March 29, 2017 3:09:33 pm
Facebook users, your News Feed will no longer be the same. The Snapchatifaction of Facebook continues with the main app now getting Stories, and a new Camera for this feature. Snap Inc already views itself as a ‘Camera’ company, and it looks like Facebook is also drifting in that direction.
Instagram already had Stories, then WhatsApp got that feature as well, and now Messenger has Messenger Day. There is basically no escaping from Stories, which let’s face it, are photo/video-based updates. Facebook wants more of those from you, and no platform is left untouched.
We all know how Stories is inspired from Snapchat. In fact, when Instagram first launched the feature, founder Kevin Systrom had admitted that all the credit should go to Snapchat for the format. While he was all about giving credit to Snapchat for the format of Stories, Instagram’s feature has managed to garner a lot of users. A total of 150 million daily users in January 2017, if you go by the company’s own admission. Also, it has posed some serious problems for the original creator of Stories.
Several reports have pointed out how Snapchat lost the edge on Stories; content creators have seen views take a big hit, and many are choosing to share exclusively on Instagram. Plus, it doesn’t help that unlike Instagram or Facebook, who are ready to collaborate with content creators, Snapchat remains relatively silent.
So why launch Stories on Facebook, given they were doing well on Instagram? For starters, Facebook has an ‘original content’ problem. People aren’t really posting as many pictures, or status updates on the site. At least, those instant updates from the early days have gone down.
Reports from Bloomberg and The Information have shown Facebook’s original post sharing was down in 2015 in double digits. This is being seen as a ‘context collapse’ inside the company. While Facebook itself has never admitted original sharing being down, there’s evidently a problem.
Stories could change all of that. The idea is simple: Get people to share more photos and videos with a faster camera UI. But it comes with its own set of problems and headaches. Repetitiveness is one of them.
Let’s all admit, there is a limit to how many ways you can share that picture from a brunch. Across four different apps, all of which are owned by the same company. If you prefer Instagram for Stories, and you post the same content on Facebook Stories, which could happen with some of the big content creators, then a lot of people won’t bother watching them across every app.
Also, it is hard to say if this will kill Snapchat Stories, though it will have some impact. The app still has an edge with its younger audience. Whenever there is a new filter on Snapchat, one that’s going viral, you might actually find videos shot with that filter on other platforms, like say on Instagram Stories. This also means people who like Snapchat, these being people who have figured out that unfathomable UI, aren’t giving it up just yet.
For example, right now the current favourite filter is the one where there’s a bunny costume dancing awkwardly, and your face is part of it. It’s part cute, part annoying, and yes, very very Snapchat. So sure, Snapchat might have taken a hit in views since Instagram launched, but it still has viral-touch to it, one that can’t be beaten by just copying the same format.
Facebook has more than 1.86 billion monthly active users, which is huge. In contrast, Snapchat has some 158 daily active users, and most of these are based in the US, Europe. On the social network age side, Facebook is the older of the two, and is facing a ‘content problem’. But ‘Stories’ might not be the magical answer for now.