If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Snapchat should be tickled pink at this point by Facebook’s multiple attempts to emulate its style. In its latest attempt to “innovate,” Facebook is once again “borrowing” from the much younger social media platform, this time testing out a new feature that lets users take selfies and record videos complete with filters, effects, and masks, which can be shared in your News Feed. And your clips disappear in 24 hours too (assuming no one responds).
Facebook isn’t making any attempts to hide this new Snapchat-esque addition either, placing it front and center in its main app for users in Ireland. Should it prove popular among the Irish populace, Zuckerberg may decide to go wide with the feature, introducing it to the social network’s 1.4 billion monthly users.
While the feature has yet to adopt a formal name, it might as well be called Snapchat 2.0. To access it, users (in Ireland) need only to tap on the camera icon in the top left corner of the Facebook app, and voila! They’ll have access to all the features of the new content machine.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, the new camera was designed to address two trends Facebook saw across its user base — first, that people are sharing more photos and videos, and second, that they want to share them only with specific individuals. And as Chris Cox, Facebook’s product chief, noted earlier this week, the team is “very invested” in making the camera “a creative tool.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Facebook currently has any particularly creative or original ideas of its own when it comes to making said tool.
So if you’re a Snapchat user, things in Facebook are about to look very familiar. And if you’re not, well, consider yourself converted.