to me. It is way more stable and and simple than anything from Facebook, that's for sure.

That's like comparing the stability and speed of a Chevy Cobalt and a Kia Rio.

Agreed, but the concept & use of their app is (supposed to be) much simpler so it's not quite comparing apples to apples.

Does achieving stability through a simple design not count for anything?

If you don't have competitors, why optimize?

points to post because you will :)

> integrates perfectly with their core photo sharing product

This is the key thing. While I don't use any of their Snapchat cloned features, I do think their photo product is very good. So you can see what they are doing to users like me. I'm now more likely to use their stories because I already like the core product. Also, celebrities have a higher reach on Instagram than on Snapchat, so the transition for them is seamless while also maintaining (and increasing) their existing follower base.

Back before all the AR features, I used a 3rd party client called 6snap for Windows Phone. It was so incredibly snappy and had all the features the official one had. I felt it was weird that one person that had tens of apps to maintain did a better job.

Rudy Huyn had published so many great apps in the windows store. I still use 6tag, his instagram app for windows. The last I heard of him, he has taken up a job and doesn't have time to support the apps anymore. The latest official instagram app works worse than an indie app that hasn't been updated in a while.

Microsoft should have hired him to just pump out these kinds of apps. He was the reason I stayed on WP for so long.

Difference in building software in Silicon Valley vs Los Angeles

Instagram is a social network where the best effect occurs when your account is public: you get social validation from a large audience liking your content on its merits, the sum of all your content forms a persistent feed, and your followers form a closer inner core with whom the nature of interaction is more immediate. This tends to be most rewarding for people who can attract a large number of likes; this number of likes is displayed to anyone who can see the content.

Snapchat is the inverse, where the content is aimed at one's followers, but one can submit notable content to be featured in the company-curated Discover section (about major events, for example). There is no public aggregation, there is no public display of likes.

The two platforms are still differentiated by their design philosophies, and in North America there is significant overlap in the userbase.

The danger, of course, is that once Instagram has cloned enough of Snapchat's functionality, the same users won't need to switch to Snapchat anymore to get the close-knit experience. Similarly, Snapchat may feel pressured to up its parity with Instagram in turn, by adding public features that are very different from its current model. In either case, the networks will have iterated themselves into equivalence [1], making the exact provider irrelevant and making pure network effects be the the deciding factor more often that not -- which gives an advantage to larger players.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13168804

I'm sure most people would disagree but Snapchat was done the moment they released stories.

I say this despite the fact that stories was what really brought stratospheric growth to snapchat, because i'm taking into account opportunity cost.

They could have focused on making their core (1-1 messaging) better but they decided to become a broadcast media company, starting with stories and then those brand videos.

This has always been risky. Even at its peak when you look at what was happening on Snapchat stories, a lot of these microcelebrities on snapchat would use stories as a way to get more likes or follows on their instagram. They say stuff like "Hey i just posted a new photo on instagram, please like it!" etc. This was convenient for them because these needy behaviors go away on snapchat stories.

The moment snapchat decided to become 1:many, they became a serious threat to Facebook in pretty obvious ways, so it was no brainer that Facebook jumped to do something about it. And at the same time, you can't compete with Facebook on 1:many broadcast.

They should have focused on 1:1 and fought on their own turf. Sure it would have been harder to figure out the viral growth, but it was already doing well so I'm sure they could have figured out some way without jumping into Facebook's playground.

I respectfully disagree with almost every part of your post.

1. Snapchat is not done. Millions of active users in advertiser-desired demographics is not done. Instagram has blunted its growth, but Snapchat is still alive and well.

2. Snapchat is a social platform, not a broadcast media company. There is a difference- they're not making their own content.

3. Snapchat was always a threat to Facebook, regardless of whether it was 1:1 or 1:many messaging. Snapchat competes for finite resources: digital ad dollars and user attention by way of socialization. This is how Facebook's business works as well, making them inherent competitors. If you're snapping a selfie to a friend then you're not seeing ads in the Facebook app.

You may be right about Snapchat not being able to compete against Facebook in the long run. Facebook certainly demonstrated the power of owning the largest social network when they cloned Stories. They can copy good ideas and roll them out to billions of users instantly. Maybe Snapchat can compete with that, maybe not.

4. Exactly what Snapchat's turf consists of is an open question I don't think any of us know the answer to. You seem to think its turf is 1:1 messaging, but Spiegel thinks it's being a camera company. After seeing Spectacles, god only knows where they'll go next. Besides, why stay in one bit of "turf" when you can expand?


> 1. Snapchat is not done

I will agree with you on this one. Maybe I was too aggressive in my expression. But the point I was making was they made a mistake by deciding to fight on Facebook's turf.

> 2. Snapchat is a social platform, not a broadcast media company. There is a difference- they're not making their own content.

Maybe you haven't used Snapchat recently? Just check out the "discover" feature. Also you're using the term "broadcast" differently than how I'm using it.

> but Spiegel thinks it's being a camera company.

I respectfully want to say you're believing too much of what PR people tell you. "Camera company" doesn't suddenly make the company more compelling. It only becomes compelling when they have a solid business model to support that vision. Spectacles is nothing more than an SoCal phenomenon. Good job for pulling off that scarcity marketing but that doesn't change the fact that most people don't want to walk around wearing a douchy pair of sunglasses everyday.

Overall I think you're making arguments about unimportant details. My main point was Snapchat should have focused on scaling their core experience that was truly unique. Instead they stepped into a territory where it can be replicated by anyone else. I'm not just talking about Facebook. Just look around the world and you'll see snapchat clones popping up (or soon will). Snapchat should have owned that entire global market.

not a broadcast company

I wouldn't be so sure of that https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/14/vice-is-the-latest-to-prod...

>finite resources: digital ad dollars

The combined market cap of these companies for which digital advertising is the main product is staggering...and sad.

I believe Snapchat founders also agree with you, which is why they rushed to IPO as soon as Instagram and Facebook released stories. In a few months when the lockout period expires and employees are able to sell their stocks, I expect to watch the stock tumble to never come back up..

>employees are able to sell their stocks, I expect to watch the stock tumble to never come back up

You expect the employees to start dumping their stock at fire-sale prices? Otherwise, how do prices tumble in a market? The buyer and seller have to agree on price.

Lol. Everyone thinks they can predict the stock market and no one else can. Like only they know about the lockout period and the hordes of shareholders buying it today at $20 have no idea a drop in a few months is near-inevitable.

Lockout period ending is not necessarily a problem with IPOs. However, a rushed IPO where fundamentals can't justify the valuation, already slowing growth story and risk of envelopment by Facebook's Instagram stories; these are some serious red flags.

I'm sure there is all sorts of financial wisdom I'm unaware of in this space, but I would expect most employees to lock in a decent bit of real cash value at lock out while still maintaining some stake in hopes of future appreciation. If you've been trading real money for paper money for some number of years it seems that the rationale move would be to lock in some non-trivial gains.

I think Snapchat is currently already overpriced, so I don't agree with your comments that it's fire sale prices, but only time will tell :) Note that I don't own any long or short position on the stock.

>I think Snapchat is currently already overpriced

I agree.

My point is that unless those employees choose to sell their stock at below market prices (for whatever reason), then market prices won't budge. Stock prices don't fall because lots of people decide to sell; people are selling stock all day, every day, yet prices rise. It's all about that price and company prospects.

I probably being overly pedantic.

> Stock prices don't fall because lots of people decide to sell; people are selling stock all day, every day, yet prices rise. It's all about that price and company prospects.

In fact stock prices frequently fall because lots of people decide to sell. You're positing a premise that only exists in theory, and will never actually occur in fact as it pertains to the stock market. If you dramatically increase the number of sellers, the stock will go down. The sellers don't just sit there, holding their ask, they lower their ask to try to get out of the stock they want to sell. That incremental process, lowers the stock, and then lowers it some more, and then keeps lowering it. More selling interest than buying is exactly what causes stocks like Twitter to plunge off a cliff.

Your premise is that the wave of sellers are just all going to hold their ask prices firm (rather than competing and lowering their ask to get their shares sold). That has never happened and will never happen in actual trading.

I agree with you that only employees selling won't make it crash or anything, and I don't expect any big investors to sell; however unless they come up with a solid ad-monetization + continued growth strategy I expect it to follow TWTR's pattern leading up to the lockup (Jan-Apr 2014 -40%) and go even lower shortly afterwards (May 2014 -20%).

Snapchat is a much more of a personal messaging app while instagram works like a social networking app.

There's a little overlap in their features but they're not used the same way. They aren't competing for users.

If you want to talk to someone you use snapchat, if you want social validation use instagram.

Yeah. Snapchat competes with apps like iMessage and WhatsApp much more than apps like Instagram.

'Discover' is the name of the Snapchat feature first introduced in January 2015 [1][2] that surfaces content from media and 'Stories' formerly just referred to the landing page for the 1:n casts introduced in October 2013 [3][4]. Over time, more and more of the Discover pane has been bleeding into the Stories pane [5][6][7], to try and push that content.

With that in mind, I think it's the introduction of 'Discover' that truly painted the target on their back, but Discover also played a necessary role in their quest for monetizing their users' attention, in a way that was praised by many pundits and analysts at the time as forward-thinking, while invoking comparisons to popular TV channels of the 1980s and 1990s.

[1] https://techcrunch.com/2015/01/27/snapchat-launches-discover... [2] https://www.snap.com/en-US/news/post/introducing-discover/ [3] http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/3/4791934/snapchats-next-big... [4] https://www.snap.com/en-US/news/post/surprise/ [5] https://www.recode.net/2016/2/12/11587814/snapchat-wants-to-... [6] https://venturebeat.com/2016/05/20/snapchat-plans-discover-c... [7] https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/07/snapchat-discover-previews...

Yeah that discover feature not only set themselves up for fight but also was the most uncreative feature from snapchat that didn't even fit into how people used the app.

"Pundits" like to give their interpretation on "why something is successful" only after it became successful, so most of their interpretations are nothing more than circle jerking backwards rationalization, so I never really bought into any of those meaningless praise anyway.

This video is great preview from 8 months ago.. Instagram MURDERS Snapchat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DcOQvynoWw

Would be interesting to see the demographics on those users. My understanding is that if you're under 25, you use SnapChat, and if you're over 25, you can't figure out how the hell to use SnapChat. Instagram Stories may've exploded into the demographic that doesn't use SnapChat. This is possibly supported by the comments here about Instagram's UI being a lot nicer; most of us on HN are in the demographic above SnapChat users.

If this is the case, it's not as damning for SnapChat as it seems, at least until some younger, hotter social app bumps them off the pedestal in a few years. Young users get older, but older users don't get any younger. My understanding is that SnapChat's inscrutable UI is deliberate: they want you to have to be shown how to use SnapChat by someone already on it, to avoid the "My grandmother's on Facebook, how uncool is that?" problem.

> My understanding is that SnapChat's inscrutable UI is deliberate: they want you to have to be shown how to use SnapChat by someone already on it, to avoid the "My grandmother's on Facebook, how uncool is that?" problem.

Couldn't agree more

It's evident by most of the comments here

Instagram / Facebook / WhatsApp will not get that < 25 demography

I doubt Instagram counts this as success. They didn't get any new users - that was the main goal when mimicking Snapchat

In Argentina, IG is wayyy more popular than SC, especially in the < 25 demography. < 25 may not use FB, but they definitely use IG & whatsapp.

Same here in Vietnam -- population 95 million. I know tons of people under 25 using Instagram. I've never met anyone here using Snapchat.

No WhatsApp usage at all. Viber, Zalo, and WeChat all the way.

In the Middle East, most people have both an Instagram and a Snapchat account. From what I've seen, they are equally popular with both young and older users.

Maybe in US, UK and Canada. Instagram and WhatsApp dominates the 15-24 market in rest of the world.

Older people have all the money (in America at least) so Instagram may be ok with that.

Usually brand advertising tries to skew young (even towards children, if the FTC lets them get away with it) because brand preferences are usually set in the teens and early 20s and then people purchase things on autopilot.

This may be why SnapChat has targeted brand advertisers rather than the more targeted advertisements that Facebook/Google go after.

That's why toy companies don't spend a dime on advertising right ?

The biggest question about Facebook has been whether they can stay relevant in the face of an onslaught of cooler apps in the future. The biggest test of this so far was Snapchat and they've managed to ethically out compete them with flying colors. Credit where credit is due, kudos to Facebook and the doubts about future relevance should be put to bed now.

meh, making what is essentially a complete clone of snapchat within Instagram hardly seems like "ethically out-competing them" in my opinion. They took the ideas directly from Snapchat and just stuck them in an app that already has a huge sticky userbase, relying on the convenience factor to get people to use it.

Totally made up and arbitrary example but it would be like if Starbucks started serving some widely popular menu item based on a recipe from a competing chain. They already have a huge loyal customer base that's coming into their stores all the time, so it's more convenient for these people to get this new item at Starbucks since they're going there anyway, but Starbucks didn't come up with the idea or recipe, they just saw that it was popular elsewhere and knew they could leverage the convenience factor to get people to buy it from their stores (which people were already coming to) instead of going to a second store for it. That's not really ethical competition.

Why not? At the risk of sounding like a hand-wringing capitalist, at the end of the day, isn't the purpose of a business to charge money in exchange for providing a good or service that is useful to a customer? If Starbucks can greater serve the needs of their customers by providing a new item (regardless of where they got the idea from), then why shouldn't they? Some might argue that they are actually doing their customers a disservice by not providing it and making them go elsewhere.

Isn't the problem that at an extreme this gives no incentive for smaller coffee ships to experiment and roll the dice on new ideas that may not work, because if they succeed, Starbucks will end up reaping the rewards.

Except Facebook doesn't charge money. I wish they would.

Neither does Snapchat, but I don't see how that changes the argument anyway. If Facebook greater serves its users needs, then that brings in more users who spend more time on its network of apps which greater serves its paying customers (advertisers).

What's wrong with Starbucks doing that? Mcdonald's tried to capture the morning coffee crowd multiple times and failed. It's not dirty, it's how competition works. It's offering the same product more conveniently or otherwise improved- that's not far off a textbook definition of competition.

How is offering a similar application with similar modes of communication, similar formatting unethical but, copying an API like the Java API for Android not considered unethical in the same vein?

I'd have to think there isn't a legal case or the billion dollar company that is Snapchat would have mounted a case. They didn't patent an interface (code or visual). They didn't try to protect it or even make a public case that it was somehow copying.

Yet, here we are on Hacker News saying it's somehow unethical? At this level, all social networks are "clones" of each other. Twitter is a clone of the FB news feed. Android is a clone of the iPhone. All of the food delivery startups are clones of each other. They all should do the moral thing and close up shop or at least pivot to something else.

Except we would all be poorer for it. We would have less options, less innovations and fewer ways to communicate. If any of the parties thought this was unethical stealing of their work, they are big boys and well funded; they'd at the very least say so.

You may not like FB/Instagram because of it but, if it's a superior free product and no one is making a case then I don't think it's immoral.

How is providing an identical or inspired product/service unethical? It sounds like you're implying that their size or position as a market leader makes somehow makes it unethical. I don't follow.

Think about it this way: Let's say you invented some brand new technology that was revolutionary and extremely useful. You're just a single person, so you don't have the resources to bring it to mass markets right away, but you start small-scale production and it quickly gains popularity. Big Company A who has massive manufacturing facilities notices the growth of your product and the value it has and decides to make a clone of it, but they already have huge production facilities and a refined supply chain, so they can produce many many more than you are capable of producing, so they flood the market with clones, which are easier for the public to get.

Is this really fair to you? Big Company A stole your invention and leveraged their market power to basically shove you into a corner and out-produce you, but if it weren't for your original idea, they would have never done any of this. It's the concept of a company stealing an idea/invention from someone else and using it to profit themselves that doesn't sit well with me.

If a company is able to clone your idea and able to execute it better then your idea wasn't unique enough and your product is lacking something that the other company has.

Take for instance Google Plus, clearly a clone of every other social media. But it didn't work out too well. Facebook on the other hand was a copy of other platforms as well but well executed. Plus can Snapchat still be considered a small company, I guess in comparison to Facebook sure.

>Is this really fair to you?

Yes, that's perfectly fair to me. That's how competition works.

The world would be a dark place if nobody copied other peoples' ideas and made products/better products out of them.

It's like if they started making a shitty Big Mac clone. Instagram stories is shit..

I use both and actually prefer Instagram stories. I use Stories more than my feed, and the feed is where the ads are – on Instagram, I can (as of now) bypass the advertising and chat directly with my friends and view/create stories... in Snapchat, ads are inserted between my friends stories.

I have a feeling this will change eventually.

Have they really though? Facebook is much less 'cool' now than it was 5 years ago. Even if more teens have Facebook accounts than Snapchat accounts, engagement seems to heavily favor Snapchat for that demographic (at least in the U.S.).

Facebook stumbled when they tried to push it to Messenger tho

Outcompete for views or money?

> and they've managed to ethically out compete them with flying colors

Yeah and it only took 5 attempts.

(Poke, Bolt, Slingshot, Flash, Instagram Stories)

On the other hand, Facebook's thirsty attempt at pushing the same feature in all of their apps is both fragmented and ham-handed. It seems to have landed with a thud - I have seen exactly one contact post a Story in either the Facebook or Messenger apps. They've now started posting greyed-out profile pictures of frequent contacts to make the space seem popular, seemingly encouraging the user to use the feature to contact those people. It seems sad, frankly.

+1 on greyed out icons of frequent contacts. Cringed and closed app a few times due to this.

In my friend circle, there is a bet going on, who is desperate enough to post a story on FB.

Instagram stories are more accessible than Snapchat stories. Snapchat has one of the most bizarre UIs I've ever seen in my life. I was so confused when I opened it the first time. Main screen defaults to the camera instead of showing the stories. That's probably because it's a camera app more than a social media one. Previously there were only icons, now there's a bit of text to describe things. That's good but it's just not a very interesting product anymore.

Or maybe you are just not the target audience for the app.

I hate it too, but the UI is about discovery. Facebook stopped being cool when they stopped focusing on colleges and opened up to everyone. There's nothing wrong with that, boring companies tend to make more money than cool ones.

But Snapchat wants their content to stay cool. Snapchat's UI was designed specifically to keep those who are not tech savvy from deeply using the service, which in theory would lead to better content as those who take the time to really understand the product make use of all the features.

I wonder how much of this is Instagram stealing Snapchat's userbase and how much is it simply converting its existing userbase over to using Snapchat's new innovative features.

If Instagram has more users than Snapchat, saying "Instagram's Snapchat feature has more users than Snapchat" isn't really as significant as it sounds, and doesn't necessarily represent any erosion of their userbase or threaten their growth.

Of course their userbases are not mutually exclusive, but I do get the impression there's a rough demographic separation.

It does call into question the value of Snapchat if competitors can execute seemingly just as well on the platform. Owning Facebook seems like a cheaper and safer bet than Snap.

Why I still prefer Snapchat:

1. After launching the app I am right in the take-a-picture mode. With Instagram I need one or two touches.

2. Different DNA, different circles

3. Pics to one or several people is way better and faster than on Instagram.

Only because they share the stories features doesn't mean they are interchangeable. They are still different products.

Even if Instagram has more MAUs on the stories feature Instagram's DNA gets dilluted with the integration of the story feature. Random, inflationary and non-glossy media wasn't part of Instagrams previous shiny DNA and experience.

> 1. After launching the app I am right in the take-a-picture mode. With Instagram I need one or two touches.

i prefer taking pictures with the usual camera app on my phone (double table the home button -> done) and then post on stories/instagram.

that way i have the pic itself full size + other people can see it.

I believe both platforms will thrive because they target different audiences. Most people seem to prefer Instagram for their "professional" persona while keeping Snapchat for their "real" self. This is credit to Snapchat's "silly and fun" interface and brand in comparison to Instagram's more minimalistic one. Furthermore, Instagram will always have some pull due to its network effects.

As a young 20 something, Snapchat stories is still dominant among my social circle and other social circles I encounter. No one I know uses Instagram stories heavily. I even have a few friends with Spectacles.

Snapchat's app is absolutely shit on anything except an iPhone though and even casual users I know mention this.

I decided to download snapchat and try it a couple months ago to see what all the fuss was about. I might be a black sheep here, but it was really confusing. I had no idea how to use it. And I've been building software for 15 years too.

I can completely understand Instagram, so I was happy they added stories. It's really easy to use and the functionality seems intuitive.

There's an argument that the success of Snapchat was in part because of it's confusing interface. By adding a barrier to entry that younger generations were willing to accept but older ones might not, it kept the older generations (parents) off and kept the decidedly edgy platform popular with it's core, unlike Facebook where you're socially obligated to 'friend' your parents.

As a user of both Instagram and Snapchat, this doesn't surprise me. The UX for the Instagram stories functionality is pleasantly at the top of the normal UI, but Snapchat's UX is really quite hostile, and even though I'm very familiar with it, it continue to be unpleasant to use.

Add in that Instagram's typical user base is much more broad (Snapchat tends to be most popular with young tweens, whereas Instagram's user base is just about everybody), and you have one actively hostile interface in an already small market against a much more friendly interface in an almost unrestricted market.

As impressive as it may sound, this is pretty shocking for the state of the industry.

An innovative, new upshot getting sucked up/ blatantly ripped off by an established player with more muscle, money (and in this case - users) to throw at the problem is not a great incentive for entrepreneurs.

Consolidation at this level resembles communism more closely than the kind of free market innovation we should be seeing.


But that's fair. Facebook started out as a startup and it grew over time and eventually become a tech giant. So should Facebook not respond to a business threat from competitors now? Is Snapchat the only one allowed to implement the feature? That's the tone I am hearing.

Let's be fair. The product team and the developers working on the Stories product did an amazing job. Also, not every well-established players do well trying to replicate / model after its competitors. Google is known to be one of them, when it comes to her attempt to rip FB apart. Several times more massive than Facebook's size and money pool, but Google failed to make a real den in the market. Facebook is one of the few tech giants today capable of engineering execution that can bring business some values. Disclaimer: I have not seen anyone in my circle using Stories on Facebook yet, but on Instagram plenty.

Innovation is competition. Think of the glory 50s - 80s of technical innovations. Something motivates somebody to do something different. Innovation does not necessarily equates to breakthrough. Diversify your product line and product features is innovative.

Let's be real fair here.

Yes let's be fair. It's fair to say that Facebook did not threaten coercion on anyone, and simply responded to market demand for a certain type of service. It's also fair to say that Facebook is in a unique position to be able to use it's considerable platform to absorb mind share away from competing platforms.

It's also fair to question if this is a good thing for the ecosystem of technology, and more specifically market technology from many different points of view - namely power distribution.

The trend here is that no matter what you do in technology, or how successful you become - you'll never beat Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft or Amazon. So, is that good, neutral, bad? I think probably bad, but I'm not sure.

Or maybe the answer is simply that Snapchat is really just a feature that got out of hand and is vastly overpriced.

I think it is absolutely fair to question. I thought it was not fair when OP stated big brother throwing fist at smaller company (and Snapchat isn't a startup / small player anymore).

> you'll never beat Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft or Amazon

But Facebook is the youngest. Apple did fail and almost vanish until Steve Jobs came back. Microsoft was sucking on its Windows license and losing so top talents, it came back with Azure and better Windows and Office product. Amazon diversified its product in 2005 and continued to do so now it has so much more capital to invest.

But Google destroyed Yahoo, MSN and AOL, and other web directory websites out of business.

MySpace is sold. Yahoo is sold. Tumblr's ability to make profit is questionable, and will likely fail eventually. Blackberry failed to come back. Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia all sold after Android came along and too late to adopt (from Seamian to Android). Google's first smartphone was a big step up. Wii U sale wasn't good. I can go on with many examples. Sony's digital music products were doing well then Apple's iPod came along. But was Apple's success a pure luck? A pure technical ingenious coincidence? Sony was much bigger than Apple at the time.

The business world is funny because the "too big to fail" will eventually fail one day, either through merge or complete bankruptcy. I predict Uber is too big to fail, but it might eventually pull back its main business back to NA. But that's my wild guess.

So the question is fair, but I think there's a question on leadership. Why some big company fail and others strive? Pure luck? Luck is 30%, 70% is people.

But I share the sentiment that Stories is not as exciting as hearing a robot can talk to me like a normal human. That would be a huge breakthrough, big innovation, and a whole new business venture. Was Facebook's AI messenger great? No, it was a poor experiment.

Everything you say makes sense, but I have to add that I think Machine Learning changes the landscape. We're a ML company in the true sense, and I can't tell you how fucking hard it is to compete with these behemoths on AI - and I see it in my fellow startups.

ML is becoming literally part of every business process across industries, and guess who is at the center? Google, Amazon, Facebook.

So yea, I think this time it's different. They have learned how to adapt as fast as Startups but retain the size of a Fortune 500.

Yes, I agree AL is pretty unique. I've seen some new startups like Clarifai trying to win the SDK/SaaS market. Moreover, many of the new startups in AI are generally folks from research division at Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and IBM. AI is quite a selective field, more dense in terms of complexity comparing to building a web application.

You could argue that the healthiest thing for the ecosystem is to build highly defensible, technology-driven businesses. In that sense, Snapchats shouldn't exist at all.

On the other hand, giant companies like Facebook are the only ones who can really afford to just steal stuff and make it high performance. A startup's main premise can't be "technology-driven" in the most traditional sense of high performance. A startup will be out-performed by companies with more resources, like giant corporations.

Instead, think outside the box: what if you distribute data in a decentralized way, like BitTorrent? What if the bank is distributed, like Bitcoin? What if content wasn't ALLOWED to make money, like CC-NC? What if you organize the world's information by empowering authors, like Wikipedia?

People think Google has all the power and all the information, and they forget how much better Wikipedia is at achieving Google's own goals, at 1/100,000th the cost!

Wikipedia might not have a mapping product like Google's, and they don't index your e-mail, and it doesn't have as nice of a collaborative editor. Wikipedia is playing a different game altogether.

Google thought, well, let's copy/acquire these things that Microsoft does (Office, Exchange, Maps). Google is Microsoft's Facebook. Nothing is going to happen to Microsoft just because Google copies tons of their products, giving them away for free. Is Google bad for the ecosystem? Microsoft (and Snapchat, for that matter) are powerful companies.

Baidu copies Google features too—are they bad for the ecosystem? It's not obvious, because our dislike of these giant megacorporations and our assessment of their contributions to society are all colored by politics and opinions.

I think we're more interesting in protecting Wikipedias. In my opinion, Wikipedia is beating Google handily in the world's information department. Someone will figure out an unassailable (though not necessarily lucrative) answer to what Facebook and Snapchat attempt to do.

> On the other hand, giant companies like Facebook are the only ones who can really afford to just steal stuff and make it high performance. A startup's main premise can't be "technology-driven" in the most traditional sense of high performance. A startup will be out-performed by companies with more resources, like giant corporations.

I think it is an excellent point, but I also believe we find a balance. I see your point. Big corporation can spare money to experiment. This is Google's strategy. Throw a hundred developers and $50M investment and if fail remove the project from its catalog two years from now. Move on to the next item.

Unfortunately, I think luck being 30% in measuring success is a real deal breaker. Sometimes, your best idea (very profitable) just doesn't take off until the right moment, even if we have the best product team, the best sales pitch, the most intuitive platform. Sometimes it's playing Russian roulette. I recently read about Foursquare - that's a good example. The luck of finding the right people leading a new vision.

Google is known to be one of them, when it comes to her attempt to rip FB apart

They did and they failed mainly because Zuckerberg took the call to thwart them at any cost, one of the very famous 'lockdown modes'.


This was then. Imagine how Facebook will respond to any threat now. The tenor and the impact of their response is evident in the Stories rollout.

One might argue, in favour of Snapchat that this is a one-off situation and that Facebook will succumb to the same organisational stasis that big corporations fall into. Facebook falling into stasis doesn't seem likely. If someone has viewpoints to the contrary I'm all ears.

Snapchat will have a real tough time fighting Facebook.

Right, and that's how I would respond as a CEO. What choice does he have? Let Snapchat grow and Facebook and Instagram failing to attract younger users?

But back to my point. Even Google couldn't win Facebook with all that cash flow. But is size the real reason? No. It's the execution that matters. The thing I hear a lot about Google is that there could be multiple version of the same "product" competing for final launch, Google+ was like that. In the end I feel that's a bit of a hackathon-ish competition. Lots of defects, unclear product vision and perhaps low morale.

Anyway, small company can still win. There are many examples of that out there.

<At Facebook, even then and certainly later, you got along by going along, and everyone sacrificing his or her entire life for the cause was as much about self-sacrifice and team building as it was an actual measure of your productivity.

Thanks for sharing this. A quote I won't forget. Seems unreal, really.

Agree here. If people don't like this, what do they expect to happen in a world without patents?

I think you're being a tad dramatic here...

Facebook offered to acquire Snapchat for $3B cash in 2014. [1] Snapchat declined the offer, then went on to have a successful IPO with NO VOTING RIGHTS for common shareholders (a first). Snapchat is a successful company, Evan Spiegel is a billionaire, and any entrepreneur would gladly follow in his footsteps.

What happens now between Snapchat and Facebook is largely irrelevant, the original Snapchat team found a wildly successful exit. Sure, it might suck for the majority of Snapchat's employees if the company goes under due to competition from Facebook, but the lesson for entrepreneurs is pretty clear.

Also, one company copying another's product with no government or legal protections would occur under a purely capitalist system. A move towards communism would entail the US gov. stepping in a nationalizing Facebook/Snapchat...which is way off base here...

[1] http://mashable.com/2014/01/06/snapchat-facebook-acquisition...

Which highlights a fundemantal problem with capitalism: it tends towards giant monopolies as industries mature. Capitalism only works with a strong government righting the ship. But even that eventually fails when the government gets captured by the most powerful companies.

>An innovative, new upshot getting sucked up/ blatantly ripped off by an established player with more muscle, money (and in this case - users) to throw at the problem is not a great incentive for entrepreneurs.

>Consolidation at this level resembles communism more closely than the kind of free market innovation we should be seeing.

An established player pushing out a smaller startup sounds very much like capitalism, not communism. You could maybe argue it is consolidating into a monopoly, but not that it is communism.

'Pushing out' by using superior innovation/market advantages? Or by currying favor with the governments of the world? In effect, creating that monopolistic structure.

FB is very clearly in the latter camp. That is communism.

You don't understand communism.

Communism implies government ownership. Crony capitalism, maybe. They still competed and this time Goliath won; we often forget what makes that story special, that David is not the favorite to win.

> An innovative, new upshot getting sucked up/ blatantly ripped off by an established player with more muscle, money (and in this case - users) to throw at the problem is not a great incentive for entrepreneurs.

> http://avc.com/2017/02/the-end-of-the-level-playing-field/

These two things aren't the same. The former is complaining about larger companies copying features (where no legislation exists) and the latter is complaining about incurring legislation that impedes competition.

So what do you want? Legislation or not? You can't have both.

> is not a great incentive for entrepreneurs.

There are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to create new technologies, but the gold rush for creating the next big social app may indeed be over.

Here's to hoping new entrepreneurs are motivated by something more than getting rich off the next hot walled social garden, where innovation is a gimmick like self "deleting" messages, 140 characters, or "micro-apps".

I think you're assuming a lot by saying "entrepreneurs" there. It's not like we pump "entrepreneurs" out of some sort of cadet school, and then some of them go on to join the Dark Side. People become entrepreneurs (i.e. found businesses) for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is because they want to get rich quick. Social walled gardens are a good path to that, if you can manage to build one. The people who do so might pretend to be participating in the "hacker ethos"—but they're not members of our community able to be swayed by our social mores. They're just businessmen, of their own kind.

Of course, I only mean I wish that people starting new ventures are motivated to create new products that aren't walled social gardens, and hopefully have some better positive externalities of the kind we all hoped the internet would bring in the 90s.

I don't care if that happens by social being not a way to get rich anymore, or by a class of entrepreneurs being inspired to make something else, as long as it happens.

Totally in agreement here. I think this is actually a much bigger deal than anyone imagines.

It shows that even if you create a HUGE new thing, you're probably going to get killed by the big ones. There is no competing anymore - you either assimilate through acquisition or get squeezed to death on the back end because the incumbents have the cash, data and talent.

So what the hell is venture supposed to do in this landscape? I'm genuinely curious. If the goal of venture money is to build IPO level companies - not one off acquisitions - then what is the move here?

I even remarked as such a few days ago: https://twitter.com/AndrewKemendo/status/851840701214208002

Re-read The Innovators Dilemma. Startups built on just having better technology or product rarely ever work. You need to compete on an axis that the incumbent can't compete on. The incumbent should be looking at your startup, be aware of what you are doing, and be unable to copy it because doing so would break their existing (profitable) business.

If you are relying on outcompeting the incumbent directly you are in for a really tough fight.

Really the point I am making is that they have the ability to cover all axes because the information they have about each is so deep and their tentacles are everywhere in some form. Remember too, they don't need to brand a product with "Google" to be dominant in it. They just need to make sure that whatever startup is playing in the space is using a google product, be it GoLang, Tensorflow, etc... or has investment from GV

Technology: Check

Personnel: Check

Funding: Check

Consumer Understanding: Check

Industry Knowledge: Check

I don't know maybe you are young and new to the technology sector, but theres probably more stories within tech of the big corporation copying a new innovative startup and failing than there are of them succeeding.

I'm well aware, but I think that tide is shifting - that's the point and why it's worth discussing.

Well I think to make this argument, you'd have to provide more points other than snapchat. In this case as many other have been pointing out, Instagram is just out executing them in terms of quality.

What other examples do you see this to be applicable ?

Innovate with something harder to copy or that you can gain genuine protection for? Snapchat seem to already be moving in that direction.

Right, except those big companies are WAY ahead of everyone on that too. Their patent portfolios cover literally everything conceivable. It's quite astonishing really. I mean far future stuff like nanodrug delivery methods, brain computer interfaces etc...

It's going to take tens or hundreds of millions in "seed" investment in the future to compete with one of these behemoths - and even then they all have venture arms so you better find money that is not associated with one of them - impossible probably.

I don't think it changes really it's just the next huge successes will come from a direction that will blindside the current incumbents. Either that or the model is dead as the ladder gets pulled up behind the winners.

Either that or the model is dead as the ladder gets pulled up behind the winners.

That's what I'm arguing is happening.

Probably make something truely innovative and/or patentable, not just pictures that syndicate differently from how other platforms pictures syndicate. Getting a competitive moat from Goliath was in all my buisiness classes in college. VC's must think/know something we don't, that Snapchat has a plan to build such a moat or otherwise stay 1 step ahead. Or they were looking for the greater fool.

To me the thing that is shocking is that a buggy app with crap UX and only the network effect as their moat against competition could be valued at $29B.

If you build a product that can be cloned trivially, you should expect others to clone it. If you are relying on the network effect to beat off competitors, you'd better not have competitors with a bigger network.

The question is, can Snapchat use their newly obtained war chest to make a counterplay that differentiates them from Facebook/Insta. If I had cash to gamble I'd short Snapchat and bet no, but we'll see.

Or maybe, you should not invest in products that could be a feature that could be easily added to an incumbent and companies who focus on these kinds of products tend to fail, just as intended by the free market.

> An innovative, new upshot getting sucked up / blatantly ripped off by an established player

If you're getting "ripped off by an established player", then you know you've made it.

The challenge then is making sure you have a strategy for co-existing with the incumbent (e.g. being more nimble, expanding the market), being acquired by the incumbent, or building a moat (e.g. expanding into a vertical that the incumbent can't touch; innovating faster than the incumbent can copy you).

Facebook attempted to buy Snapchat for $3B 3 years ago (http://mashable.com/2014/01/06/snapchat-facebook-acquisition...). Entrepreneurs should be plenty encouraged by that. Snapchat made the decision to compete with Facebook.

Snap is a Camera Company, so I am sure that is where they will out-innovate everyone else... in the Camera Company space.

Free market competition between two large corporations is communism now? I think you're very, very, VERY confused about what communism is.

Remember Microsoft?

Given how well the Snapchat guys have done, I'm curious as to how you can say there's not a great incentive.

I'd agree with the ripped off part (although I'm sure there are companies that did something similar in the past). However, I'm not sure what muscle and money has to do with it. It's not like Instagram/FB were advertising for Stories (at least I didn't see any).

Muscle/money is also equivalent to rallying resources to quickly rip off features. Let's not forget that builder (engineering/design/product) resources in small/medium size companies come at a premium.

It doesn't take a large engineering team to add stickers to a picture. I'm being facetious here, but let's be honest, FB/IG/Snap are not building a space shuttle.

I agree that it seems unfair but maybe the lesson is that the innovation needs to be more than a feature that doesn't present any technical difficulties for larger players to copy?

Startups need moats to fend off existing market bigwigs, story at 10...

(this dynamic dates back to the first startup...MSFT ate up an entire ecosystem of startups for a generation)

Same reason why so many people hated Microsoft in the 90s.

I'm not the target audience, clearly. I'll get notifications from Instagram "So and so posted a story!" and I'll swipe left to clear it off my notification screen without ever even thinking about it again. Snapchat stories, the only ones I watch (and it's a rarity that I'll even watch them at all) are sports updates.

So. That being said: just curious what the appeal is for others. What is it you like about stories, what about the feature-other than it ostensibly being a video-is so engaging about these things?

It's not the video, it's about the community. You send a small video to your friends that you make in 5s with some silly shit.

I don't see how this fits with the 'hey world, look at my perfect life' photos of Instagram.

My guess is that it's as much a move to force people into a feed where they are forced to interact more with ads since IG ads don't perform well as show investors they compete with Snapchat.

I don't see an exodus of Snapchat users to Instagram.

>> I don't see how this fits with the 'hey world, look at my perfect life' photos of Instagram.

That's the whole point. With Instagram Stories, you can now do both. My public feed that stick has nice curated pictures, while my Stories have goofy every-day, even mundane stuff that will disappear in 24 hrs. It is the perfect duality.

Snapchat really focuses on personal interaction, it's hard to grok unless you really understand the full features of both apps and have used them quite a bit. Streaks, friend trophies, snapscores, read receipts, the scarcity factor of the media, these all seem like small features but they're a major appeal on the platform.

Instagram is more public facing and has the same boasty/gaudy problems that fb/twitter has. Instagram can replicate the features of snapchat but it's really trying to do too much, it's cluttered and overburdened. Not to mention the advertisements, fake personas, novelty accounts and hidden shills.

It's not completely surprising. They did an amazing job to deploy this feature. It's directly available (perfect to attract new users) and it works like a charm. I used Snapchat and I loved it, but UX is a pain. It's incredibly heavy and slow, even on a good phone. It's the reason I uninstalled it twice and won't reinstall it. While on Instagram, the user experience is good. Probably leaving the camera on with effects is not a good choice.

PS: please WhatsApp, remove stories. It's not the place for it.

I like stories on instagram because its not intrusive, unlike messenger, facebook, and whatsapp. The reason I still use snapchat and pretty much boycott stories that get handed out by facebook is because it feels like they're using dark UI practices to force it down my throat.

Why does messenger open up my camera when I launch it? Why does it ask me to put pictures that I send my friends on my public story? Why do peoples stories take half of my messenger screen? It's really intrusive, and incredibly annoying.


1.Does this compare SNAPchat US/UK users with INSTA US/UK users?

2. INSTA has users across the world and in countries where their unit economics is a loss.

3. Nobody makes ad profit from India/Brazil/Vietnam. SNAP wants to redefine how valuation is done.

4. Having billion users is a wrong metric altogether when most users doesn't generate revenue. And yes, companies will always promise they will generate revenue in 10 years or some BS.

Relevant username. But your #4 is silly, SNAP stock's valuation is exactly so high because of "that BS" that you are complaining about other companies doing.

Because Snapchat is only for rich people: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/3324753/snapchat-boss-even-spe...

Where does the "no patents in software" position stand in relation to this story? Does it refer purely software (AKA Oracle v Google) or is it also design and experiences like stories?

The hacker news title is incorrect. The metric is DAUs not MAUS. dang can you please correct?

I believe the article was changed after being published.

I'd be really interested to see how many of those 200M users are actually people.

Instagram novelty/celeb/art/bs accounts are all over the place, it's fairly lucrative to push products on the hot trend of the day and the whole platform is pretty spammy.

Snapchat doesn't really have this problem, you don't interact with people you don't know unless you seek them out. There is no easy way to add randoms on snapchat, users tend to be actual users.

Outside their app snapchat as close to zero visibility. No share buttons on the web, no snap ghosts in commercials (like "add us on facebook"), nothing. They really have to come up with something there.

When Facebook had their IPO everyone argued about them having no revenue, but they still had user growth, when Snap started they already had no user growth. This combined with no revenue... Wall Street does not approve!

"Outside their app snapchat as close to zero visibility. No share buttons on the web, no snap ghosts in commercials (like "add us on facebook")..."

That's exactly the point. Snapchat has absolutely no interest in associating themselves with Facebook. Snapchat caters to a entirely different demographic, and being anti-Facebook is a large part of the appeal.

Wow, this is brutal. I wonder how Snap is going to make it out of this.

Facebook's vassalization of Instagram was brilliant, in retrospect. Facebook is free to pursue its imperial ambitions while Instagram follows the much quicker and looser edge/leader features demanded by the market of Snap/IG/etc.

I remember reading Instagram blog posts and having a sense that engineering the product well was something they held to high importance. Since then they've been acquired by Facebook but their team still seems driven by those kinds of values.

The UI is excellent, you can pause, go back and the cues are great to capture attention

In an alternate universe Instagram never got bought by Facebook, so Snap never had room to grow.

But, then again, in same alternate universe YouTube never got bought by Google, so Facebook never had room to grow.

Think alternate universes don't make sense?

Does this one does?

MAU isn't a great metric, I'd prefer to see both platforms' DAU

Long-time lurker here...

I don't understand how Facebook cloning Snapchat is any different from Chinese startups cloning various American apps. Why is cloning frowned-upon only when the Chinese do it?

Will Snapchat ever start selling to enterprise?

Taking their existing AR technology and apply to, let's say aircraft technicians. Snapchat + Boeing partnership?

For the record, both myself and my partner 'used' stories this month, only to say 'yuck, can I turn this off?'

But hey, you gotta show off those metrics.

for whats its worth a lot of cool people/influencers are still using Snapchat over Instagram, Kardashians, DJ Khaled, etc, this metric doesn't reflect my reality, I wouldn't sell any $SNAP shares, I'm more likely to buy after a dip when metrics like these are presented to the public, once people see revenue the price will pick up again

Mark bought Instagram for 1 billion and now it's probably worth maybe 25. That was a pretty genius move by him.

I'm hoping snapchat wins, its easy for FB with tons of money to just copy another company

Snapchat clearly went out of their way to ignore Android users, Instagram works so much better.

I can't think of a bull case for Snapchat, but admittedly I am not the target demographic.

Pinning stickers! I am so glad the USA is still leading in innovation. Thank you to all the hard workers who devoted their time to solving this problem as opposed to working on some vague or diffuse health-related issue. The world is so much better now that we can pin stickers on instagram gifs.

This is not just a tiresome sneer, but a myopic one.

Leave aside that interpersonal communication is one of the most fundamental of human needs, and thus any new medium or mechanism that enables people to do that more effectively and enjoyably is valuable.

What matters more is that many of the the technologies that have been developed by companies like Google and Facebook, in order to (sneer) get people to click on more ads, or (sneer) let teenagers share duckfaced, princess-filtered selfies with their friends, have been open-sourced and can now be freely used by researchers working in medicine, climate science, energy, cleantech, particle physics, etc.

I'll bet the medical researchers who are using TensorFlow to improve cancer detection [1], or the CERN researchers who use Cassandra to store and process data gathered in the ATLAS experiment [2], aren't sneering when they see Google and Facebook doing things that make themselves more popular and commercially successful.

[1] https://blog.altoros.com/tensorflow-and-openpower-driving-fa...

[2] https://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1432912

Same goes for fast food workers. Serving up cheap meals instead of curing cancer. Really, guys? That's the best you can do?

But surprise, not everyone wants to jump into the medical field and the field certainly isn't hiring every damn person out there. Not everyone has to or wants to work the same job or towards the same goal, and that's okay.

What do you think is going to be Snapchat's next move?

How are these claims verified?

what is "MAU"?

Monthly Active Users

this is why snap is not a good stock purchase until the inevitable tech dip comes -- say another 6-12 mo will be ripe to buy?

"inevitable tech dip" A dip in stock is inevitable? Sounds like you should be shorting the stock if you somehow know better than investors.

What Instagram is doing is borderline illegal.

Facebook sat in stasis for years without innovating their products. Now they are using their incumbent position to steal every single snapchat feature with impunity.

Of course that's par for the course in tech. Where the giant companies throw their weight around to crush competition.

Will there be an antitrust suit?

Was Hacker News acting illegally when it took the idea of user-submitted stories displayed in a list, with voting, from Reddit/Slashdot/Whoever?

Copying ideas is 3/4 of tech nowadays, whether it's a website design and features, or a social network, or a cab-hailing app (Uber, Lyft, etc etc).

I think this is a good thing, because it allows creativity and competition within established ideas, instead of letting whoever came up with it first have a monopoly on it.

Heck, I almost developed and released something almost identical to Pintrest before Pintrest came out. Good thing I didn't -- and wasn't allowed to claim some kind of rights on the idea -- because my version would have sucked. (Well, sucked in a different way from Pintrest does.)

There is nothing immoral about what they are doing. Why should snapchat have a monopoly on functionality?

Patents grant temporary monopolies. (I don't know if Snapchat has any patents that apply here though.)

Facebook is the one with a monopoly. They're clearly abusing their privileged position to stifle competition.

It also sets a very poor precedent for entrepreneurial people.

So your argument is that monopolies are illegal? hahaha go back to wikipedia you're regurgitating some media version of a Microsoft case that you never read yourself

We've banned this account for violating the site guidelines and ignoring our requests to stop.

This is basically the opposite of antitrust.

In fact, it's one of the few instances of capitalism actually working the way it "works" on paper.

Even if Snap wins a lawsuit like that, it's hard to imagine a judgement requiring Instagram to remove the copied features.

A judgement would never make them remove the features. The judgement (if reached) would award Snapchat rights (generally for a long term, up to or including perpetuity) that Facebook would then have to pay for. The removal may could come from the fact the Facebook would do that math and see that paying for the rights isn't worth it (their math would never really say that... they would pay).

I don't think Snap came up with the idea of stories either. They did it with better polish than previous ones to market. Small company comes up with idea, bigger company copies them, yet bigger company copies them. It has been going on for quite awhile. Remember Microsoft in the 90s?

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