Want a messaging application? Buy a company called Beluga and call it Facebook Messenger.
Jealous of Instagram? Buy it. Can’t think of the disappearing-posts feature yourself? Copy Snapchat and call it ‘Stories’.
Want a VPN that specializes in mobile analytics so you can spy on your competitors? Buy Onavo.
Get into the VR space and scoop up Oculus and BigBox VR.
Want to get into the instant messaging game? Buy WhatsApp.
Watching sadly as TikTok’ popularity soars? Copy it and call it ‘Reels’.
Facebooks total acquisitions over the years are in excess of $23 Billion. Marky Z and the Funky Bunch seem not to have a creative bone in their body! In the case of Reels, they copied the format (Short Form Video) but grossly miscalculated one little thing – the human brain.
The problem with Reels is that not only was it late to the game but it shows users content from their friends whereas TikTok pushes a feed of content based on interests; Reels is to a nice smorgasbord of deserts as TikTok is to crack. It turns out that, showing Posts and Stories to friends is all good but when it comes to SFV we are wired entirely different. Looking at our friends interests in the form of a picture with a caption worked well but we care much less about their videos. The proof is in the pudding. According to an article in the WSJ “Instagram Stumbles in Push to Mimic TikTok” an internal FB document titled “Creators x Reels State of the Union” is all but but a panic stricken admission that FB’s aspirations for Reels is hopeless… with users spending just 17.6 million hours a day there versus 197.8 million on TikTok. TikTok had engrained themselves as the preeminent SFV platform.
FB tried to make a change to a TikTok-type algorithm but Kylie Jenner gave Mark Zuckerberg the spanking heard ‘round the world with the now infamous “stop trying to be TikTok” Story. Turns out there is a niche for friend-on-friend video… but for FB it’s more like a ditch, and they are stuck in it. There’s not much they can do but purchase the next big thing, but how many of those are left? With Video, they seem to be out of options. It’s pretty clear to me how Video is ultimately going to shake out.…SFV and TV. SFV curtailed to our interest is perfectly suited for snackable, mobile, mindless content….Bubblegum for the Mind, if you will. Highly produced, well scripted content and/or Live Sports and News (albeit stream’able) is and always will be perfectly suited for the couch potato in all of us.
It’s a small table. There ain’t a seat at it for Facebook.