Facebook and Snapchat haven’t had the best relationship. Their stressful fight started back in 2013 when Facebook first attempted to purchase Snapchat for over $1 billion. Fast forward a couple years and Facebook tried again to purchase Snapchat, this time for over $3 billion. Snapchat ultimately refused their second offer. Since the social media giant was unable to acquire Snapchat and their growing fanbase, they decided to simply mimic its features on their own app.
To be clear, the ‘Stories’ feature originated on Snapchat first but was later copied to the Facebook and Instagram app. While Snapchat continued to focus on their app, new sources reveal they were taking notes on Facebook’s actions. Sources from The Wall Street Journal claim Snapchat has documentation regarding Facebook’s “anti-competitive moves”. ‘Project Voldemort‘ is the official name for these documented files.
Some of the offenses in the file included copying ‘Stories’, filters and even Instagram suppressing Snapchat content on the app. Additionally, Snapchat executives claim the Snapchat hashtag and filters were blocked from Instagram’s Explore section. There will need to be strong evidence to support these bold claims.
The most surprising claim within this mess is that Facebook, specifically Mark Zuckerberg, used pressure tactics when attempting to purchase the company. The WSJ basically states that when Zuckerberg met with Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, he told him to either accept a purchase deal or watch as Facebook copies the features itself. Today, Facebook has plagiarism written all over them as they have done just that.
It’ll take a bit more time to learn what exactly else is buried within ‘Project Voldemort’. Facebook has already been under scrutiny for user privacy issues this past year. This additional investigation is the last thing the company needs as it earns the public’s trust back. Stay tuned for updates regarding the investigation.