The social network world has grown exponentially in these past years, due to the increasingly tech innovation we’re living. Behind each social network, besides, there’s a big company which manages it and tries to push it forward to achieve more users and to offer a wider and more satisfying service. A paradigmatic example of that is the well-known Facebook. Its executive director and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, constantly presents the changes produced in the platform and the news the social network brings for its users. The most recent one, and the reason why we write this article, is the Market Place, a trading space where to buy and sell products and services, recently instated in the same network.

As you may be thinking, there’s a certain similarity between this service and the smartphone app Wallapop. When analysing Market Place, we’ve been able to verify that certainly both are very similar: a notice board organised by product categories (family, hobbies, electronic…) and filters (price, seller’s distance…) makes us relate one to the other.


This has led us to think about other times in which Facebook has taken ideas of other companies and social networks to grow: it bought the social network Instagram and the messaging service WhatsApp and, once it had them under its wing, made its own version of the Snapchat stories (app which refused to be absorbed) and established them on every platform, with the augmented reality filters (typical of Snapchat) included. Besides, it also created an app specifically for its messaging service, Messenger, and took the idea of making live videos from platforms like Periscope, among others.

With all that, we ask ourselves about the morality the fact of copying functionalities of other corporations have in the moment of making evolve a social network or an app, and if that can be justified with the improvement or development of the said functionality. As Farhad Manjoo points out in this New York Times article, we’ve witnessed several fights for copies and plagiarisms of technologies and ideas. Apple and Samsung, rivals par excellence, have lived an eternal fight to bring to light the newest stuff before the other, and in occasions they’ve been slightly inspired by the competition to achieve it, causing some other lawsuits, but most importantly, a faster advance of the smartphone.

So, we won’t be the ones questioning the ethical implications of Facebook’s modus operandi. What we can do is observing how a big company like Facebook achieves, effortless, to improve day-to-day and remove any possible competition, increasingly growing, and covering things in a fast and efficient way without falling into the illegality.