Facebook has just launched a new app called Flash, which is yet another attempt by the company to take on Snapchat. The app is being billed as a Snapchat competitor for emerging markets, as it boasts a small memory footprint and will work in areas with more limited data connectivity.
Flash weighs in at “less than 25MB” in size, which is approximately a third of the size of Snapchat’s Android app. It’s also smaller than Facebook’s core app, which comes in at around 54MB, varying slightly depending on the device. The app was apparently developed by a team specialized in building apps for emerging economies.
This is not the first time that Facebook has attempted to take on Snapchat with what is essentially a software clone. The company’s Poke and Slingshot apps both failed to pick up many users and have been pulled from Google and Apple app stores over the past couple of years. Facebook is also testing camera-first features in its core app and is adopting familiar features with Instagram too.
But rather than challenging Snapchat head on for a third time, it would be incredibly tough to catch up to the app’s 60 million daily users in the US and Canada, Facebook’s new strategy is to beat Snapchat in emerging market adoption. As the app boasts similar features but uses less data, customers may be tempted to download Facebook’s option instead, which could finally be a winning formula.
“In most social apps today, a text box is still the default way we share. Soon, we believe a camera will be the main way that we share.” – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Flash launched in its first market, Brazil, on Tuesday, and the company has plans to bring the app to other markets too. Facebook hasn’t given out information on regions or a timeline yet though, but it seems likely that Flash will be targeted at markets with limited WiFi availability and lower Snapchat adoption rates.