Facebook will be implementing a Snapchat-like Stories feature on its news feed and releasing it this year. The new feature, dubbed “Facebook Stories,” is presently being tested in the company’s mobile app, a Facebook representative commented last week.
The test country for the new feature is Ireland. The “new format” will be released to additional countries in the months ahead, the representative said.
Facebook Stories is modeled after both Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories. A user adds videos and photos to a personal “story” for friends to look at, and the whole story disappears after 24 hours.
Whatever is added to the Facebook Story won’t pop up in the News Feed or on a user profile’s timeline. And like Snapchat and Instagram, a user can directly comment on the story. Facebook also enables users to add selfie filters and geofilters to the videos and photos.
“The way people share today is different to five or even two years ago — it’s much more visual, with more photos and videos than ever before,” Facebook said in a statement.
“We want to make it fast and fun for people to share creative and expressive photos and videos with whoever they want, whenever they want.”
Facebook is placing its Stories feature at the top of its platform, like Instagram. The decision to roll out the feature is an attempt by the giant social media firm to dampen Snapchat’s growth, but also to encourage people to share more media with their smartphone cameras.
The strategy appears to work: 150 million people use Instagram Stories every day, which approximately equals Snapchat’s total user base.
Facebook Stories will also provide the company with an additional revenue stream from advertisers. The platform, used by 1.8 billion users globally, lately began testing full-screen video ads within Instagram Stories with around 30 multinational advertisers, such as Nike, ASOS, Netflix and Airbnb. Watch this space, Facebook fans!