It is clear that Snapchat has heavily inspired Facebook of late. Facebook has seemingly had great success in replicating Snapchat’s strategy of camera-first sharing. The social media giant is also started testing a similar product on its Messenger app in Europe. And now, Facebook is testing ephemeral stories on its main mobile app. Facebook mobile app users in Ireland can now test the feature, called Facebook Stories, on iOS and Android, as first reported by Business Insider.
The feature acts a lot like Snapchat’s and allows users to put fun filters over their faces or add visual geolocation tags (thanks to the new in-app camera) to their photos and videos. It’s accessed — like Snapchat — by swiping to the right on the mobile app.
This will put users through more confusion. Should one ditch Snapchat or Instragram in Favour of Facebook Stories? Camera content added to stories will show up at the top of friends’ Facebook app, similarly to how stories are laid out on Instagram. Users just tap a friend’s circle to view their story, and once they’re viewing the story, they can reply with a direct message, like they can on Instagram or Snapchat. Videos and photos posted in a Facebook Story won’t show up in the News Feed or on a user’s timeline by default, although users can choose to share there, as well. Facebook Stories is expected to eventually roll out to additional countries, although we don’t have a more specific timeline.
It is clear that Snapchat had a winning strategy that Facebook is striving to copy feature by feature. Instagram Stories has over 150 million daily users, which is about the size of Snapchat’s total user base. With Facebook claiming more than a billion users, Facebook Stories has the potential to expand the reach of the temporary stories concept.