Look, but don’t copy them

Have you noticed that Facebook and Instagram have changed a lot of late?

“Suggested for you” instead of posts by family and friends. Followed by a bunch of Reels (vertical videos often with TikTok watermarks).

What’s going on?

Conducting a competitor analysis is a useful exercise. But if you find yourself tempted to copy them you have missed the point.

A competitor analysis exercise should help you define what’s different about you. Not what’s the same, or how you could be the same. Looking at a (successful) competitor and copying them because you think it’s “working” is a pretty sure-fire way to lose your own path and identity.

What does “working” mean, anyway? Is their strategic objective even the same as yours?

And yet, that’s what Meta (Facebook and Instagram) seems to be doing. They should be focusing on their strengths, like the social graph; connections to family and friends. Instead, they seem committed to becoming something they’re not. Something TikTok is already doing.

Do we really need another TikTok? Or do we need Facebook to get better at its core strength?

Does the world need another one of your competitors? Or do they need you?

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