Will Facebook Kill All Future Facebooks?

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Since 2012, Facebook has repeatedly copied or acquired social-media apps that gain traction. There’s the Instagram deal, and more astonishingly, its $22 billion acquisition of WhatsApp. Facebook attempted to acquire Snap for $3 billion, was turned down, and made at least 10 attempts to copy its most distinctive features. Recently, Facebook acquired tbh, an anonymous app for teens that has bubbled up in recent months. Facebook likely found out about tbh through one of its other acquisitions. In 2013, Facebook bought Onavo, an Israeli startup that makes an app that lets people monitor how much mobile data they’re using. After Facebook bought Onavo, it used the aggregated data from its millions of users to track which apps are growing in popularity.  Onavo data reportedly convinced Facebook it should pursue WhatsApp and copy live video streaming services Periscope and Meerkat. Facebook isn’t the only Silicon Valley company that competes aggressively against upstarts. But the speed at which Facebook identifies its targets, the amount of money it is willing to pay, and the shamelessness of its copycat products goes beyond its peers.


Will Facebook Kill All Future Facebooks?