Have you noticed something new at the top of your Facebook feed on your mobile phone? Facebook has introduced Facebook Stories, a new feature for Facebook but not new to the mobile web.
In 2014, Snapchat introduced Snapchat Stories – compilations of images and video, strung together in a feed, rather than an individual message. Snapchat was clearly on to something.
All across social media, there’s more and more visual communication, as opposed to text. With cameras readily available on every smartphone, it’s easier to share a picture than a text update. Facebook Stories, like those on Snapchat and Instagram, are visual recordings. Users can quickly share what they are doing at that very moment with their friends in a visual manner.
Related to that is what Facebook is calling context collapse. There’s less original content from users and more sharing outside content. Especially during the election season, more and more of Facebook’s users are sharing news articles and memes than writing updates or sharing pictures they took themselves. More and more of this content is moving to Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram. Obviously Facebook wants to reverse that trend.
Lastly, Stories are ephemeral. Unlike posts to your timeline, which (to the horror of many users) are on Facebook forever, Stories vanish after 24 hours. Facebook is betting that this will encourage people to share more personal content since they know it will only be around for a day.
Before you rush out and create stories for your business, Facebook isn’t letting brands in just yet. Although several movie studios are working with Facebook to create masks (so you can be a minion or Wonder Woman), the stories themselves are only for users. No doubt that will change soon.
Other opinions about Facebook Stories can be found on Lifewire https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-snapchat-story-3486000, The Verge http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/28/15081398/facebook-stories-snapchat-camera-direct, and the Buffer blog https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-stories.
Have you tried Facebook Stories yet? Tell us in the comments what you think of it.