Facebook Keeps Ripping off Snapchat
Facebook Stories is the latest Snapchat-like Feature
For the fourth time in less than a year, Facebook has cloned Snapchat’s main feature, copying it first into Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and now on its main Facebook app. We’re referring to Facebook Stories, of course.
In a way, maybe Snapchat ought to feel flattered that it is being copied by no less than the biggest social media giant there is. But, it’s also understandable for them to feel threatened, especially because there’s a trend towards being loyal to apps that are multifunctional. Wouldn’t you rather log in to a single app that allows you to do all the things you want to do; instead of logging in to several different apps that each has its own specific feature that you’d like to use?
Snapchat may have come up with this engaging storytelling feature, yet it can’t stop others from copying it. So now Facebook has added it to its ever-growing number of offerings.
What is Facebook Stories?
Facebook Stories allows users to tell a story (through photos and videos) which can be viewed up to two times before completely disappearing after 24 hours. It has three specific features: an upgraded effects-filled camera (and we really mean lots and lots of effects and filters that you can try out to become as creative as you can be); a spot for disappearing stories; and a way to share photos or videos directly from your camera.
Because Facebook Stories relies on the camera, it means the feature is only available on Facebook’s mobile apps, not the PC version. For now.
How does Facebook Stories work?
Just like Instagram Stories, shared Facebook stories will appear at the top of a user’s News Feed. To view a story, users will just need to tap a friends’ circle at the top of the app. Right now, it’s not yet possible to ‘like’ a story. What a viewer can do, however, is interact with the story owner through direct reply messages.
To create your own story, the steps are as follows:
- Access the camera by swiping right on the Facebook mobile app.
- Once the camera is ready, you can take a photo (by tapping the button in the center of the screen) or shoot a 20-second long video (by holding down the button in the center of the screen), then beautify and personalize your content by using the lenses, effects and filters available. You can also choose to share photos or videos you’ve previously shot or captured.
- If you’re done with your creation, you can now share your story by tapping on the arrow icon in the center of the screen, selecting ‘Your Story’, then tapping the Send button found in the bottom right part of your screen. You can also choose to share your story to selected friends only by sending it via direct message.
As more and more people become more visual, sharing photos and videos instead of plain text messages, it will be interesting to see how this latest way of interacting via Facebook will play out. Just so it’s clear, however, Facebook Stories isn’t available to all users yet. So if you’ve already updated to the latest Facebook version and you still can’t see it when you log in, it simply means you can’t use it yet and you’ll just have to wait.
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