Bonnie and Clyde of Social Media?

Who remembers what it was like to be 7-years-old?

I remember, whenever I wanted to build a Lego House, or build a Fortress/Cubby to mum’s frustration.

I would dream of a double story fortress in the living room, that no one could enter without the magical password. I would get cracking. Taking the chairs from the dining room, dismantling the couch to build impenetrable walls. I’d throw the blankets over the top which instantly create an indestructible roof. In the space of 10 minutes you had created the safest fortress for miles.

Then my older brother, would come in and either knock it down or copy the idea.
Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 2.26.06 PM

All grown up now, we have watched people like: Mark Zuckleburg (Founder of Facebook), Kevin Systrom (Founder of Instagram), Evan Speigle/ Bobby Murphy (Founders of Snapchat) all build their own fortress.

They built them from the ground up, starting with a thought, resulting in unique applications that have changed the way we live our lives.

I want to leave you with that word for a second. Unique. The platforms and layouts were distinct. The purpose of each application was exclusive.

This is changing.

Instagram

In 2012 Facebook, bought Instagram for $1 billion dollars. Two applications that once had a distinctive difference. After a recent redesign the apps will look near on identical. Blue is so 5 years ago apparently.

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 3.31.10 PM
Difference between Instagram and Facebook in 2011 v 2017

Snapchat

In 2016 Instagram launched ‘Instagram Stories’, copying Snapchats entire game. A company that was once offered $3 billion, now sees its growth and future in doubt.

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 3.47.39 PM
Instagram Stories were introduce in Q3’16

YouTube? Surely not.

Just a week ago (August 2017) Facebook launched ‘Facebook Watch’ to compete with YouTube. If Facebook Watch was to make a dramatic impact on YouTube traffic, this could disturb the where companies choose to spend their advertising money.

Seems to me that Mark Zuckerberg not only stole the idea of Facebook from a couple of rich kids, but is now stealing the ideas and concepts of his rivals before our eyes.


Has everyone forgotten how to build their own fortress, or is it impossible to have a unique idea, without companies like Facebook and Instagram taking the idea and making it better? 

Is this just healthy competition or is there going to be a monopoly one day?


Sources:

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15 thoughts on “Bonnie and Clyde of Social Media?

  1. I think there is going to be a monopoly one day, looking at Facebook now, whenever there is competition they either buy them out, or steal their ideas and that once exciting “unique” platform is now part of Facebook or Facebook has one similar. I hate that Facebook is copying snapchat and youtube, because whilst it may seem like its making it easier for consumers, i just find it annoying and its almost like Facebook is the big bully in the schoolyard taking from the smaller children, they’re either part of the cool gang or they’re picked on and forgotten about.Social platforms are all becoming so similar theres no excitement to them anymore, personally I can’t wait for someone to come along and trump Facebook!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m just scared that if Facebook does push everyone out of the market one day. All advertising will go to them and then they will defiantly charge users to use it, which we will pay because it will be the only thing left. It’s a little dramatic but who knows. Do you think Snapchat can get out of this situation? What’s Instagrams next instalment?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah it’s definitely a high possibility which would be so frustrating, however as I’ve heard some people mention- the younger generation actually loves Snapchat compared to Facebook- I think the key for snapchat is to keep targeting the younger segments, that or they need to create something Facebook can’t copy! I mean personally I don’t use any of the features Facebook has created that’s similar to snapchat but I guess others are since snapchat is definitely going downhill!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah I don’t really use Snapchat as much as I used to. I think Facebook is just time consuming while achieving nothing. Only really good for events and communication.
        It will be interesting to see how it all develops

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Rebecca! I think Facebook probably has the ability to monopolise one day at the rate they are going now with buying out other social media platforms and just trying to combine other platforms onto Facebook such as with their new ‘story’ feature similar to Snapchats. I think if Facebook keeps going this way, they will lose the essence of the brand because if you compare Facebook now to how it started, it is completely different already!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think there could be a monopoly as well! However, when you say the essence of their brand, surely they wouldn’t loose 2 billion users because they have become something different to what they started out as?

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  3. Interesting that you point out the controversy about Facebook’s alleged IP infringement at the time of its founding. It raises the question – *were* these social media companies (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat) successful because of their uniqueness, or was it really down to an element of luck and/or opportunity that other companies/entrepreneurs were lacking?

    (Also, not sure if I’m missing something, but what’s the connection to Bonnie & Clyde here? I’m curious.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bloody hell, what a great response! This raises many different arguments in themselves. I’m sure you could argue for an against. MySpace became dead very quickly because they didn’t keep up with the consumers needs and growing expectations.
      Bonnie and Clyde are a couple who killed and robbed people. I’m posing the question that maybe Instagram and Facebook are destroying and robbing ideas all majour competition in the digital marking scene.

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  4. I definitely think that the big players in the social media space are attempting to cancel each other out due to their desire to hold a monopoly, or perhaps a duopoly with Facebook and Google, over the industry. Even if a new social media platform was formed with an innovative or original idea that had not been thought of before, I would expect it to be bought out by one of the big social media players and integrated into their existing platforms.

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    1. Great insight about Google! I feel they are the slow burners, they have all the resources and tech in their back pocket but they are just slowing integrating themselves into the market. I think thats a space for themselves, how they are entering the mobile and possibly television device market, who knows what they could come out with.
      Facebook will be interesting, if they eventually takeover snapchat, then they basically have the generation below us, under their spell. Thanks for the input mate!

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  5. Whilst I am sure many companies romanticise about creating a monopoly in the social media world, whether it will actually happen I am not sure! Some of the features these companies have mimicked from other social media platforms, such as Facebook introducing stories, have been less than successful. However I totally agree with you about the lack of innovation and uniqueness at the moment among these platforms. In my opinion I feel some companies should stick to what they are known for or at the very least develop different features from their competitors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Couldn’t agree more, thats sort of the best part about YouTube. Yes they have shifted, changed and adapted to the ever changing market, but they still represent their sole purpose, to stream and share video content.
      Whereas Facebook seems to be losing their direction with their rapid expansion (disclaimer: only my opinion).

      You don’t think Facebook could take over the social media space if it was to buy Snapchat?

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  6. Great Post! I think it’s becoming increasingly difficult for any new social media platforms to come to fruition and compete with a giant like Facebook simply because they have more funds than any start up company and clearly don’t care if they blatantly steal other companies ideas (like instagram copying snapchat with their stories). Adding to that is the fact that everyone is so used to using facebook and instagram – making it even harder for other platforms to compete

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  7. Interesting point and love your analogy! I feel as though when such a good idea comes up (stories), there will always be people or companies who will try their best to improve on that and this is why there needs to be a huge focus on getting your innovative ideas completely right the first time in todays competitive environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like it! Do you really think its that easy though? Think of Vine, that had a niche idea, short videos and Instagram introduced videos and vine disappeared. Its really a scary thought about how much 2 companies can really destroy other ideas.

      Like

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