Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook organizes a conference to show his new invention. In the conference, Mark unveiled the platform which he described to be the first mainstream augmented reality platform.
How this platform works, the objects that you can see on your devices that mean the digital objects will be portrayed on real life objects as if they were real. This feature has the potential to undercut the mission of Snapchat which is to become the camera company for the next generation.
If you follow the works and talks of Mark closely, you will see Mark now understands the most important asset he has which is the network that he created. He doesn’t have to worry about to be the first to bring new features. What matters really is who has the biggest and most engaged network and since he has these two things, he always wins.
In the earlier days when Facebook was founded, everyone thought it couldn’t beat Myspace but there it was beating Myspace along with other social networks. Not only it surpassed the other networks, it also became the number one social network within the next few years.
Then came the competition which Mark cleverly handled by acquiring the products which was a threat to the network he created. He bought Instagram which now has over 600 million users, WhatsApp which has more than 1 billion users.
And then there was Snapchat which got the attention of teenagers because of the smooth social experience. As the teenagers poured themselves into the app, Facebook felt threatened. Mark then offered Evan Spiegel, co-founder of Snapchat $3 billion dollars to buy it which Evan refused. But I think Evan should have taken a closer look of the networks he was building.
When you own the biggest social networks, you have to worry less about the competitors. Mark always follow the features of other networks enjoyed by people. For example, Mark brought the follower option which was first used in Twitter, he also brought the feature of live video streaming following the features of Meerkat and Periscope. Since he owns a very engaged network, it doesn’t matter who brings which features first.
People often ask why Facebook doesn’t innovate and just follow others. It is not a correct question to ask if you observe tech history. The original idea of Mac was inspired by some research articles. Bill Gates saw the success of Mac and designed a new business model so that everyone can own a computer. Apple created the iPhone but if that would stop there, we wouldn’t get all the awesome features of Android within our price range. Smartphones got cheaper and exploded the whole tech industry. So it doesn’t matter if you are copying someone as long as you are improving the user experience and giving the features they want.