One of the biggest apps of December, “Houseparty”, is taking Leesville students by storm, allowing up to 8 people to “facetime” each other at once. Soon, however, the app may become obsolete.
“Fam” is the newest of these chat apps to hit the app store. A complete copy of the Houseparty app, Fam simply takes what’s good about Houseparty and places it in an iMessage-only format. This has the potential to draw many users away from the original app in favor of a more seamless experience.
A similar situation arose just a few months prior. The Snapchat app, which lets users send disappearing photos to their friends, was copied by Instagram and re-labeled as “Instagram Stories”, borrowing even the new “Stories” title that Snapchat added to its app last year. These stories are viewable by anyone that follows the user.
“I didn’t even know what it was until today. But it seems like they improved upon the idea,” said Alvaro Hernandez, a junior.
But Wes Zemonek, also a junior, offers a rebuttal, “They did copy Houseparty. It’s an improvement, but they copied the idea.”
Besides the questions that arise revolving around the legality of these copies, these apps have the potential to set bad moral standards for future generations, including ours at Leesville. Taking a idea and beneficially improving upon it is vastly different from taking an idea and calling it your own. It might be good for business, but the practice is also greedy and uncreative.
And in a world constantly filled with new sources of media traffic every day, creators are pressed more than ever to deliver ideas of their own design. Action needs to be taken to provide due credit to creators and hold the original creators responsible for improving upon their own design. Through these actions, we can collectively make the App Store a better place for both creators and users.