Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has traveled a long way since the social network was the number two talent poacher in Silicon Valley in mid-2011. Now, the company has earned a different reputation in America’s high-tech business sector. “There’s a very real undercurrent that’s making the rounds in Silicon Valley that could hurt Facebook,” wrote Sarah Lacy in an article published by PandoDaily on Thursday. “A view that it can no longer innovate. Worse: That it’s no longer really even trying.”
Why was Facebook’s Poke app meet with criticism?
Poking was one Facebook’s earliest features, yet its new Poke app has drawn a critical reaction as it appears to clone a popular messaging application developed by SnapChat. After Facebook’s attempts to buy the small startup were rebuffed, a development team led by Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg built a similar app, which delivers push notifications with an audio “poke” recorded by Zuckerberg himself, in just 12 days.
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CHEAT SHEET Analysis: Does Facebook’s “new reputation” have negative implications for its product pipeline?
One of the core components of our CHEAT SHEET Investing Framework requires that companies consistently produce successful products or services. As Lacy noted in her article, Poke, which was Facebook’s first new feature launched in a while, was a “defensive rip off of a hot new company.” Facebook has borrowed before; it also incorporated features from Foursquare in its Places app and its FriendFeed, built into a side panel of its Wall and Newsfeed streams, bears some similarity to Twitter. While Facebook has long been adept at adopting ideas from its competitors, Lacy argues that this strength has become a weakness; Facebook defined itself early on as innovator, especially with its Newsfeed development, but the company now rips off more than it innovates.
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