Facebook is doing everything to get Stories going. While the product has been a viral success on Instagram, the social networking giant has struggled to drive usage of its native Stories. Now, it has enabled the Facebook Camera (which directly posts on Stories) to shoot two-second GIFs, and share full-screen text posts on a colored background. Users can also go Live from Facebook Stories, much like on Instagram Stories, TechCrunch reports. The updated Stories will roll out to all Android and iOS users shortly. It is available to select users for now. Also Read - Instagram Reels will now show adsAlso Read - Accidently broke Snapchat streak with friends? Here's how to restore it
Facebook tested a GIF creator last month. It launched Camera filters earlier this year. And it has been allowing users to go Live from their Newsfeeds since last year. Facebook’s concerted efforts at adding newer features to the product makes it evident that the Zuckerberg-owned firm is not giving up on Stories yet. Sections of the tech media have already written it off. While Facebook could successfully clone Snapchat on Instagram, and eventually take it ahead of the incumbent, it has failed to replicate that on its own app. Facebook Stories is a redundant feature, mostly because users are active on one or two platforms. And that is invariably Instagram or Snapchat. ALSO READ: Facebook enables public viewing feature on Stories in a bid to increase engagement Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!
Combining the Camera s augmented reality face filters, and the Live feature will allow users to broadcast without showing their real faces, and could eventually make them more comfortable with Stories on Facebook. Last month, Facebook enabled the ‘public’ option for Stories that allows both ‘friends’ and public ‘followers’ to view them. These public stories could be from celebrities or news media handles or popular journalists sets of people who typically have greater audience pull. Some users have reported increased engagement on their Stories ever since. ALSO READ: Cloning Snapchat Stories worked beautifully for Instagram, it now has 700 million monthly active users
However, Stories has largely been muted. “No one is using the feature, and you don t want to be the one to start,” The Verge wrote. Facebook Stories is now becoming a clone of Instagram Stories which was a clone of Snapchat to begin with. It isn’t clear what Facebook seeks to achieve by having similar features on all its platforms (WhatsApp included). Instagram Stories worked beautifully with brands as well as averages users because of its user-friendly nature. Once, users have gotten used to a platform, they need huge incentives to switch. Considering Facebook is yet to offer anything drastically different on Stories, that switch may not be around the corner.