Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, also known as Zuck, is an American businessman, computer programmer, and an internet entrepreneur. He is most popular for co-founding the social media website Facebook and its parent company, Facebook Inc., which is now Meta Platforms. He is the executive chairman, chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of the company. He launched Facebook in 2004 at Harvard with his roommates. It was originally launched to select college campuses, but the site expanded rapidly and eventually went beyond colleges.
Facebook reached a billion users in 2012. For this feat, he became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at 23. However, the social media platform seems to be the only original idea that he birthed himself. All the platforms under Meta have been an aggregate combination of other platforms renamed and enhanced to suit his purposes. As some social media users have noted, Zuck has either copied or acquired all the other social media platforms under his sleeves now. Even Facebook was subject to multiple lawsuits regarding its creation and ownership.
Spotlighted for the past few days after launching Threads.
Essentially, when it comes to copying and building on the ideas of other big platforms, Meta’s CEO cannot be said to be missing in action. This became foregrounded as Twitter’s new CEO, Elon Musk, began a series of radical changes at Twitter Inc. since he took over. First, he downsized to about 20 percent of the original workforce, laying off tens of thousands of engineers. He also made changes on how suspension and freedom of speech on the website worked. With a glitch here and there, multiple copycat platforms surfaced, one by Twitter’s former CEO, Jack Dorsey.
Bluesky and Truth Social eventually lost traction and millions of users are still using Twitter. However, recently, Twitter’s cloud hosting had a glitch and Musk limited the viewing capabilities of users, giving more preference to Twitter Blue verified users over unverified users. Millions of tweeps migrated to Truth, consequently crashing the platform. Not long after, Zuck launched Threads, an Instagram-based platform which is set to rival Twitter. The platform has most of the characteristics of the microblogging platform.
There are at least four other copycats of Zuck’s Meta.
To show similarities existing between Threads and Twitter, Zuckerberg logged in to his Twitter account which has been dormant since 2012 to share the popular pointing Spider-Man meme while Musk also replied with a laughing emoji to a Tweet saying that Threads was a straight copy-and-paste of Twitter. But it was not only Twitter that Zuck imitated; there are at least four other platforms that share resemblance with other big platforms. One is Snapchat Stories. Facebook introduced “Stories” in 2016 to Instagram, a rival to Snapchat. The fun face filters were copied and the feature was soon domesticated on Facebook itself. By mid-2018, Instagram Stories had twice as many daily users as Snapchat.
Again, Instagram took on TikTok in 2020 after the platform introduced Reels and offered content creators as much as $10,000 to post their videos on the app. TikTok is a short-form video hosting service owned by Byte Dance. It hosts user-submitted videos, which can range in duration from three seconds to 10 minutes. The video features of both platforms look almost identical. Both TikTok and Instagram Reels have also been in the spotlight since it was copied by the video-sharing platform.
WhatsApp features were culled from Telegram and Signal.
A popular messaging platform owned by Meta, WhatsApp also launched a feature earlier in 2023 which allows users to edit a message up to 15 minutes after being sent. This feature has been available on rivals including Telegram and Signal. These apps despite their numerous features and functions do not have the wide user base WhatsApp has in Nigeria. Finally, Meta’s boss announced Facebook’s rival into the world of dating apps in 2018, stating that Facebook Dating, “is going to be for building real, long-term relationships — not just hook-ups.” Meanwhile, Zuckerberg announced that Threads hit a total of 30 million subscribers in just 24 hours.