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Facebook just recently launched Stories and camera effects

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Facebook just recently launched Stories and camera effects

Facebook on Tuesday began rolling out Facebook Stories, which encourages people to share photos and videos with friends that vanish after 24 hours.

The new feature, borrowed from popular messaging service Snapchat, is being introduced along with a slew of new camera effects and a new way to share photos and videos privately with friends on iOS and Android.

Facebook has also launched Direct, which allows users to share photos and videos with specific friends before they disappear, a feature that was once Snapchat’s USP.

With the update coming to users starting Tuesday, Facebook is adding a camera icon to the top left corner of its mobile app. Users can tap it to open their phone’s camera to do a photo or video post. Users could post photos from the app before, it just took two taps.

For Facebook, this is a bid to coax young people  — and people of all ages — to share more on the giant social network. The more time people spend on Facebook, the more ads they can be shown.

The social network experience didn’t always lend itself to prolific and ephemeral visual sharing. For years the question “What’s going on?” and a flashing cursor would greet Facebook users expectantly.

But as people shifted their focus to smartphones, their habits changed, too. With cheaper and faster Internet connections, better cameras and a general reluctance to type long messages on small screens, people started developing more expressive way to interact, increasingly relying more on images than sentences.

The proof, says Facebook product manager Connor Hayes: In markets where Facebook Stories launches, people tend to share more and more often. Facebook has been testing the new features since August.

Of course, this is a page ripped straight out of the Snapchat playbook, as Facebook freely admits.

“We think they did a good job,” Hayes said. “We think it’s the best format for people to share videos and photos with friends in social apps.”

And that’s why Facebook has been placing its bests on this more visual format.



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