Facebook has become the latest social network to copy key Snapchat features with the launch of its new service, Facebook Stories.
One of a trio of updates heading to the world’s biggest social platform, Stories lines up alongside ‘Direct’ and ‘Facebook Camera’, additions that themselves echo features already offered by Snapchat.
Just like Snapchat Stories, Facebook’s new service lets users share images and videos with specific friends, with the content automatically disappearing from News Feeds after 24 hours.
The move comes after similar functionality was added to other Facebook owned services, including Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
“The Instagram community has shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day, so in the main Facebook app we’re also introducing Facebook Stories, which lets you share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection atop News Feed,” said Facebook Product Manager, Connor Hayes.
“Your friends can view photos or videos from your story for 24 hours, and stories won’t appear on your Timeline or in News Feed unless you post them there, too.”
Facebook Stories was tested in Ireland earlier this year, and has now begun a global rollout.
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It’s not alone either, lining up alongside a new ‘Facebook Camera’. Built directly within the main Facebook app itself, this camera adds a variety of effects and overlays designed to get you sharing more snaps.
According to Hayes, “The Facebook camera is packed with dozens of effects like masks, frames and interactive filters that you can apply to your photos and videos.”
Sounds familiar, right? Well, it’s not the only new addition to have been pinched directly from the Snapchat playbook.
Elsewhere, Facebook is adding a selection of masks that will allow users to interact with their photos. As well as general additions, there will be a number of movie tie-ins.
“We’re also partnering with brands to create masks for upcoming movies Alien: Covenant, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Power Rangers, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Wonder Woman,” Hayes said.
Finally, Facebook’s new ‘Direct’ feature lets you skip the mass broadcast and opt to share photos and videos with specific friends.
Seemingly stepping on the toes of Messenger and WhatsApp, the new feature will see shared content disappear once the conversation thread comes to a natural end.
This sizeable overhaul to the core Facebook app is just the start too. The social giant has confirmed it will continue to push down this Snapchat killing route.
“Over the coming months, we plan to introduce new ways for the Facebook community to create their own frames and effects that can be used on any photo or video created with the new Facebook camera,” Hayes said.
“Our goal is for the camera to be a home to hundreds of dynamic and fun effects that give you new ways to connect with friends, family, and your community.”
Facebook Stories, the Facebook Camera and Facebook Direct have all started their global rollout to iOS and Android users now. You’ll need to update your app in order to gain access to the new features.
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