Those who are looking for information on how to build a website today are often inundated by clone sites that copy existing working models, like those of Facebook and other top social networks. Some of the biggest names around now like Reddit could actually arguably be called clones that made it big. That’s why the arguments over whether these sites are a good idea from a moral standpoint are starting to quiet down. Experts now expect that the next big Web 2.0 movements are going to come from sites that today are called copies of existing social network sites.
Apps and Sites are Often Reproduced
At the moment there’s a growing market for apps similar to Instagram, and that means that allegations of cloning are coming out. What people miss is that this is actually an excellent way for people to make money in an inundated market. Once an existing site comes to really dominate the market people start to look for alternatives. The same thing goes for apps even if they’re not directly attached to anything.
Rather than calling it a clone or another on a list of apps similar to Instagram, it might be best to call PicYou PicYou and other similar programs what they are. That is, they’re an alternative to the bigger piece of software. People often get fed up when some major change is made to an app that they use and if updating is a requirement to continue to use it they’ll often flock elsewhere.
The same goes for sites. When a Website is updated people might dislike the new features and go elsewhere to find a lighter weight alternative to what they’re looking for. As a result people will want to go and find something that works well for them. New users will flock to where others are, and that is how something that was once a clone can grow into a popular site.
Some users are starting to actively avoid large sites like Instagram, and they’ve instead looked to alternative sites. What some larger marketing gurus have a tendency to miss is the fact that these sites have an element of cool associated with them. They have an intrinsic value that marketing experts have a tough time copying. Often apps and sites like the so-called clones are much better at answering the needs of their users than large organizations can.
This is because sometimes a developer will market their site specifically to an existing user base. While Facebook is designed for everyone, an individual Facebook-like social network may not be. It might instead be designed explicitly for a certain group, and that might help to attract and maintain whatever particular group of users it was geared at. This is also a good way to monetize things. There are plenty of sites or apps that are well designed and popular, but never really make much money. Clone apps are very often able to be at least profitable, regardless of what happens.
Takeaways From the Clone Industry
This type of industry model has a few things to teach software, app and Web developers. First its important to stay in touch with clientele and gear things to their needs, which is something Facebook and other similar sites have never excelled at. Eliminating functionality or support for a certain device is a problem as well, and this has influenced people who end up switching to other apps.
Those who think that cloning isn’t honorable might want to think about their position. They might very well notice that Instagram and Facebook were copying the functionality of earlier products and they merely became popular. Social networks that are based on new principals are starting to grow, and that might very well define the near future of Web businesses. People are going to flock to new sites that are today called clones, but tomorrow will be referred to as industry leaders. That change is right on the horizon.