Home Multiply Accuses Facebook of Copying its Design

Multiply Accuses Facebook of Copying its Design

We received an interesting email from the social network Multiply, saying that Facebook’s new design is “the latest in a series of enhancements that bear striking resemblance to innovations made by Multiply months earlier.” Multiply accuses Facebook of copying it, saying that it has evidence of “a pattern of Multiply’s social networking innovations being implemented on Facebook months, if not years, later.”

Multiply goes on to list 5 ways in which Facebook has copied them in recent times…

“Multiply launched its proprietary newsfeed in August of 2004, when the site launched. Two years later, Facebook introduced a similar, yet more basic, news feed for its users. Blogging, one of Multiply’s core features since launch, was introduced to Facebook more than 20 months later, and video sharing, a Multiply feature since June 2005, was introduced on Facebook nearly 16 months later. In September 2004, Multiply introduced photo printing services for its users, something that Facebook implemented two years later. In its most recent enhancement, “New Facebook” features several changes – both aesthetically and functionally – that make Facebook look and feel even more like Multiply.”

Multiply also noted that Facebook has filed suit against German social networking site StudiVZ for infringement on Facebook’s “look, feel, features, and services”, so it feels it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black:

Image from Multiply

Is this PR offensive just sour grapes because Facebook has enjoyed much more success than Multiply? It could be, because in terms of features it’s well known that Multiply is one of the smartest and most fully featured social networks around. Back in December we compared Multiply to Facebook and listed a number of ways in which it is better. We called Multiply a “good solid, state of the art but still easy to use social networking site”.

It seems that the frustration of seeing Facebook get much of the social networking buzz, and market share, has gotten to Multiply. While we understand that frustration, we’re not sure that attacking Facebook publicly is the way to attract new users. Or maybe the publicity will actually help! What do you think? Are there many RWW readers using Multiply?

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