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Facebook secretly beta testing a new camera app to compete with Snapchat?

  • Facebook is developing a camera app (again) to take on Snapchat
  • Facebook’s past mistakes with Slingshot and Camera
  • Snapchat releases Chat 2.0 update to become a one-stop-shop

There have been several reports flying around that Facebook is creating a camera app to compete with Snapchat in hopes of recapturing user engagement of 18-24 year olds.  The latest report comes from the Wall Street Journal.  Facebook plans to add a live-stream feature that could appeal to some audiences.  In addition, Facebook recently acquired a video-sharing app called MSQRD that allows users to add filters and swap faces, which are already built-in features in Snapchat.

In the past, Facebook has tried to compete with Snapchat with the launch of Slingshot (Snapchat-esque app where photos and videos disappear after 24 hours) and a photo-editing/sharing app called Camera.  However, both stand-alone apps never gained any traction and slowly (and quietly) faded away.  If I recall correctly, those apps were fairly light and my iPhone camera capabilities were far superior. In short, those apps were deleted my iPhone almost instantly.

If Facebook markets the new app correctly, builds a solid infrastructure to support, the stand-alone app, incorporates an easy to use interface, and enables users to be more creative and “own” their live-stream and content (a la youtube channels), this could be an app that can run a Facebook marathon. Unfortunately, Facebook has tried before and has failed miserably. With 100 million active users, Snapchat already has first-mover advantage and has created a solid foundation. More and more people, including celebrities, are flocking to Snapchat for stories, snaps, and videosnaps. Or is it more efficient and cost effective to just acquire Snapchat and build on their 100 million active users?

Add more fuel to the fire, Snapchat recently released Chat 2.0 update, which enables users to make video calls, voice calls, send audio messages as well as exchange stickers and GIFs. Basically it’s becoming a one-stop shop and is an all encompassing mix of Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Skype, Whatsapp (am I missing anything?).   You can find more details here. It becomes more apparent that Snapchat is trying to take a bigger piece of the virtual communication market. Only time will tell.

Let us know your thoughts. Which social media app do you use most and why? SnapchatAway…

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