Facebook looks at adopting another Snapchat feature

Posted on November 27, 2017

 

It would seem that social networking giant Facebook has not yet finished its war with photo-messaging platform Snapchat, as it begins to test another feature taken from the ghost-logoed app.

One of the primary reasons Facebook appears to be constantly borrowing (or stealing, depending on your point of view) from Snapchat is to block the momentum of the popular platform. The world’s largest social site seems to have adopted a vendetta against Snapchat since it rejected its $3bn (£1.9bn) bid to purchase the company back in 2013. Since then, Facebook has done everything in its power to overhaul Snapchat, including trying to develop its own version of the app.

Most of these attempts had been ineffective, until Facebook started to directly copy Snapchat’s most popular features. The most successful has been installing Snapchat’s Stories feature on all the platforms Facebook owns – Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram and the main Facebook app. It is fair to say that Instagram Stories has been the most successful Snapchat clone since it was set up in August last year, attracting 300 million users to the feature.

This time, Facebook has begun testing one of Snapchat’s remaining unique and popular features – streaks. A Snapchat streak, commonly known as a Snap streak among users, is a flame emoji that appears next to a contact with a number indicating how many days the two users have been sending messages, or snaps, to each other, starting at three consecutive days. Snapchat will even warn the user when the streak is about to expire by adding an egg timer emoji when time is almost up. This has been a huge hit for the photo-messaging platform, with users quickly falling in love with the feature.

As users build up a significant streak with their friends, they tend to become very protective about the streaks, with some making it a daily mission to keep them going for as long as possible, one day at a time. Users value the feature so much that when it’s broken, they are far from pleased about it, as these tweets show:

Some even contact Snapchat, asking for it to be reinstated if it is lost because of connectivity issues.

Facebook is now testing this feature in the Messenger app and indicates a streak with the lightning bolt emoji, which will work for anyone who has messaged a friend for two consecutive days or longer. Twitter user Case Sandberg was one of the first to notice that the feature had been integrated with messenger, tweeting the below:

Facebook seems to be testing it on a limited number of accounts at present and it is not yet clear whether it will be universally rolled out. Should it become permanent on Messenger, it may not be long until it will be integrated with Instagram and WhatsApp too.

Alan Littler

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