The silent battle continues; Whatsapp introduces Snapchat-like camera features

Whatsapp introduces Snapchat like camera features in what looks like a never ending dig by Facebook on Snapchat.

e4m by Ronald Menezes
Updated: Oct 5, 2016 8:14 AM
The silent battle continues; Whatsapp introduces Snapchat-like camera features

In a bid to take on Snapchat, Facebook is leaving no stone unturned. In a latest, WhatsApp has introduced new stickers in its camera features that have originally been used by Snapchat.

With the new camera features, users write or draw on photos and videos, as well as add emoji to express themselves. When a new photo or video is captured or shared like ones that are already on a user’s phone, they will automatically see the new editing tools. The WhatsApp camera feature further supports the front-facing flash and added a zooming feature for recording videos.

These new camera features were rolled out on Android phones yesterday and are expected on iPhone soon.

The Snapchat Vs Facebook/Whatsapp/Instagram War

Ever since Snapchat has begun gaining popularity, Facebook has stepped up its strategies to combat any rivalry from the budding social media company.  

Facebook is testing the ‘Messenger Day’ feature which is very similar to the ‘Stories’ feature in Snapchat, whereas the similar feature is already introduced in the Facebook owned Instagram. In Brazil and Canada, Facebook is testing a selfie first home screen which is also similar to the one used by Snapchat.

Facebook has crossed the billion user mark globally back in July while it also raced ahead of Snapchat in terms of DAU’s and MAU’s in Q2 2016. According to an analysis revealed by Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak the Facebook and Snapchat rivalry seems to hardly be the rivalry it was touted to be.

According to Nowak, Facebook’s daily user growth shows a strong incline and there seems to be no stopping it even though Snapchat acts like a major concern. Snapchat has always been a threat in terms of acquiring younger users between the age of 18 and 24, yet according to Nowak’s analysis Facebook is growing strongly. Nowak believes that the ratio of its daily active to monthly active users will continue to rise, and will even hit its largest increase since Q1 2015.

 According to the statistics provided by comScore, the numbers for Facebook in the age group 18-24 sees a sharp rise. In the fourth quarter 2014, the growth between the DAU to MAU ratio stood at 66.4 per cent and in the second quarter of 2016 grew to 89.8 per cent.

When comparing the DAU to MAU ratio for the age group between 25 and 34 year old Facebook, US mobile users the growth stood at 74 per cent in Q4 2014 and rose to 86.4 per cent in 2016.

Snapchat, on the other hand, when compared between the age group of 18 and 24 in Q4 2015 stood at 56.9 percent as compared to 66.6 percent in Q2 2016. In the age group of 25 and 34 year old, US mobile users the growth was recorded at 51.4 percent in Q2 2016 as compared to 38.9 percent in Q4 2014.

In June, Facebook pre-announced major updates for Facebook Live at VidCon. The platform would let users do two-person remote broadcasts, pre-schedule streams and create a virtual waiting room for viewers and broadcast with MSQRD’s face masks which are also available on Snapchat.

According to the recent Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report 2016, Snapchat is just second to Facebook in terms of time spent on it monthly and it is outpacing Facebook when it comes to video sharing and news.

In July, Facebook had launched ‘Secret Conversations’. It combined the encryption options available on Facebook's WhatsApp service with the short availability of posts on Snapchat. The technology uses the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.

Facebook has attempted to copy Snapchat’s feature multiple times in the past few years. In 2012, it coded Poke in 12 days, cloning Snapchat almost exactly. In 2014, it launched Slingshot and pulled it off a year later. And in 2015, it began testing self-destructing messages in Messenger itself, existing separately from the now-released Secret Conversation feature.

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