Facebook will introduce “Facebook Stories,” which will allow you to share photos and videos that will vanish after 24 hours. In response, SNAP stock sold off by roughly 5% in Tuesday’s morning trade.
Again, this marks the fourth time Facebook has ripped something straight from the pages of Snapchat, though it’s the first time the “stolen” feature has gone smack-dab on the primary Facebook app.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at Facebook Stories, and the other ways FB has copied rival SNAP.
Facebook, in its release, ironically mentions the Instagram community as inspiration for this feature, saying it has “shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day.”
But those familiar with Snapchat know that this is a long-time feature on that social app, and even Facebook project manager Conor Hayes admits as much.
“This is something that Snapchat has really pioneered,” Hayes told Bloomberg. “Stories has become a format for people to share and consume immersive video and photo across all social apps, and it really differs for them based on the network they have or the way that they use a certain app.”
Reports that FB was working on such a feature came out back in January.
Facebook Stories will also include a “Direct” feature, which will let friends view videos or photos once — they can then either replay it or write a reply. “Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, the content is no longer visible in Direct,” Facebook says.
The launch comes amid Facebook’s announcement that it’s rolling out a new camera replete with additional effects including masks, frames and filters, “letting you turn your everyday selfie into a Picasso-style work of art.”
This isn’t even the first time Facebook has copied the vanishing-photo feature, of course. In 2016, Facebook unleashed “Stories” on its Instagram app, which quickly reached 150 million daily users.
The move was heralded as Facebook’s “next step,” accenting the importance of video to Facebook’s collection of apps. The feature works much the same way:
“Stories let you share a series of videos or photos — and have them disappear after 24 hours. You’ll see stories from the people you follow at the top of your feed, and a ring around their profile picture tells you when their story has been updated.”
Months after the launch, several reports showed that Instagram Stories appeared to be stealing Snapchat’s users, with decline counts ranging anywhere from 15% to 40%.
Earlier this year, Facebook-owned WhatsApp launched a feature that might sound familiar:
WhatsApp Status, which allows users to share images, GIFs and videos with their contacts for 24 hours before they disappear.
The impetus behind the change was to spark a large number of users to interact with the app more, as many simply use default statuses and walk away.
Facebook Messenger Day
Just earlier this month, Facebook launched “Messenger Day,” which is pretty similar to Stories in that it allows people to post photos and videos on its Messenger app before they erase themselves … after a day. The photos can be adorned with drawings and other filters, and can be shared with anyone on your Messenger list.
Instagram also was updated this year to include “Geostickers,” which allow you to add various images and illustrations to Stories posts that are connected to wherever you are at the moment.
This is a mimic of the Snapchat “Geofilters” feature that allows people to send city-specific “stickers” on top of images in their messages and snaps. That feature originally rolled out in big cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Sydney and Paris, whereas Instagram’s Geostickers started with a launch in just NYC and Jakarta.
Back in 2012, Facebook launched a mobile app called “Poke” that also was meant to imitate Snapchat, allowing users to send images and videos that would disappear within seconds.
While the apps were very similar in nature, and while Poke even had a few important differences including location service and longer messages, Poke ended up being a massive flop.
At the time, Facebook was criticized for its blatant theft, but still managed to get a quick amount of buzz on its launch. However, it quickly dropped in popularity and fell down the rankings of the iTunes store.
Clearly, though, that never served as a warning not to copy Snapchat again … and as the continuing success of Facebook’s Snapchat clones indicates, that might be for the best.
As of this writing, Robert Martin did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.