Facebook copies Snapchat Stories (again)-- but why?

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Facebook has gotten really good at copying Snapchat.

So good, in fact, that it is doing it again, adding a Stories-like feature into yet another of its apps. But why does Facebook keep doing this, and what does it mean for users?

In IT Blogwatch, we share our story. 

So what is going on? Elyse Betters shares some background:

Facebook, which once tried to buy Snapchat, has been heavily copying the app in order to appease a younger, more mobile audience...the most recent update to the Facebook app is...another example.
...
Facebook has launched Facebook Stories. It...adds three new features: an effects-filled camera...a spot for disappearing stories; and a way to share media straight from your camera. So...once and for all...Facebook just became Snapchat.

But hasn't Facebook copied Stories already? Yes, and yes. Alex Heath explains:

After replicating Snapchat's Stories format in Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, Facebook...is releasing Stories in its main mobile app...Photos and videos shared through Facebook Stories can be posted to one's profile for 24 hours or sent directly to someone else. A direct messaging feature lets people respond without going into...Messenger.
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Despite how similarly the Stories feature works across Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, Facebook isn't letting people cross-post their photos and videos between apps...the company expects people to use the sharing format differently based on which app they're using.

Good to know. Now let's get the scoop on how to use Stories. A good place to start is the camera. How does that work? Andy Gensler has the details:

A new camera...will offer a variety of filters, masks, frames, animations and other interactive elements to...decorate images and video. The new functionality will allow users to integrate dynamic objects "like falling snow" and the ability for video and photos to exist for a limited time.
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The...camera will be accessed in-app by tapping a camera icon on the top left corner or by swiping right from the news feed.

And once you have taken your pictures of videos, how do you share them? Vanessa Hand Orellana is in the know:

Once you're done creating your story, press the down arrow to save on your camera roll, or the center arrow to share. You can send as a message to...your friends, post to your timeline or add to your Story...If you post to your timeline it will appear at the top of your profile as if it were any other picture or video.
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But posting to your "Story" will make it available to every one of your friends for a 24-hour period and will appear as a bubble at the top of their feeds...there's no way to select who sees -- or doesn't see -- your Story...[And] if a friend sends you a story directly, you can play it twice before it disappears.

Now we get how it all works, but why is this important? Kurt Wagner shares his thoughts:

Facebook’s willingness to prominently place the...same feature inside all of its apps doesn’t just speak to the company’s fear of competitors -- it...shows that Facebook isn’t concerned with giving each of its core services a unique identity.
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There’s a reason the company is doing this: Its core service, Facebook, works really well...But that doesn’t necessarily make it better for you, the loyal Facebook user...You don’t need more Facebook outside of Facebook. But that’s what the company wants to give you.

So is Stories coming to anything else? Not that we know of (yet) but that hasn't stopped ioaan from having some fun at Facebook's expense:

excel stories ioaan
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