New mode, same Story: Facebook copies Snapchat, again

Instagram, WhatsApp and now the core Facebook app all have their own kind of Story mode

Facebook Story
Oops, they did it again

With its new Story mode, Facebook continues its assault against Snapchat. Mark Zuckerberg’s social media juggernaut clearly didn’t take Snapchat’s rejected buyout bid in 2013 very well. The younger company’s growth was almost exponential within a very desired demographic of kids aged 15 and above. The same demographic that decried and avoided Facebook for being the social media their parents and grandparents are on.

What’s the Story, Facebook?

Facebook stories will have photos and images that disappear 24 hours after they are posted. You will be able to decorate your posts with drawings, text, stickers, and Snapchat-like animated filters (hello, advertisers). While the basic creative tools are the same across Facebook’s products, the main app’s stories have a few differences. It’s the first Facebook app to get animated face filters, for example, and the company worked with artists Hattie Stewart and Douglas Coupland to design original filters for the app. Instead of swiping left or right to change filters, you swipe up or down. There’s also a chalk marker in the drawing tools that is unique within Facebook’s family of Stories products.

Stories represents the biggest change to Facebook’s core app for a long time

Swiping right on your newsfeed or tapping the camera icon takes you into story creation mode. Once you’ve recorded your Story, you can share it with all your friends or a subset of selected friends. When you share it with everyone, your post will appear in a horizontally scrolling feed of Stories at the top of the app. This feed, like Facebook’s newsfeed, is collated based on Facebook’s algorithm determining the person closest to you. When you send it out to selected friends, it will appear in Direct. Both features are almost exactly like Instagram’s current Stories system.

The feature is very similar to Instagram’s offering, which also copied Snapchat

Facebook first started the Snapchat cloning with Instagram last year. Then brought it to WhatsApp and its Messenger app and now finally the patriarch app has taken it on. Facebook is leaving no stone unturned in trying to kill Snapchat. With more than one billion people using a Facebook-owned app, Snapchat may just have some competition on its hands. This update represents the largest change to Facebook’s core app in a long time. The social media giant is aggressively trying to stay relevant in a world that very quickly forgets and adopts new technology. It seems like Facebook will never give up its social media crown.


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