Facebook has made a Snapchat clone, yet again. It is almost as if, Facebook is darting on every move that Snapchat makes, waiting to integrate all of it in its own apps and platforms. The social giant has blatantly copied Snapchat to launch its very own app called Flash. Presently, the app has only been launched on Android in Brazil. Also Read - Accidently broke Snapchat streak with friends? Here's how to restore itAlso Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!
Although Flash is glaringly similar to Snapchat, the only prominent and kind of useful difference between the two is the app size. Flash is built by Facebook s growth team specifically for emerging markets where Wi-Fi is scarce and connectivity is weak. Therefore, Facebook has made the Snapchat-clone app dramatically lighter, almost half of that of Snapchat s app size. Facebook claims that Flash is less than 25 MB in size, or roughly one third as big as Snapchat s Android app on Google s new Pixel phone. Just to compare we checked the app size of Facebook s core app on a Google Pixel with us and found that it is a whopping 318MB. Although, it s important to note, that app sizes usually differ by device and software version. Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
All this while, it has been fascinating to watch Mark Zuckerberg s assault on Snapchat unfold. It all evidently began when back in August, Instagram introduced a Stories tab to the app, which bore uncanny resemblance to Snapchat. Just like the latter, Instagram Stories, allows users to share photos and video with a self-destructing life span of 24 hours. Also, the Stories feature allows users to embellish their pictures with doodles, texts and stickers.
Let alone Instagram, Facebook is also testing a new Snapchat-like feature on WhatsApp. Called the Status tab, instead of just adding a text, the new feature lets users share photos with their contacts for a limited time. The feature is pretty similar to Instagram Stories and Snapchat Snaps . ALSO READ: WhatsApp Status tab, an Instagram Stories like feature, is under testing; here s how to get it right now
Additionally, earlier last month, Facebook-owned WhatsApp also added Snapchat-like ability to scribble over images shared on the app. Essentially, WhatsApp now allows users to doodle and scribble on the images clicked or shared from the app, like in Snapchat. The feature was first rolled out only for Android users; last week the feature was rolled out for iOS users as well. Along with the Snapchat-like doodle feature, the update also brought additions like the ability to add emojis and color texts on top of the images, front-facing flash support, and the option to zoom in and out video recordings.
To top that, sometime ago, Facebook was also reported to have been testing a Snapchat-inspired Stories feature for Messenger for users in Poland. Under the guise of celebrating the Messenger Day, Facebook had rolled out a new tool which allowed users on Messenger to click and upload photos and videos, that are visible to all their friends, and disappear within 24 hours of being put up. And yes, these Messenger Stories can also be decorated using stickers, tests and doodles, just like in Snapchat, and now in Instagram Stories. ALSO READ: Now you can apply Prisma s artsy filters to Facebook Live videos
However, talking about the app size of Flash, it is worth appreciating the various steps that Facebook has taken to make its app accessible even in areas where internet accessibility isn t as great, like in a country like India. Although it s not solely a do-gooder move, but it certainly helps users a lot. In a bid to adapt to India s slower internet ecosystem, Facebook decided to conduct 2G Tuesday wherein its team will switch to slower 2G network every Tuesdays of the week.
Also, Facebook launched a stripped down version of its main application, called Facebook Lite, and optimized it for slower networks. It is less than 1MB in size, and retains core features of Facebook like sharing status, notifications and messaging. It launched a similarly light version of Messenger, called the Messenger Lite, which is less than 10MB in size, and comes with data saving features like ability to set image downloads on Wi-Fi or when the user wants to download using the cellular data. ALSO READ: Facebook takes on LinkedIn with its own job listing feature