Is Facebook making a move to replace Snapchat? On Tuesday, the social media giant launched a new feature called Facebook Stories which offers Facebook users just about everything Snapchat offers.
Facebook Stories encourages users on the social media site to share photos and videos with their Facebook friends which will disappear in 24 hours. The new feature, which is very similar to what Snapchat offers users, has been introduced to Facebook users along with a cluster of other new camera effects. This new feature provides Facebook users with a new way to privately share pictures and videos with their friends.
USA Today notes that most find it mind-blowing to think about how much Facebook has changed from 13 years ago when it was started in a dorm room at Harvard University as a way for college students to connect to each other using words. Instead of words, this new feature will allow Facebook users to communicate and connect via pictures and videos. Suddenly, the camera of a user’s smartphone will replace the keyboard as the more popular way to express feelings, experiences, and thoughts with their friends.
Similar to Snapchat, Facebook Stories will allow users the opportunity to share snapshots of their days in the form of a digital slideshow. Their friends will be able to view and comment on the various snapshots. In 24 hours, the snapshots will disappear.
According to Engadget, Connor Hayes, a Facebook product manager, confirmed that Facebook has always been a very text-centric social media platform. Continuing to be a text-based platform, however, is going to hurt Facebook in the long run as the way content is being created and shared is changing. More and more people prefer to get – and share – information via pictures and videos.
For Facebook, the launch of Facebook Stories is an attempt to get people of all age – and especially younger people – to spend more time on Facebook and less time on other sites such as Snapchat. After all, it is financially beneficial to Facebook for people to spend more time on the site. The more time a person spends on the social media platform, the more advertisements they are going to be exposed to.
In markets where Facebook Stories had already been launched, the social media giant noticed people sharing more and more. While the new feature is more or less identical to what Snapchat has to offer, Facebook is pretty confident in the new feature as they’ve been testing it since August.
Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, believes Facebook Stories could be a very good thing for the social media giant.
“If Facebook gets this right, it’s obviously both another reason to use Facebook and also another reason for Snapchat users to shift some time and use to Facebook instead. So Facebook could increase time spent and stickiness for its own products, while putting another dent in Snapchat’s user growth.”
The growth in the number of daily users on Snapchat finally slowed down towards the end of 2016 with roughly 158 million users. This is compared to the nearly 2 billion users with Facebook accounts. If Facebook Stories ends up being a feature Facebook users like, it could create a problem for the future of Snapchat. In theory, Facebook could replace Snapchat the same way it once replaced MySpace.
Facebook Stories is going to be an in-your-face feature for anyone who uses the mobile app. Facebook, however, has made a point to note that they are not actually trying to replace Snapchat or simply become the new Snapchat. Instead, Facebook is using a great idea Snapchat had and turning it into something better.
While Facebook may not be coming out to say they have the intention of getting to replace Snapchat, it is certainly in the social media giant’s best interest to be the better option.
Have you had a chance to use the Facebook Stories feature yet? Do you think Facebook is going to replace Snapchat? Share your thoughts with us in the comment’s section found down below.
[Featured Image by Alexey Boldin/Shutterstock]