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Facebook's Inspiration Is Another Social Network's Innovation

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Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) announced a handful of new apps and features last month, bringing a piece of Twitter, Amazon and Snapchat to the world's largest social network.

"I would say Facebook is becoming more like Twitter through these kinds of innovations, rather than Twitter becoming more like Facebook," Wedbush analyst Shyam Patil told Benzinga.

Facebook and Twitter have been accused of copying each other before, but Facebook has been criticized for adding a large number of Twitter-style features.

In 2011, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer (who was the VP of Engineering at the time) responded to the allegations that his company had copied too many features from Twitter and Google+.

"…The challenge with this is that anytime we launch something, you can say it's a response to X or Y," Schroepfer told attendees at TechCrunch Disrupt.

Coincidence or not, the familiar features keep on coming. Click through the slideshow to see the full list.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this slideshow.

Posted-In: Arvind Bhatia Bolt Buy button ChannelAdvisor comments Facebook InstagramTech Best of Benzinga

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    Mentions

    Mentions

    The announcements began with a new app called Mentions. Designed for celebrities, athletes and other public figures, Mentions features a clean layout that emphasizes short messages and large photos. It is, in essence, Facebook's Twitter feature.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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    The Buy Button

    The Buy Button

    Not content to introduce just one feature in July, Facebook quickly unveiled a new call-to-action button: Buy.

    The button is exactly what it sounds like: a way for consumers to purchase items directly from a business without leaving Facebook. It's a dream come true for advertising and could be essential to the company's future.

    "I think it's exciting," Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, told Benzinga. "We've been watching the social networks very closely because we do believe there will be this intersection between e-commerce and social."

    Wingo is most excited about the potential for Facebook to scale its Buy button.

    "When you have a billion people, if only one or two percent convert, it could be very big very quickly," he said.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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    The Save Feature

    The Save Feature

    Facebook is a great way for people to share links, movies, TV shows, music and other items, but it's not necessarily the best tool to keep track of them.

    That changed when Facebook unveiled its new Save feature.

    "The Save button is more of a tool to get [engagement] higher," Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia told Benzinga. "The Buy button, I think the attempt there is twofold. The initial thought is that it will make it easier for advertisers or marketers on the platform to convert. I think it's more with that in mind than a big focus on e-commerce themselves. They'll eventually get a cut if it's big enough."

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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    Bolt

    Bolt

    Built for Instagram, Bolt is a one-touch messaging app that lets users send videos and images to one friend at a time. Similar to Snapchat and other messaging apps, the image disappears as soon as it has been viewed.

    Critics may write this off as a mere Snapchat or Taptalk clone, but Longboard Asset Management PM and CEO Cole believes that these familiar features have only made Facebook stronger.

    "You look at the numbers, and it's making them stronger in terms of better user engagement and advertising revenue and things like that," Wilcox told Benzinga.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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    No More Gifts

    No More Gifts

    In addition to the new features that Facebook added this month, the company also took one away: Gifts.

    The Gifts feature was first introduced in 2012. It was Facebook's first foray into e-commerce and allowed consumers to purchase gift cards and other items for their friends.

    This feature showed promise but failed to take off, so Facebook has decided to close the feature on August 12.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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