Facebook launches Snapchat clone for emerging markets

Posted on November 10, 2016


Social network Facebook is at it again. It is launching a new picture and video messaging app that is based on, you guessed it, Snapchat.

Just last week, the company announced another set of attempts to find a way to compete with and overhaul the popular picture app, which included an offer to buy an Asian version of the service.

This time, it is launching another clone of the service, which even includes Snapchat’s face-distorting filters, making it another essentially identical duplicate. This one, however, has been specifically designed to be launched in emerging markets, where access to Wi-Fi is a lot scarcer and internet connectivity is a bit more troublesome in comparison to countries such as the UK.

The new app is named ‘Flash’ and is the product of Facebook’s growth team. According to the company, the app is smaller than 25MB, which makes it approximately one third of the size of Snapchat’s Android version of the app. This is a comparison to the app on the Google Pixel phone, as size can often vary between devices and software versions.

Facebook has released this app because it believes that Snapchat does not yet have a stranglehold on potential users in these emerging markets, and has therefore identified this as a primary target in its bid to beat its rival. Facebook may have left it too late to win over a good percentage of Snapchat’s 60 million daily North American users, but it may be able to claim new users in countries such as India, Brazil and Indonesia.

The social network is hoping that if users in these areas can have access to a lightweight version of Snapchat that does not take up too much room on their devices, and uses less data, then they may not wish to use Snapchat at all.

Flash was launched on Tuesday in Brazil to those with access to Android devices, and the company has plans to bring it out in other countries, but has yet to reveal which one is next. What is clear though, is that Facebook’s relentless obsession with overhauling Snapchat will not end until the job is complete.

This is not the first Snapchat clone that Facebook has launched with, both Poke and Slingshot making brief appearances before flopping and being pulled, but if this is as successful as Facebook hopes it will be, then maybe it will be the last attempt.

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