Once again, we’re back at it. And it would sound pretty familiar to you. Facebook is still not done copying Snapchat and has today debuted a standalone ephemeral messaging client, reports Recode. And there’s no questioning that the new application is awfully identical to Snapchat and packs in augmented reality face masks into the same.
Facebook earlier tried to bank on the hype of ephemeral messaging among millenials with the releases of Slingshot, which was shut down last year. But, the social media giant has jumped back in the game with its fresh new app called ‘Flash’.
The company, however, is doing things a little differently this time around. Instead of tapping the collective mass of the teen population, the company is launching the app with a specific focus on developing markets where internet & Wi-Fi connectivity is limited.
This new application, Facebook boasts, is lightweight and ‘less than 25MB’ in size and roughly half in size as compared to its own official Android app. It is also about third the size of Snapchat’s app on Android, which is roughly 70 MB. It has been built by the team of developers responsible for building Lite versions of their Facebook and Messenger apps for emerging nations.
Facebook, as I’ve mentioned before, most likely has an infatuation with Snapchat. Thus, it is hell bent on emulating the success of the same with the introduction of similar features – Instagram Stories – on its apps or now launching a completely new app. The social media giant has recently also attempted to acquire Snapchat’s Asian Clone Snow, developed by Naver.
With the launch of Flash, Facebook is also tackling one of the markets where Snapchat’s growth has been sluggish. The company has been unable to gain a stronghold on potential users in these markets. Facebook has debuted the app first in Brazil on Android and plans to it roll out to other markets in the coming months. It is, however, still unclear which markets will actually have access to it.
This move from Facebook not only reiterates the company’s video-first strategy but also confirms that it is definitely gunning for the success of Snapchat in less popular markets. The company has recently also baked an AI into its mobile app and is testing artsy photo and video filters similar to Prisma in live videos on the platform. The company had recently also updated its MSQRD app to include augmented reality face maskes, which are a part of this app as well.