Facebook was working on a Snapchat-like feature


Facebook was testing a Snapchat-like feature called Quick Updates, but has scrapped plans to introduce it, reports TechCrunch. The feature, which was being tested with a select group of users, would let a user post updates likes pictures, videos, (on which they could add text, etc) with a select group of users on Facebook. According to the TechCrunch report, Facebook confirmed it was testing the ‘Quick Updates’ feature with select users, but it won’t be taking this experiment forward.The idea with Quick Updates was to let people share with a select group of friends rather than their entire News Feed, sort of like a take on Snapchat stories, where users share their daily ‘live updates’ with the select list of friends who are following them on Snapchat.Facebook trying to copy Snapchat is nothing new. The company tried to buy out Snapchat for nearly $3 billion, but the deal didn’t go through, and Facebook eventually ended up buying WhatsApp Messenger.Of course Facebook also launched clone apps to try and copy Snapchat; namely Poke and SlingShot, neither of which were very successful. Snapchat on its part has seen daily active users (DAUs) grow and recent reports put the app as bigger than Twitter when it came to DAUs (around 150 million for Snapchat, compared to Twitter’s 140 million).For Facebook, the other problem that Snapchat poses is the growth of user-made video. Snapchat is one app which has made vertical videos totally acceptable, and the app’s UI puts emphasis on instant video recording. Just long-press the camera button when the app opens, and you can shoot a quick video and then choose to share with a select group of friends or post as a ‘Story’ on Snapchat for all your friends to see.On Facebook video-sharing and uploading takes its own time, and even Live video requires good Internet connectivity. Facebook might be a great platform for video-sharing for publishers, but personal sharing has gone down on the social media website. In April a report by The Information and another one by Bloomberg pointed there was a decline on personal sharing on Facebook.Bloomberg’s report noted that Facebook employees were calling this a “context collapse”, with personal sharing shifting to apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. The reports noted the lack of ‘original posts’ had brought down engagement on Facebook, especially with younger users, under 30 years of age.According to TechCrunch, the latest attempt to boost personal sharing via Quick Updates won’t actually be rolling out to users because the interface was not attractive enough. And that’s really an important point Facebook will have to work on, if it wants to boost personal sharing on the website. Just like Snapchat, it needs to make sharing, especially video sharing instant and quick, although a new Snapchat clone might not be the answer to its woes.

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