Messenger Day, Facebook's latest Snapchat clone, is now rolling out worldwide and sports a twist of its own to differentiate it from Snapchat Stories.
Facebook started experimenting with Messenger Day back in late September 2016, when it started tests in Poland and Australia to see how it would fare. It now seems the trial run was successful, as Facebook Messenger Day is now rolling out globally to all users.
What Is Facebook Messenger Day?
For those unfamiliar with the concept, Messenger Day is a new feature that allows Facebook Messenger users to send messages that vanish after 24 hours. If that sounds familiar, it's because it borrows the ephemeral aspect that made Snapchat so popular.
Snapchat rose to glory particularly thanks to its vanishing messages, allowing users to post updates that would automatically disappear in 24 hours. Facebook is banking on the same highlight with its Messenger Day, but it adds its own tricks to stand out from the crowd.
Facebook Messenger Day Highlights
According to Facebook, Messenger Day sets itself apart by offering special filters and features that encourage people to make new plans in the spur of the moment rather than just doing things others have already done.
With this in mind, Messenger Day offers a set of photo and video filters designed to add appropriate context (such as time of day, for instance) so that friends viewing the posts get a better idea of what's going on.
With Messenger Day, users can just snap a photo and add an appropriate frame for the message they want to convey so they don't have to message individual people or make a Facebook post about it.
David Marcus, Facebook's vice president of messaging, highlights that it's all about the present with Messenger Day and that's what makes it different.
"The two key functionalities are, one, I'm going to set context because it's going to make for better conversations if people know where I am and what I'm doing. And two, it's about where I want to take my day, like 'I'm bored and I want to go out for coffee' or 'I want to go see a movie' so I'm going to use a frame, take a photo, and see which of my friends are going to engage with me to actually make that plan, because planning is one of the core capabilities of a messaging app," Marcus tells TechCrunch.
Facebook Messenger Day: How It Works
Similar to Instagram Stories (another Snapchat Stories clone), Messenger Day appears at the top of Facebook Messenger, displaying friends' days in horizontal icons lined up to play automatically, in order. Users watching such a post can send a message to the friend who posted it. An "Active Now" label, meanwhile, allows users to see who is active for a potential spur-of-the-moment get-together.
Like Instagram Stories, Messenger Day sits atop Facebook Messenger and shows the days of your friends in a row of horizontal icons that autoplay one after another when viewed. Users can interact with specific posts by sending a message to the poster, and an "Active Now" indicator will let users know who is online and available to meet up with in the moment.
The unique take Messenger Day brings to the table is that it offers categorized and searchable filters for all kinds of propositions, from a spontaneous road trip to a movie night invitation or a coffee meetup. Messenger Day offers a slew of such options, aiming to make it easier to invite friends and make plans in the moment.
Facebook also points out that the ephemeral element plays an important role in this concept. If it could be embarrassing to make a call for action on Facebook and get only a few or no replies - things are different with Messenger Day. The posts on Messenger Day disappear in 24 hours and the replies are private. This way, Facebook insists, "you don't have to worry about seeming lonely."
"You're always in control of who can see your day - share it with everyone, or choose specific friends and family members on Messenger," Facebook explains. "Since everything you add disappears after 24 hours, feel free to add as often as you want."
Facebook Messenger Day is rolling out now on Android and iOS, but it may take a few days to reach all users. If you already got it and tried it out, drop by our comment section below and tell us about your experience.