Facebook has been trying to get their hands on SnapChat for some time. To SnapChat’s credit, they aren’t selling out to Zuckerberg’s cash. Whether they’re looking for a better deal or they just want to maximize their niche of the disappearing messaging industry for social media, the fact remains that Facebook doesn’t have the pipeline of services that they want to provide.
Facebook offered $3 billion for SnapChat last year, but with their emphasis on Slingshot right now, there’s a good chance they’re looking to create their own entry into this niche. Here’s why it’s not going to work.
#1. SnapChat Is Youth Orientated
Remember when it was super cool to have a MySpace page? Then it became cool to have a Facebook page? Now it’s cool to be on SnapChat if you’re in a younger demographic. If you’re over 30, you probably don’t even care. If you do use short video clips, you’re probably using Vine already. Facebook marketing a youth orientated product that is a SnapChat clone is like offering baby formula to a guy who wants a steak dinner. It’s just not tempting.
#2. It Won’t Be Messenger Integrated
There’s two reasons why I personally use Facebook messages right now: 1) I can talk to my wife when I’ve lost my phone, which is often; and 2) it is integrated with Skype. If you want older folks to try using this kind of niche service, you’d better integrate it into what they’re already using. Otherwise it’ll be forgotten as fast as the messages sent by the service are.
#3. Investors Will Hate It
If Facebook was still a private corporation, then you might not even see this article. Now that they’ve got public investors and have to report their finances, well… investors want to see at least some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. It might be dim and barely visible, but it at least it would be there. Even Zuckerberg has admitted that pipeline services like Slingshot will not move the needle of profitability for a long time. That’s not something most investors like to hear.
#4. It Could Be Dangerous
When you talk about disappearing videos on the internet, most parents of kids who use this service start thinking about sexting. That’s maybe part of the problem, but even worse is the perception that people will have about this service. Because the video disappears, a natural assumption will be made that the content was deleted. It won’t be. Nothing is really private and social media activities can last forever thanks to shares and screenshots.
#5. They Are Easier Ways To Market
Video marketing might be the #2 best way to get info out about your business [SMS texting is definitely #1], but there are easier ways to build relationships online than this. If you want to target the youth and build 1-on-1 relationships, then sure – that makes sense… if you have a lot of time and manhours to invest. Google circles offers something similar and you can put it into a conference call. Ditto with Facebook messaging.
Could Slingshot be the key to the future success of Facebook? Anything is possible… but it doesn’t seem likely.