Facebook and Snapchat: metrics versus creation (Benedict Evans)
Ahead of the big $SNAP IPO, Benedict Evans wrote this interesting piece. Some excerpts from the article:
Google and FB seem to have a lot of control over the web. But Google can't control what you search for, Facebook can't control what engages you. Their control is mostly illusory.
What drives Facebook is mostly data - metrics and algorithms. What drives Snap is innovation - ephemerality, stories, filters & spectacles over the past 5 years.
It's a swing away from metrics. Instead of asking where metrics, data and algorithms take us, Snap is looking for creation.
Snap's emphasis on 'new' could be seen as just running away from Facebook. Facebook is, after all, systematically cloning cool new Snapchat features, and with some success - there are clear signs of Snapchat's growth slowing in favor of Facebook's apps, especially in some of its non-core markets. This could be the last white space in social that Snap is hoping to capture.
Instagram also seems to be moving towards the behavior of billions of people (of sharing their everyday life with friends) instead of the behavior of millions of people (sharing artistic shots with their fans). Instagram is moving to capture that in the same way Messenger and WhatsApp captured chat. It's becoming an index.
One question for Snapchat is whether you can get to a billion users without being an index, no matter how many new things you create?
You can read the full article below. What are your thoughts?