Oct 3, 2019

Snap shares slide after Facebook launches competitive app


Shares for Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, were down nearly 7% after Facebook announced the launch of "Threads," a new messaging app for Facebook-owned Instagram that looks and feels a lot like Snapchat.

Why it matters: The app could certainly pose a real threat to Snapchat, as it will be made available and likely marketed to all of Instagram's 1 billion+ users around the world.

Details: The description of the new Threads app by Facebook draws an uncanny resemblance to Snapchat.

  • Facebook calls it a "camera-first messaging app that helps you stay connected to your close friends." This is nearly identical to how Snapchat describes its main app and core functionality.

The big picture: Social media and messaging communication is becoming more private, group-oriented and ephemeral as privacy concerns mount.

Be smart: It's notable that Facebook chose to launch the app amid multiple U.S. antitrust probes into how it may be using its dominance to cripple competitors.

  • Just last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Snapchat's legal team has been documenting Facebook's anti-competitive tactics for years in a file dubbed "Project Voldemort."

Our thought bubble: The move suggests that Facebook isn't too worried about whether or how launching rival apps and features could be an antitrust problem for now.

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Warren-Zuckerberg feud intensifies ahead of 2020

Photos: Getty Images

The battle between Facebook’s chief executive and one of the top 2020 Democratic candidates for president is escalating as the election inches closer.

Our thought bubble: Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mark Zuckerberg are convenient political targets for one another. Warren can paint Facebook as an example of capitalism gone wild, while Facebook can point to Warren as a misguided regulator who wants to break up its business because she doesn't understand how it works.

Go deeperArrowOct 13, 2019

Zuckerberg's news pitch

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook, which has long resisted both hiring journalists and paying publishers, will do both as part of a new News section being announced today. In an interview with Axios, CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that "the internet has been very disruptive to the news industry."

The big picture: News organizations have long complained that Facebook and Google benefit by appropriating their content. It's unclear, though, whether Facebook's new move will generate significant revenue for any but the largest publishers.

Go deeperArrowOct 25, 2019

Snap CEO talks rivals, anti-trust, going public

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel at TechCrunch Disrupt 2019 in San Francisco. Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Despite Snap's well-known rivalry with Facebook, CEO Evan Spiegel did not give a resounding "yes" when asked on Friday at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference if breaking up Facebook would benefit society.

"I think the thing that everyone’s concerned about is that they’ve seen that competition has been what’s motivated Facebook to make changes over time. Those have really motivated Facebook to dramatically change their product offering in order to compete."
— Evan Spiegel
Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019