Facebook quietly released a Pinterest clone and sent its stock sliding downby Isobel Asher Hamilton
- Facebook has quietly launched a Pinterest competitor in a handful of countries, the Information reported Thursday.
- Pinterest's stock slid 4% after news of the Facebook clone broke.
- Facebook has been known to copy smaller apps' popular features in the past, most famously Snapchat's "Stories" feature.
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Pinterest may have to prepare for a turf war with Facebook.
As spotted by the Information on Thursday, Facebook has rolled out a new app called "Hobbi" in just four countries: Colombia, Belgium, Spain, and the Ukraine.
Hobbi bears a striking resemblance to Pinterest, allowing users to catalogue and share photos of projects and interests.
After news of Hobbi broke on Thursday the company's shares slid by 4%, although they partially recovered according to CNBC.
In the past, Facebook famously cloned Snapchat's distinctive "Stories" feature — originally for a standalone product, although Stories later got folded into Facebook's other platforms. Stories on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp became so popular that last year it accrued more than twice the amount of users as Snapchat.
Not all of Facebook's clones have been successes. The social media giant has made two attempts to ape TikTok, the buzzy video-sharing app favored by Generation Z. Facebook launched a TikTok competitor app called Lasso in 2018, and in late 2019 it started testing a feature in Instagram called "Reels." Neither have made a dent in TikTok's popularity.
A Pinterest spokesperson told CNBC the company didn't feel threatened by Hobbi: "Upon first look, Hobbi appears to be a photo saving app that lacks the discoverability, search, and recommendations of Pinterest. As described in the App Store, it's meant to help you document and remember the things you do, which is about the past, while Pinterest is about discovering ideas and inspiring action for the future."
Facebook has rolled out Hobbi just as Pinterest is starting pick up some serious momentum. Founded in 2010, Pinterest went public in April last year with a healthy valuation of $10 billion, and last year surpassed Snapchat to become the third-largest social media network in the US.
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