Facebook have introduced yet another Snapchat like feature with Facebook Stories launched just yesterday on the world’s number one Social Media platform.
Users can decorate videos and photos that can be shared with friends, with the content now sitting horizontally at the top of News Feed – just like Instagram Stories. The new feature means that just like with Snapchat, photos and videos can be decorated and vanish within 24 hours of sharing.
The move is part of an all-out effort to blunt the momentum of Snapchat, which invented the stories format in 2013, to ensure Facebook’s continued dominance in an era where photo and video become a primary mode of communication. Its relative success or failure will go a long way in determining who owns the near future of social networking.
It again goes to show how much emphasis there is on video content, with Facebook predicting that over 80% of their news feed next year will move from text and image based to video content.
HOW TO USE IT:
- Launch the updated Facebook app
- You’ll see the new Stories navigation bar featured at the top
- On the far left is a shortcut for Direct sharing,
- The second bubble is for Your Story
- You can tap it to add to it
- The rest are Stories of your closest friends.
- You can move back and forth through the slideshow by tapping left or right
- You’ll be able to see the number of views and the names of the people who saw it
- You can also leave direct replies on other people’s Stories
The company first introduced a clone of Snapchat stories in August with Instagram, reflecting the company’s belief that camera-based messaging represents the future of social interaction. Facebook Messenger was next, and testing began inside Facebook’s flagship app in January. WhatsApp rolled out a version in February.
Facebook also updated its camera just for Facebook Stories. Tap on the camera icon on the top left corner (or swipe right from news feed) to try it out. It offers masks, frames, and interactive filters that you can be applied to photos and videos. There’s even “reactive effects” that let you interact with dynamic objects (like falling snow) and style effects so you can apply a Picasso-style filter to your video in real time.
If you want to share photos and videos with specific friends rather than via a story, Facebook offers a “Direct” option that’s designed for sharing “individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time”. When you use Direct, your friends will be able to view your photo or video once and replay it or write a reply. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, it is no longer visible in Direct.
In what has been described as its biggest change in a decade, Facebook is evolving from text and link-focused sharing to the visual communication format. Give it a try, the blue Power Range background is my personal favorite but for now below is one of the more arty backgrounds.