Facebook rolls out ‘stories’ to take Snapchat head-on

Published: March 28, 2017

Facebook launched ephemeral stories and messaging on its mobile apps on Tuesday, copying a wildly successful Snapchat feature.

After introducing stories on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, Facebook has finally released the feature for everyone on Facebook.

The latest move is a part of Facebook’s all-out effort to counter the popularity of Snapchat by copying the latter’s most popular feature which was introduced in 2013.

The latest update will be rolled out on both iOS and Android simultaneously and consists of three parts – a redesigned in-app camera, a new feed of ephemeral stories at the top of the News Feed, and a private messaging feature called Direct.

Finally, WhatsApp launches new status update with video, photo feature

In August last year, Facebook introduced a stories feature on Instagram, followed by the introduction of a similar feature in its Messenger app in January. Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp also introduced a new status feature which now allows users to share pictures and videos with their contacts by putting them in their status. The feature too is reminiscent of Snapchat’s disappearing stories feature.

The new feature works exactly like the one Instagram as it lets you share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection atop the News Feed. However, stories which will live above News Feed for 24 hours won’t show up on your timeline. “Your friends can view photos or videos your story for 24 hours, and stories won’t appear on your Timeline or in the News Feed unless you post them there, too,” said Facebook Product Manager Connor Hayes.

Facebook just can’t stop copying Snapchat

To add to your story, you simply need to tap on the “Your Story” icon in the Stories bar at the top of News Feed.

Let Your Camera do the Talking

Realising that visual content is  king, Facebook now has a dedicated camera button on the top left of the app to serve as a constant reminder to post some goofy filtered-up photo. You can also swipe right from News Feed to try out the new in-app camera.

The camera is packed with dozens of effects like masks, frames and interactive filters that you can apply to your photos and videos.

Facebook is also partnering with various brands for themed filters, including Power Rangers, Minions, and Wonder Woman masks, and intends to introduce “new ways for the Facebook community to create their own frames and effects” in the coming months.

Instagram introduces live video, vanishing direct messages

Facebook is also partnering with brands to create masks for upcoming movies including Alien: Covenant, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Power Rangers, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Wonder Woman.

Share with who you want

With Direct, you can share your photos and videos with specific friends. “We’ve also added Direct, an option that’s designed for sharing individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time,” said Hayes.

“When you send a photo or video via Direct, your friends will be able to view it once and replay it or write a reply,” he added. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, the content will automatically disappear.

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