Shares of Snapchat operator Snap (NYSE:SNAP) are falling today, down by 4% as of 11:45 a.m. EDT, after larger rival Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rolled out yet another replicated feature borrowed from Snapchat.
The social network announced that it has introduced "more ways to share" with the Facebook camera. The main Facebook app will get an update this week that makes it faster and easier to access the camera (the Snapchat app opens directly to the camera), and users will be able to add a variety of different effects and filters to photos and videos -- all flagship features of Snapchat. The company is also partnering with brands to promote upcoming movies like Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Despicable Me 3, among others.
Facebook is bringing Stories to its core platform following an incredibly successful launch of Instagram Stories last year, which was a clone of Snapchat Stories, one of the smaller platform's most popular features. There is a new way to share called Direct, which utilizes Snapchat's flagship ephemeral quality: content disappears after being viewed.
The news comes after shares enjoyed a bump yesterday following a slew of bullish initiations from Wall Street. Facebook has only become more aggressive with competing with Snapchat in recent years after Snap co-founder Evan Spiegel famously turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Mark Zuckerberg in 2013 -- a standard page out of Zuckerberg's playbook. Unfortunately for Snap, it appears that Facebook's efforts are working: Snapchat suffered a noticeable deceleration in user growth when Facebook launched Instagram Stories.
By replicating all of the features that make Snapchat popular, Facebook hopes to steal Snapchat's thunder and attract users to its platform, which is much larger and easier to use. It's very likely that the new features are made possible from Facebook's acquisition of Masquerade almost exactly a year ago, which similarly created live animated video filters. To the extent that Facebook's ongoing efforts to copy Snapchat prove successful, Snap's lofty valuation will be severely undermined.
Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Facebook. Evan Niu, CFA has the following options: long January 2018 $120 calls on Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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