Facebook Stories now replaces Messenger Day with synced cross-posting
By cleaning up the redundancy in Snapchat Stories clones Facebook will get rid of the Messenger Day brand and merge the app’s stories feature with Facebook Stories, now to be called just ‘Stories.’ Viewing will be synced so that 24-hour ephemeral posts in Facebook or Messenger will appear and be viewed in both apps. If you view the post in one app it will show as viewed in the other.
To clarify, Messenger will still have Stories, just being called Stories instead of Day.
Facebook product manager Connor Hayes said, “We needed to make it easier for people to share Stories across different apps. Some people actually though these experiences were already connected. We feel like it would make sense.”
There will still be differences between Facebook and Messenger as the cameras will remain distinct. Facebook will focus on augmented reality masks and effects whilst Messenger focuses on adding stylised text and captions and inviting friends to join in. As Hayes has said, “now that we’re connecting the two experiences, it makes sense for them to have the same name.”
Facebook Stories has not been as popular as Instagram Stories so by syncing and giving posts more exposure across the apps, it could help boost usage. Instagram has been rolling out a ‘cross-post to Facebook Stories’ feature that will populate Messenger too although at this time there are no plans for Facebook Stories to be pushed to Instagram
The statistics are interesting. In September Facebook Stories had 70million active daily users, Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status had 300million and on Snapchat’s whole app there were 178million users.
With the new launches and looking forward Hayes has said “we’re very optimistic.”
For private ephemeral messaging, Facebook has decided to end its Facebook Direct feature for private messaging. From now on it will route all Facebook Camera messages and Stories replies through Messenger. What that means, at least for now, is that the disappearing messaging option used to delete video, photos and the conversation around them will no longer be available.
Messenger product manager, Paulina Bozek has said “They prefer Story replies to land inside Messenger.” The change is being made after Facebook did research on users.
It could seem that the end of Facebook Direct may be a win for Snapchat, which sees ephemeral messaging as its primary use case an differentiator, after all of Facebook’s apps cloned its Stories feature.
Facebook, however, could launch a more legitimate ephemeral messaging feature inside Messenger. Messenger already has 1.3 billion monthly users. Direct was building a user base from scratch but never seemed to catch on, so putting disappearing messages in Messenger could be worse for Snapchat.
Facebook has said; however, this is not an option for now and it has nothing to share on future plans.
Facebook has also said; it will launch collaborative Facebook Stories for groups and events so members can post and share with the rest of the group. It will also be allowing users of Facebook Lite, the low data usage version app to view Stories with a view to boosting usage in the developing world, something Snapchat hasn’t prioritised until now.
Facebook is also implementing new privacy controls for Stories, running across both the main app and Messenger.