Facebook is Cloning Snapchat's "Discover" Feature
Facebook is Cloning Snapchat’s “Discover” Feature
Facebook is Cloning Snapchat’s “Discover” Feature


And the copycat chase continues! In this latest development, Facebook is again getting inspiration from its growing competitor Snapchat. This time, Facebook is looking to copy Snapchat’s popular “Discover” feature.

Meet Facebook Collections

According to insider intel, Facebook is in the process of creating “Collections”. This tool will display curated content from media partners. Brand publishers will have their own channels, where they can showcase their original video, text, and image content. Collections will be given a primetime slot in the News Feed, so it’ll be hard for Facebook’s 1.8 billion users to miss it.

While there is currently no release date for Collections, Facebook is already approaching potential media partners. With brands clambering for a spot in Snapchat’s Discover, we expect brands are just as excited for Collections.

Snapchat Discover: The (Possible) Source of Inspiration for Facebook Collections

Who Will Reign Supreme?

Facebook’s move definitely seems like another attempt to outdo its competitor. Snapchat’s Discover has established its efficacy and popularity among users and brands alike. However, Facebook’s replication could challenge Snapchat’s growth. Even this early in its progression, Collections has several clear advantages over Discover.

Firstly, Snapchat has already done most of the hard work for Facebook. Discover has gone through countless changes in its 1.5 years of existence, as Snapchat experimented to figure what worked and what didn’t. Now Facebook can skip that trial-and-error process and just copy the result of their rival’s efforts.

Will Brands Benefits?

Additionally, Facebook can use existing criticisms of Discover to guide the development of Collections. That way, their product will be better than Snapchat’s right from the start. Arguably, most complaints about Discover come from brand partners. For example, brands dislike the fact that Snapchat presents photos and videos vertically. This means that brands can’t easily repurpose content from their other channels. As a result, most companies have teams dedicated to creating content solely for Discover. If Facebook makes Collections more omnichannel-friendly, brands may switch over to them in order to save time and money.

Snapchat’s brand partners also get very limited user data, making it difficult to track their Discover audience. To make matters worse, Snapchat never directs its users to partners’ own sites. This means that that publishers’ Discover content (and the data associated with it) is native to Snapchat. With Facebook’s wealth of user data, Collections partners could get an unprecedented amount of information about their audience. Also, if Collections’ design allows users to click through to a publisher site, brands will have a lot more flexibility with content and costs.

The Power Of The Platform

The final, most important advantage Collections has over Discover is the platform that it’s on. We all know that Facebook has unrivaled scale. This strength has helped it weaken countless platforms like Vine and Twitter. Facebook’s immense user base allows it to thrive off of replicating features that other platforms have proven successful. Snapchat has a respectable user base of 200 million, but it’s nowhere near Facebook’s 1.8 billion user count. Today’s social media users increasingly value discoverability, and that’s where Collections could easily take over Discover (no pun intended).

Will This Be The End Of Snapchat?

While you might be fearing (or celebrating, you monster) Snapchat’s seemingly-inevitable demise, don’t count them out just yet. Based off of Snap Inc.’s track record, we doubt Facebook’s mimicry will faze them. The company will just go out and innovate something else that revolutionizes the social media landscape, as usual.

About the Author

Maha Chaudhry
Maha Chaudhry works at Renegade LLC, a social-inspired marketing agency. She recently graduated from Princeton University, where she studied psychology and health policy. Her interests include fashion and beauty in digital media.

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