Although Snapchat may offer a very different platform for communicating than Facebook does, it's clear that CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other execs at Facebook pay attention to all kinds of competition in their quest to "unleash a new wave of expression." So since Snapchat's form of photo-based expression -- with options for adding stickers and text -- has proven popular with users, Facebook apparently wants to offer it to its users, too.
The social networking giant has done just that with an updated version of its photo uploader for iOS that lets users paste sticker images and messages on top of the photos they post online. The new feature adds photo editing capabilities already familiar to users of Snapchat.
Facebook reportedly tried, unsuccessfully, to buy Snapchat for some $3 billion two years ago. Several months after that failed attempt, Facebook came out with a new Snapchat-like, photo-based messaging app called Slingshot.
People 'Want to be Creative'
"People want to be creative when they share experiences with their friends and family on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson told us. "We are rolling out a new place to house all of Facebook's photo-editing tools, making it even easier to add filters, stickers, or text to your photos. On iPhone, these tools can now be accessed through an icon in the lower left hand corner of the photo."
Facebook has reportedly been testing those tools for the past few months and is now testing them for Android users as well.
Snapchat and Facebook are far from the only photo-sharing platforms that allow users to quickly and easily edit their pictures with cartoon images and text messages. Japan-based Line, for example, offers a smartphone app with photo stickers that has attracted more than 200 million monthly users. Earlier this month, the company launched Emoji Line, a supplemental sticker and emoji keyboard app for iOS.
A Growing App Family
Facebook still has far more users than Snapchat -- 1.44 billion monthly active users and 936 million daily active users as of March 2015, versus 100 million daily active users. But Snapchat, which allows users to share quick and short-lived photos and videos via mobile devices, reportedly sees twice as many photos uploaded and supports more than two billion video views every day.
Such numbers undoubtedly concern Facebook, which has increasingly become a family of apps rather than a single outlet for social networking. Messaging services, in particular, have become increasingly important for Facebook, which this year launched a new Messenger Platform that includes Messenger Business.
Among the recently added apps that Messenger supports are tools like Action Movie FX, which lets users add special effects to the videos they shoot; Bitmoji for "your own personal emoji"; the FlipLip Voice Changer; Meme Generator; and the to.be Augmented Reality Camera. In December, Facebook also added an app called Stickered for Messenger that lets users edit and personalize the photos they send to friends and family.
Image credit: Facebook ; iStock/Artist's concept.
Posted: 2015-07-02 @ 9:47pm PT