Facebook has been working on introducing a feature similar to Snapchat’s ‘Streak’, on its Messenger app. The feature basically gives you a count of how many days in a row you have messaged that person. It takes a minimum number of 3 days before Messenger gives you a streak count. The feature is especially popular among teenagers that use Snapchat and they often have streak counts that go into the hundreds. They see the streak count as an incentive, which works out well for Snapchat since it translates into users spending more time on the app.
People who saw the new streak feature on Messenger, which started rolling out on Wednesday, posted screenshots on social media. In the images, you can see a thunderbolt emoji next to a sandglass, and a count of the streak. Snapchat uses a ‘fire’ emoji to let users know their count.
Facebook Vs. Snapchat
Facebook has a history of introducing features ‘inspired’ by Snapchat before, and the latest one is the streaks feature. In the past, it has introduced such as Stories, 3D camera filters, location-based and event stories, and disappearing direct chat messages, all of which were first popularized by Snapchat. It even introduced geography based filters, or geofilters, which give you camera filters based on your location. Facebook even stole the QR code feature from Snapchat, by introducing a similar feature in its Messenger app.
But the strategy of copying Snapchat has worked out well for Facebook, which has seen a spurt of growth in all the platforms where it introduced the features – this includes Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp and Facebook itself. The strategy has also affected Snapchat, with many users opting to migrate to Instagram since the app offered the same features along with regular photo-sharing.
With regards to all the coping by Facebook, Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel said, ““If you want to be a creative company, you gotta get comfortable with, and basically enjoy the fact that people are going to copy your products if you make great stuff. And now with Snap, with our company, we believe that everyone is going to develop a camera strategy because I think we really help people understand how valuable the camera is.”
Facebook grows Instagram to beat Snapchat
Instagram, which stole the Stories feature almost three years after Snapchat introduced it, has become an important platform for Facebook, steadily closing in on a billion monthly active users. Before Stories, Snapchat had more daily users than Instagram. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg even made an attempt to buy Snapchat in 2013 for $3 billion – an offer which was turned down by Evan Spiegel.
Facebook tends to test and try out new features constantly, introducing and removing features based on their popularity. Recently, Facebook merged its Messenger Day feature with Facebook Stories, probably because not a lot of users took to it. It also killed off its Facebook Direct feature, based on user feedback.
Facebook has, however, been aggressively pushing Stories as a feature to its huge user base. Facebook introduced event collaborations, where users can share event related stories, which results in a collage of their pictures and videos appearing in the Stories feed of everyone who follows them. Facebook has also added privacy controls, which allows you to restrict who sees your content – you can restrict them to a fixed group of people, or share it by excluding anyone you don’t wish to share your Story with.
While streak has been introduced to Messenger users, only time will tell if its users can rack up numbers like Snapchat users do.