Back in 2013, Snapchat was breaking new ground and causing a stir in Silicon Valley. The startup had taken control of a trend against traditional social media, encouraging people to post content that will be deleted after just 24 hours. At the same time, young people were deactivating their Facebook accounts as they realised the danger permanent content could cause, but also due to the influx of older users, including their parents.
Facebook was worried, and saw Snapchat as a major competitor, despite its smaller userbase and unknown growth potential. Facebook did the honourable thing and offered $3 billion (cash!) for the company. After Snapchat declined, Facebook started down a less honourable route. They became a copycat.
Fast forward 4 years. Snapchat’s main feature is no longer unique. Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger now all have 24-hour stories, which auto-delete after 24 hours. The thing is, each of these networks is owned by Facebook. And while WhatsApp and Messenger’s Snapchat clone features are poorly executed and little used, Instagram is a big cause for concern for Snapchat.
For brands, the difficulty is working out when a new network or feature is worth experimenting with, and whether that experiment should turn into a full-blown strategy, continue as an experiment or be dropped entirely. For something like Instagram Stories, we hope that brands are beginning to develop their experimentation into a strategic approach. But we have different advice for Messenger’s ‘Messenger Day’ feature.
Messenger Day is just awful. The entire user experience is convoluted, confusing and contradictory to the idea of a private chat network. Something like Messenger Day would make more sense as part of the main Facebook experience.
Facebook has a strong history of poor products external to the main network – but under the Facebook name – and for this reason, we’re calling it; don’t spend a single brain cell thinking about how to use Messenger Day. It will be killed off before long. And no one will care.
If you want to delve deeper into why Messenger Day won’t be a success, take a look at TechCrunch’s article listing the pros and cons of the new feature. The pros list has some rather valid points, but user experience is super-powerful; much more so than having a large userbase and need to make money.
What do you think of Messenger Day? Did you even know it existed? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @foxb2b.
Categories: Social media