just rip off any other successful app and cha ching!
The problem is that the features aren't the only reason SnapChat is successful.
It's not like the kids are there only for the emoji-stickers, face-tracking "doggy-face" filters, and "don't over-think you posts, it's for ephemeral consumption" agument...
(Though these are part of the reason why Snapchat started to get popular).
Now there's also a set of network and anti-network effect into play.
The kids are currently flocking to Snapchat because that where all their friends are already on.
And the kids are also flocking to Snapchat because it's explicitely NOT facebook, i.e.: it's *NOT* where their parents are, and neither the teachers, nor all the other people they with whom they don't want to be on the same network and in front of which they don't want to be embarrassed.
i.e.: At the current point of time, Snapchat not being Facebook IS one of the main reason of it's popularity.
- Facebook trying to acquire Snapchat to avoid getting over-taken by it (like they've done in the past with Instagram, WhatsApp and any other popular platform) was their only hope, but they didn't manage to catch that boat.
- Facebook trying to integrate Snap-like features in their offering is not going to help them much. It's going to help them retain some of their current (ageing) user base. (Those who are already there and might be interested in the features : I've seen it on Instagram).
But it's not going to help re-capture the current "new generation", those are already building their network elsewhere.
For once, Zuckerberg is at the receiving edge of the network effect.