Ephemeral messaging, photo filters and face masks are nowadays the primary focus of attention for millennials in chat apps. Facebook has taken cues from the success of Snapchat and started testing similar functionalities into its cohort of applications. But to take it a step further, the social media behemoth is said to have made an unsuccessful acquisition bid for the Asian Snapchat-clone known as ‘Snow’, reports TechCrunch.
Snow is an ephemeral photo and video messaging service, with an interface quite similar to that of Snapchat or as some call it “even better”. This application also packs in over 30 different filters and 700 stickers, which are easily way more than those offered by Snapchat. It also packs in a multitude of country-specific features, like WeChat, which make it stand apart and more popular in Asian countries.
The application gained mass traction in Korea, Japan and China, and Southeast Asia by banking upon the lack of interest for Snapchat in the country. Snow has been developed by Naver, the $25 billion South Korean firm that created chat app Line. The messaging firm, which recently dual-listed on both New York and Hong Kong, has pumped in a humongous $45 million at a valuation of $180 million into the Asian Snapchat clone just last month.
The NY Times reported back in June that the app had amassed some 30 million downloads, but an anonymous Naver representative now suggests that it now has around 80 million downloads. It is also currently said to be growing at the rate of 10 million each month.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got wind of the existence of this rapidly growing Snapchat clone and rushed to contact Naver chairman Hae-Jin Lee with an offer to buy out the app. The same was, however, rejected by the chairman because he believes that his app has the potential to emulate the success of Line and WeChat in the country. He also believes that Snow can complement their messaging app Line and help them expand their user base to more parts of Asia.
The growth story of the Snapchat clone ‘Snow’ has also sparked interests for acquisition from numerous potential suitors, but none of them have been named. Plus, there’s still the question whether Naver is readily looking to sell this exploding creation(not talking about Galaxy Note 7!!) of theirs.
It’s true that Snow is receiving love calls from various companies,
states the source privy to the matter.
Though Facebook had twice failed to acquire a fun, quirky ephemeral messaging service — once Snapchat and now Snow — but it is still not giving up its passion for the same. It has recently not only introduced a Snapchat Story-like feature in its photo-sharing app Instagram but is currently also experimenting with face masks, Prisma filters and photo editing features within Facebook Live and WhatsApp respectively.