Facebook’s challenges with separate apps is a brand management issue.
People’s perception of what you are determine your success, not your actual product.
If what you build feeds into how they’ve slotted you in their minds, you win. Otherwise, you lose.
(People don’t change their minds once made.)
YouTube worked for Google precisely because it wasn’t Google Video.
Instagram works for Facebook precisely because it isn’t Facebook.
The problem with Paper is that it’s *fed* by Facebook. The name and interaction model don’t shift the perception. It’s still Facebook.
Poke suffered the same problem: Facebook underneath.
Digital services have to reckon with brand management at scale: Individual, Endorsed, or Monolithic brands?
Tumblr is an individual brand under Yahoo. Verge under Vox. This is the P&G approach.
Apple is an endorsed brand: Mac, iPhone, iPad are 50/50 with “Apple”. This is how Nike works.
Google’s integrated services have led it to a monolithic brand, like GE (with Android and Nest as individual brands).
How much your technical & interaction model define your brand defines your brand decisions. They’re part of your aesthetic.
Analog: Tiffany can’t use its baby blue colour for a new brand. That’s destructive (and what FB is doing w/Paper).
Takeaway: anything powered by Facebook should be Facebook. Anything different can (and should) be different.