Here are some things I’ve noticed recently:
AddThis Main Navigation
ShareThis Main Navigation
AddThis Button and Menu (On Hover)
ShareThis Button and Menu (They recently converted their menu to on hover as well, and made it smaller)
ShareThis Sharing Bar (This was launched recently as well)
So who’s the innovator? Who’s the imitator? Is this purely coincidental—do great minds really think alike?
And yes… this list goes on… I could probably screenshot a dozen more ideas that are coincidental. I’ve been working on AddThis for the last year, and it’s interesting to see some similar, if not identical, features appear in the same space. Reverse-engineering? Perhaps.
But maybe I’m jumping to conclusions… let’s say for a second ShareThis is not imitating AddThis. Instead, they just happen to test any and all ideas, and the result is their product. And maybe it’s okay.
What do you think? Is this innovation or imitation? If a competitor’s feature tests well, is it okay to copy? I’d love to get your opinion.