News

POV: Google Stamp, Snapchat Discovery and Facebook Stories

Background:

More details surfaced this week about a new service being developed by Google that is yet another imitation of a Snapchat originated service. Google Stamp is a Snapchat Discover lookalike that will allow users to swipe through a slideshow-style format made up of text, photos, and video from top tier content providers including Conde Nast, Hearst, Time Inc., Mashable, Mic.com, CNN, The Washington Post, and Vox Media.

Details and Implications:

Google Stamp is reportedly built around its faster-loading AMP mobile webpages and this week it was reported that Google is paying some media owners working on it as they are incurring costs as they build content and systems to accommodate the new formats.

Whilst the amount of money being paid is unclear, one report said it: ‘covered the costs of ‘multiple expensive people’ working for several months on the project.’ Google has in the past used its huge cash reserves to encourage content owners to publish to its platforms, most notably through funding YouTube creators.

At present there are no plans for advertising in the Stamp service from Google, instead publishers are being allowed to monetize their own inventory, although that may well change over time. However, one direct benefit is that it is believed that the service will be placed at the top of the search listings, giving those media brands greater exposure.

Stamp is yet another example of Snapchat being used as a trailblazer for the rest of the industry, creating a market that others then look to copy and monetize. This time it is Google following the lead of its younger rival, whereas in the past Facebook has been accused of copying Snapchat Stories across its portfolio of Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

So perhaps it isn’t that surprising that this week also saw Facebook launching the ability to share your Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories, giving the mother platform a shot in the arm as most Facebook users were not using the Stories function. The move is just the latest effort by Facebook to make Stories THE destination for visual content across its portfolio – already having made it the main destination for posts from Facebook Camera and its augmented reality Cameras Effects platform. And remember the recent study from Oracle Data Cloud and Facebook that says that video ads that are seen for less than two seconds help drive sales.

Importantly the feature has not been enabled for business, as they are not yet allowed on Facebook Stories, but Facebook has not ruled out enabling the reverse option – Facebook Stories to Instagram Stories – so it is clear that this may well change in the near future too.

Summary:

It is still clear that where Snapchat goes, others will continue to follow, which must be annoying for Snapchat shareholders who continue to see the share price fall since its high value IPO. The question is can Snapchat keep innovating to stay ahead?

Further Reading:

Recode
Endgadget
Techcrunch