Facebook today confirmed the existence of their ephemeral stories feature within their own mobile apps for iOS and Android. The social media platform began rolling them out today to all users, with friend’s stories appearing as little bubbles at the top of your newsfeed. A swipe to the right from your newsfeed will open a new camera interface where you can record video and take photos either regularly or while using special 2D and 3D effects. Facebook says they’ve partnered with the following brands to offer a unique experience: Alien: Covenant, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Power Rangers, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Wonder Woman.
After you take your video or photo, you’ll have access to editing features like filters, drawing, and text bubbles. When you think of it in a certain aspect, this feature is near identical to Snapchat’s stories feature which they’ve had since 2013. However, it does offer a better experience than Instagram’s Stories does when it comes to the number of features present, so if you want a true Snapchat alternative, Facebook may be the way to go.
To share your content, you have two options: you can either share it directly to your public story or you can directly message someone or a group. In other words, it’s yet another way to message each other, as if we needed it and Messenger wasn’t already enough.
And as is the case with Instagram Stories, all Facebook Stories will be visible for no longer than 24 hours, whether it was shared publicly or sent directly to someone.
Now you may think we don’t need another Stories feature in yet another app. And you’d be right, because it’s getting kind of out of hand. But some (like Facebook) think Stories are the next way of sharing content throughout your day. I just don’t know if users wanna have to balance multiple Stories in multiple different apps.
Facebook Stories and direct messaging is now rolling out to both iOS and Android users. No word yet on when the features will reach Windows Phone users, but stay tuned.