On Tuesday, Facebook launched their version of Stories, a feature which the company admitted that Snapchat invented. From now on, thanks to its new Camera feature, users will be able to apply effects, writing and emojis to their photos. Then, they can post them in a new section which resembles Instagram’s InstaStories. This marks Facebook’s biggest such change in ten years. It seems like the social media platform is slowly extending towards visual communication, after focusing only on text and links, for years. Their Facebook stories appear above the News Feed, and they function in a similar manner to the InstaStories, in the sense that they disappear after 24 hours.
The biggest change in years
Facebook Camera product manager Connor Hayes is saying that even if people are used to posting mostly photos and videos, the new Stories option will make them want to go to the next level. He also admitted that Snapchat has been the pioneer app in what concerns this type of visual communication. However, according to him, InstaStories huge success and user base encouraged the team to implement this feature to Facebook too. InstaStories currently has about 150 million users daily. So, in January, the company began testing the Stories in just twelve countries. Facebook said that, according to reports, people like to post those kinds of updates and this is why they have become more and more popular.
Interestingly enough, Snapchat actually refused Facebook’s acquisition offer. So, the latter decided to copy the strategy and slowly implemented the Stories into Instagram and now, into its main platform. The company is saying that the Stories are not going to be the doom of the News Feed. It is just another way in which people can share their day. While it is true that in the future, the camera might become like a keyboard, that time is not here now. Apart from this, Facebook has far more resources than Snapchat ever did. So, they can invest in the Camera feature, in their Stories or in the Direct visual messaging feature.
The future begins now
According to Connor Hayes, for years, people have been used to communicating via text messages. Kristen Spilman, Facebook’s director of art and animation is also saying that with this new update, Facebook is shifting the focus towards visual communication. This might even be the future of communication as we know it. Facebook also changed the way you open your camera. For example, Snapchat opens directly to the camera. Because of this, some people declared themselves disturbed or even uncomfortable at suddenly seeing their own face on the screen. This is why the social media giant decided not to go this way. Instead, it hid the camera and made it very easy to access it, by swiping up.
Another reason for implementing the Stories into Facebook was the broader audience. Lots of people of all ages use Facebook. On Snapchat however, the majority of them are teenagers. So, the company decided that it was time to let older people keep up with technology too. After all, this is how you change the world. And Facebook might just do it.
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