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article imageFacebook Stories is exactly what it sounds like

By James Walker     Jan 27, 2017 in Technology
Facebook is testing a new feature in its app called Stories. If you haven't already guessed, it's a Snapchat clone that lets you post ephemeral photos into a slideshow that disappears after a day. Facebook has repeatedly tried to copy Snapchat's success.
Stories is currently in testing and is only available to users in Ireland. Its launch follows two previous attempts to clone Stories from Snapchat as the social network remains desperate to find the same popularity with young users.
If you're not familiar with the Stories concept, the feature lets you share ephemeral photos and videos with your followers. When you upload a new post, it's added to a slideshow where it's publicly visible for 24 hours. It then disappears.
You can view posts in Stories by tapping on a user's profile photo. The app then cycles through the posts in a carousel until there are none remaining to display, auto-playing videos and keeping photos on-screen for a few seconds.
Facebook's implementation doesn't stray from Snapchat's formula. Stories are displayed in a new bar above the status box in Facebook's mobile app. Friends who have posted new items to their story have their profile photo accented in blue. Tapping the photo will display the story post. You can view your own story with the "Your Story" button.
Facebook's persistence in copying Snapchat indicates the success of Stories. Facebook is already operating a like-for-like clone of the feature, Instagram Stories. Introduced in August, it has proved extremely popular with users. Its rapid growth may have inspired Facebook to add Stories to its own app.
Facebook said it's launching Stories to help people continue to share content on its platform. The company acknowledged that the way users communicate online has changed considerably in just the past few years. Stories are becoming a "normal" way to show events that occur during the day.
"Facebook has long been the place to share with friends and family, but the way that people share is changing in significant ways," Facebook said to TechCrunch. "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. We want to make it fast and fun for people to share creative and expressive photos and videos with whomever they want, whenever they want."
Facebook's reveal of Stories comes as Snapchat prepares for its initial public offering. Facebook's shameless clone of one of Snapchat's core features could unsettle investors, particularly as the company is so much larger. Around 1.2 billion people use Facebook each day, compared with 150 million for Snapchat. Facebook sees the copying as building on Snapchat's original format though, despite its implementation having no additional value.
Facebook Stories is available now to users of Facebook's iOS and Android apps in Ireland. The test is expected to be released around the world "in the coming months," giving you yet another way to share what's going on in your life.
More about Facebook, facebook stories, snapchat, snapchat stories, instagram
 
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