Facebook is relentlessly copying Snapchat again and it just launched Stories for its main Facebook app, making it look like a Snapchat clone.
This new change marks the fourth time that Facebook has copied the core Snapchat feature — photo and video montages that vanish in 24 hours — into its services. Facebook has already cloned the feature on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, and now it added stories inside the core Facebook app to cover all fronts.
There's no doubt that Facebook enjoys a dominant position on the social media scene and it gradually expanded its scope to cover more areas of online communication. Snapchat, however, has been giving Facebook some serious competition and its ephemeral communications proved to be a widely successful recipe.
Facebook started replicating Snapchat's ephemeral ingredient a bit shyly at first, but it's long past shyness and having the feature prominently displayed within all of its apps indicates that Facebook doesn't necessarily want to offer a unique experience; it wants to offer what's in demand.
Facebook Stories And Camera Effects: How It Works
With the addition of stories in the main Facebook app, users will now be able to share stories with their Facebook friends and see what others have shared within the past 24 hours.
"We want to make it fast, fun and easy for people to share creative photos and videos with whomever they choose, for however long they choose — and the more we share with each other, the more open and connected our community can be," says Facebook.
"The Instagram community has shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day, so in the main Facebook app we're also introducing Facebook Stories, which lets you share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection atop News Feed."
The photos or videos part of a Facebook story will remain visible for 24 hours, but won't show up on one's Timeline or News Feed unless they're specifically posted there as well.
Ephemeral Facebook News Feed
With the latest update, users will now see rounded profile pictures at the top of their Facebook app. Those rounded pictures stand for the stories their friends have posted. Tapping on one such picture will open the respective story with videos, photos, camera effects or drawings.
Simply put, Facebook stories make up a secondary News Feed for the mobile Facebook app, but this second News Feed is ephemeral.
Once the update rolls out, Facebook users on mobile will see a new camera icon at the top left corner of the app. From there, they can take photos and videos, add effects and drawings and share their story with friends to give them a glimpse of what they're up to. Once the 24 hours has passed, the posts in that story will be forever gone.
New camera effects, meanwhile, include dozens of tricks such as frames, masks and interactive filters to spice up your photos and videos. To access the new effects, just tap the camera icon at the top left of the app or swipe right from the News Feed.
At the same time, Facebook is also introducing Direct — a special new inbox for direct messages, similar to how direct messages work on Snapchat. The new Facebook Direct inbox allows users to share photos and videos with one or more friends, or quickly send a message in response to friends' stories. Once the discussion on the story ends, the content will disappear from Direct.
Facebook Stories and Direct are rolling out already, but it might take a while to reach all users worldwide.