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What did Mark Zuckerberg just do??

The WhatsApp users who do not have auto update on for android app were up for a shocking surprise on Friday, Feb 24, 2017 morning. Let’s talk about android phones for a moment here. WhatsApp (WA) team did the most legit sneakiest thing a tech company can do, they did a delta update, which updated the app even without one’s explicitly auto/manual updating the app. Mark Zuckerberg was on a hunt! “If I can’t buy it (Snapchat) declare a Tech World War and kill it!”

All those (read: all of us) woke up and at a first gotten chance on Friday morning, tapped on our smart screen, we all got shaken up in a horror, “where’s my status????”. Finding a new introduction of status menu, we tried, we explored it, we experimented, we figured out, and we became experts already! WA status update created buzz on many WA groups which has high number of techies and developers, it already became an instant sensation in a few hours of introduction!! WA status is suddenly the coolest thing among the 1.6 billion WA userbase!

 

By copying Snapchat’s stories for WA status, what did Zuck do?
WA status was everyone’s personal corner for expression, self expression, which was not really out there, but was out there if you check someone’s profile, or if you are stalking someone!  People were hooked to the WA status. More people checked others’ WA statuses then we believe.

Was it really copying stories? Zucky baby did more than that, he instilled a new habit in us, replacing old one. People were a li’l upset temporarily with not finding status messages that stayed for days. The initial frustration wore off very quickly when I could create video+photo+text status which also displays me how many viewed my status, this was a carrot Zucky showed to us. The only condition for using this was, you have to update this every day! The super smart people at WA want you to change your status everyday now, you already want your status, self expression, revealed to the world, now, you can’t save it forever or until you change it! You have to have a new status everyday! You can have video/photo/text ! WA is perceived as 1.7 billion active user’s favorite and the most prevalent messaging app, used umpteen times a day.

The resistance to using stories status will be less because, we already are habituated with status updates. All WA did is introduced a li’l tweak, same status, more jazzy, on a highly reputed app than the sneaky secret and notoriously known for sexting/naked photo exchanging app snapchat, add that to the more frequent (read: daily) status update stories. I already have heard people saying, I will have to prepare for my statuses in advance now, and keep changing it everyday! WA users will not give up on status updates, period! There lies WA’s stories’ success. Stories are more engaging, with inherent photo/video messages than long textual messages on WA, which so many of us tap on “clear chat” without even glancing at it. WA has created a parallel deeply engaging feature in a sense- now, we have got a new mental itch to update our status everyday, and to check how many views we have got every time we open WA, and a curiosity to check what statuses other people (read: people whom we stalk) have,and also send them replies on their statuses! Very very smart calculated strategy at a right place by Zucky baby, Hats off to him!!

Would WhatsApp Stories be successful??
WhatsApp Stories won’t be successful, it’ll be SUPER SUPER successful.

Would this impact Snapchat IPO in this week?
Snapchat’s one month user engagement matrix will be infinitesimal compared to WA’s one day user engagement matrix in a very short period of time. When you have a competitor with billions of impressions multiple times a day, who would invest in a few hundred million impressions, that too receding day by day??

Will this kill Snapchat?
It definitely will bring down the Snapchat traffic. The teens and a fraction of  millennials, which almost make up the Snapchat’s audience, also use WA to communicate with their closed and dear ones. If I’m one of those Snapchat users, I have more people on WA with whom I communicate with than on Snapchat, I will prefer to get higher views on my same status (story), that would be on WA, which becomes my key motivation to update WA status story to show off to a larger group of people than on snapchat story. And I need to update my status upon which I am already hooked to.

Zucky just had a big kill, and will feast on this for years to come now!
I can already see him having a last laugh at Snapchat for rejecting his 3 billion buyout offer a few years back, he is on the verge of making Snapchat almost worthless in a few months from now 🙂

(Image source: self, google)

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5 Comments

  1. That’s 100% Correct that now facebook and its subsidiaries are just living on someone else’s innovations. But dont worry, the lifecycle of facebook is at Mature stage and started declining too in some countries. Snap have to out think fb and have to get some protection on their intelluctual properties too.

  2. I tend to disagree on this.
    #1. Snapchat is predominantly a North American/European teenage (now millennial) phenomenon. WhatsApp on the other hand is more popular in SEA/Latam markets; and much of WhatsApp user-base is adults. Of course there is some overlap but I don’t think that will affect Snap’s growth.
    #2. To an average teenager, Snapchat offers something more than WhatsApp — high degree of privacy (moments they want to share only with my dearest friends). WhatsApp on the other hand is more like an address book; it has friends, parents, extended friends, customers, co-workers et al. There are so many things I wouldn’t want to share with all these people on WhatsApp. Personally, I have over 100 people on WhatsApp; and since WhatsApp launched “status”, I just saw one person post an update. Just one!
    #3. Instagram stories, I think, is a bigger threat to Snapchat than WhatsApp. However, as someone who uses multiple messaging apps for different use cases and audience groups (with some overlap), I think Snap will find it’s own user-base.
    #4. Not sure why Snap should regret declining the $3B offer. It’s expected to be worth over $20B when it IPOs and the Founder/CEO will alone be worth more than the $3B amount.

    • *only with their

    • Do you know Snapchat stats? Their growth has been stagnant since last 2 quarters. Clear sign of the beginning of decline.
      No doubt, Steven Spiegel will become a billionaire with IPO, but again, it’s a notional value until he encahses his stake, no? 🙂

      • – Snap’s still growing overall. If one looks at their growth numbers in %, historically, they never have been consistent. Agree Instagram could steal more of Snap’s users but am not convinced with the WhatsApp argument. If you read Snap’s prospectus and juxtapose their user demographics with the macro demographics you will see a better picture; and it’s not that scary. In US alone, the two best ways for a mobile advertiser today to reach the teenage/millennial demographics are Instagram and Snap. It’s going to be an interesting battle, but I would always side with creators like Snap’s founders 🙂

        – It might seem like user growth is always good, but I tend to have different thoughts on this. There is a certain point in growth on social networks when the younger demographics start leaving for other networks. Today, I hate the facebook app (while fb can tell WallStreet it is growing in numbers) — and I no longer use it. I moved to other networks like Instagram last year and I’ve noticed more and more people in my age group are doing the same now. There will be a point in time when the youngsters will feel this adult-invasion on Instagram (and Snap), and it would be interesting to see where they flock to. As of today, Snap’s the only alternative. So I’d argue instead of focusing on user growth Snap could still do fine with growth in ARPU with existing user base. 🙂

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