Why should Snapchat have all the fun? After Instagram, Facebook’s asking the same question, as it’s busy testing a Snapchat Stories like feature called simply Facebook Stories. And with that Facebook’s taking a huge step to crush Snapchat.
The mobile-only Facebook Stories feature is currently being tested in Ireland, according to a spokesperson’s comment to the Irish Independent, and it looks pretty much the same as Instagram Stories — which was launched in August 2016. It’s expected to launch soon for the rest of the world.
With Facebook Stories, users will be able to capture and share photos and videos through iPhone and Android FB apps which will appear at the top of the Facebook newsfeed in a horizontal bar. What’s interesting about Facebook Stories is that they will not appear on the main timeline and disappear after 24 hours.
The test, which is currently only active in Ireland, is the third time Facebook has released a feature essentially identical to Snapchat’s. Instagram copied Stories in August, with Instagram’s head of product Kevin Weil explicitly acknowledging the inspiration to Recode, saying the company “built on a format that Snapchat invented”.
Why’s Face book copying Instagram who copied Snapchat? Because it’s a hugely popular social media sharing feature that Facebook’s lacking, especially since Instagram users have taken to the Stories format like fish to water —
So far, the strategy appears to be working: 150 million people already use Instagram Stories every day, which roughly equals Snapchat’s total user base.
Facebook Stories could also prove to be a new way for the company to monetize its 1.8 billion users. It recently started testing full-screen video ads within Instagram Stories with around 30 global advertisers, including Airbnb, Nike, Netflix, and ASOS.
With such huge numbers in play, it’s only natural for FB to replicate some of that secret sauce to keep itself relevant, especially among mobile users — and Facebook Stories is going to be a mobile app feature only for now. There’s ad revenue to be made as well. Music to the social media giant’s ears!