Why startups shouldn’t be afraid of Facebook cloning them
It’ll take more than a Poke to knock out Snapchat.
(Credit: Screenshot by Ben Parr/CNET)
How long does it take a multibillion-dollar technology juggernaut to clone a popular social networking app? The answer: less than two weeks.
I am, of course, talking about Poke, Facebook’s clone of Snapchat, the app whose messages self-destruct after 1 to 10 seconds. As many people like to point out, it’s perfect for sexting, but there are a lot of other fun and innovative uses for this clever type of messaging.
For all intents and purposes, Poke is almost identical to Snapchat. Snapchat is focused on photos and videos, while Poke adds self-destructing messages and the classic Facebook poke feature to its arsenal. Poke relies entirely on your Facebook friend network, while Snapchat can dig into your contacts and let you share (sexy) photos with strangers.
One key difference: Snapchat already has a loyal user base that sends more than 50 million photos across its network every day, with many of its users teenagers. But Poke is quickly catching up. Within a day of its release, the app rocketed up the iOS charts to become the No. 1 free app in the App Store (it’s now at No. 3). Snapchat currently occupies the No. 7 spot.
It’s an impressive feat to hit No. 1 in the App Store, even for the world’s largest social network. Facebook, unlike other giants, has the ability to quickly approve, build, and release products. The fact that it took just 12 days for this app to become a reality is simply mind-boggling. Read More