Tech News

Facebook Stories Expands Despite Unpopularity

Facebook Stories Expands Despite Unpopularity
Brian Oaster

Early this year, Facebook Stories feature proved to be wildly unpopular feature. So now they’re expanding it.

Facebook Stories are an appropriation of a Snapchat feature, aped in turn by Instagram, which Facebook owns. It’s been a hit on Instagram. In fact, Instagram Stories gets more action than all of Snapchat does these days. So Facebook decided to bring the feature home to its own big blue interface with Facebook Stories.

Another Misstep for Facebook?

But users don’t seem to like it on Facebook.

Additionally, the world’s most popular social media network has struggled with its image lately. Its role in the 2016 election is still being parsed through. The company is examining the degree to which it enabled the circulation of  Russian propaganda and other fake news. Meanwhile, some users have complained that Facebook has become steadily more confusing and less social.

Facebook Stories could be an effort to combat these things, and bring Facebook back to the more intimate days of person-to-person sharing. If so, it hasn’t worked.

But like it or not, Facebook is now advancing the Stories feature to its next level: branded content. This final step in the Stories rollout involves opening the feature up to companies. Now Pages (the Facebook accounts that are run by businesses) can stuff your Facebook experience with even more marketing content as they desperately vie for the attention of millennial consumers.

Stories Are a Hit on Instagram

Instagram Stories, on the other hand, has been around for a year already, and has proven to be a home run for one of the world’s most used apps.

By many accounts, the popularity of the Stories feature on Instagram has been a nail in the coffin of Snapchat, who invented Stories in the first place. Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., has faced dwindling stock values in recent months.

Since February, use of Snapchat’s Stories feature is down 33 percent among top influencers. Use of Instagram stories among the same demographic, however, is up 14 percent. Influencers are posting twice as much content to Instagram Stories compared with Snapchat Stories.

Facebook Stories for Marketing

Facebook Stories, however, remains a ghost town. With brands wandering in, usage will probably kick up a notch. But that doesn’t mean that regular people will like it, or use it, any more than they do now.

If you’re a desktop Facebook user, you can look forward to ignoring Facebook Stories on your laptop or PC. Until now, it has only been available in the mobile version.

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