Facebook has been steadily stealing Snapchat’s features and ideas for years and profiting from them. Whether it’s popular face filters, camera features, stories, or even messaging streaks, Facebook has lifted features from Snapchat and repurposed them without a care in the world. That complete lack of subtlety would make anyone angry, and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is clearly letting off some steam in an op-ed published in Axios today.
In the op-ed, Spiegel argues that Snapchat’s algorithms are superior to Facebook’s reliance on friends. Referencing Facebook and its fake news problem (without actually naming Facebook), Spiegel describes social networks as “mindless scrambles for friends or unworthy distractions” and criticizes their role in fueling fake news. “Social media fueled ‘fake news’ because content designed to be shared by friends is not necessarily content designed to deliver accurate information,” says Spiegel.
Snap’s CEO even wants to separate Snapchat from being described as a social network altogether. “While many people view Snapchat as a social media service, it is primarily used to talk with friends – like visual texting,” says Spiegel. “Snapchat began as an escape from social media, where people could send photos and videos to their friends without the pressure of likes, comments, and permanence.”
Spiegel wants to focus Snapchat on personalizing stories creating by publishers in a different way to highlighting what your friends share. “The combination of social and media has yielded incredible business results, but has ultimately undermined our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media,” explains Spiegel. “We believe that the best path forward is disentangling the two by providing a personalized content feed based on what you want to watch, not what your friends post.”
Snapchat is getting a big redesign to help with this new approach, and one that will separate social posts from ones provided by the media. Spiegel’s op-ed teases this redesign, while trying to convince publishers and Snapchat users that its new approach is better than Facebook and helps solve the fake news problem. We’ll have more details on the Snapchat redesign this morning, so we won’t have long to wait to see if this new design achieves its goals.