Throw a party people! Facebook has picked us first again. Just like when the new reactions were being tested out, Ireland has now been selected as the only country where the next ‘big feature’ is being rolled out.
The problem is that the next big feature is Facebook stories, so its basically a clone of what they have done on Instagram. Instagram stories have been a success, in a number of months the platform has reached Snapchat’s level.
Instagram stories has 150 million daily active users, that is the same number as the most recent that Snapchat has given us and clearly happy with how the growth has gone – Facebook wants to bring that success to their main app.
At the moment, Facebook’s new stories feature is only available in Ireland, so we are the lucky or unlucky chosen ones whichever way you want to look at it. Facebook has been testing a new in-app camera since October which integrates into the new stories feature.
Stories lives on top of the News Feed in the app and looks the same as what is in place on Instagram. The concept is the same as with other platforms, take a photo or video, overlay a filter, add text if you want and then post to your story. You can apply lenses, you can reply to other people and it vanishes after 24 hours.
This all comes after Facebook tried buying Snapchat some time ago and failed, since then it has been on a mission to come up with their own Snapchat style product hoping to gain traction with the younger generation again. It is no secret, young people are not using Facebook nearly as much as they used to and Facebook wants that audience back again as they once dominated at the start of the social media boom.
Here is the problem though. Right now the only people really using Facebook in my personal circle are my mum and her friends. You know, when they arrived in large numbers and we all thought, “well shit, Facebook isn’t cool anymore…I’m off to find another platform.”
Sure we still log on to Facebook but it has changed a lot since back when I was in university. Then we used it to talk to each other, now it is used to share links and personal sharing has been on the decline for some time.
This is clearly a method of personal sharing but the thing is Facebook, many people who are on my Page now…well I just am not interested in seeing the story from their day. People who I follow on Instagram stories and Snapchat, now that is content I want to see. This however feels like overload and the stories feels out of place at the top of the News Feed.
Lets face facts here, marketers ruined Facebook. What I mean by that is Facebook is great for advertising and sharing content but for personal connections? Not so much. Instagram stories feels like it has a place on the platform, Snapchat is Snapchat but this just feels like it is not at home in the main Facebook app.
Facebook says it wants to roll out stories and “other fun features” to more countries over the coming months. However in the several days that Facebook has had stories rolled out in the main app, not a single person has actually used it yet. Not one person in my friends list has created anything on it and I have had zero inclination myself to create anything on it.
So if Facebook wants this to have a chance of working, they have some mountain to climb to get there.