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Social media’s copycat conundrum

Sara Fischer
Thought Leader: Sara Fischer
July 25, 2023
Source: AXIOS

Nearly every major social media feature has been copied or iterated on by rival apps, causing most major social media platforms to begin to look the same.

Why it matters: Social media giants have a long track record of adopting popular features and integrating them into their own apps to stay competitive. Their key points of differentiation are increasingly becoming their philosophies, values and use cases.

Driving the news: TikTok on Monday debuted a set of new text features akin to Twitter and Threads that lets users share written thoughts and updates.

Yes, but: When a trend dies out, it tends to do so across the whole ecosystem.

Data: SimilarWeb; Note: Engagement measures the number of people opening and/or using the app; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

The big picture: Copycat features often struggle to attract the momentum long-term needed to displace competitors.

Of note: Similarweb’s data only measures Android engagement, for now. But at this scale, its data scientists say the trends don’t tend to be significantly different for Android vs. iOS.

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