Instagram, Snapchat, and the difference between $1 billion Facebook bucks vs simply being cloned
Facebook's new, Snapchat-like timed messaging (widely held to be sexting) app, Poke was coded in only 12 days, and part of that code was reportedly written by Facebook's founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg himself. Why is Facekbook telling and/or leaking that backstory? Josh Constine of TechCrunch writes:
People often think they have an idea for the "next big app" and ask how to get it made without getting "ripped off". It's a cliche that ideas are a dime a dozen and implementation and execution are where the value resides. But that's never been true either. Whether it was Microsoft in the early days of the PC, or Zynga or Facebook now, anything bootstrapped that gets significant attention and momentum is destined to be bought or simply cloned.
As MG Siegler points out on parislemon:
The difference between being a $1 billion Instagram deal and Snapchat clone is likely how important your user base is and how hard they think it will be to co-opt it. Facebook Camera with filters wouldn't have done anything to stop or even slow Instagram in the vitally important, incredibly attractive area of online photo sharing (i.e storing). Poke will either do enough, or the capricious offshoot of the IM space isn't important enough, for Facebook to spend more money, or more than 12 weeks on it.
Oh, and that voice you hear say "POKE!" when a new one arrives? That's supposedly Zuckerberg's own as well.
How badly Poke hurts Snapchat remains to be seen, as does Poke's long-term importance to Facebook itself. Is it a fad-app whose lifespan mirrors its short development time, or is it core functionality that's here for the long haul? I guess we'll see if/when Poke secures a place on the Home screen next to Instagram when the Facebook phone finally launches...
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.