Will Facebook Stories be the platform's saving grace?

Sneaky Facebook is at it again. In its latest attempt to quash Snapchat, the platform has announced that it is testing a functionality called ‘Facebook Stories’.

Stories allows users to post real-time photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. The Stories can be customised by adding filters, and even geofilters (sorry, Snapchat!). Once published, they appear at the top of your News Feed in the Facebook app.

“Will the launch of Stories give Facebook the boost it needs? Anushka investigates...”

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Given that the feature was successfully rolled out across Instagram only recently, the announcement may not come as a surprise to many. But will Facebook users adopt it as readily as Snapchatters and Instagrammers have? With Instagram Stories having already reached 150 million daily users, it seems there’s a real appetite amongst users for sharing off-the-cuff visual updates with friends and followers. And with Facebook reportedly struggling with a decline in original sharing, Stories could be the platform’s saving grace. After all, when was the last time you shared a status update? 2010?

Sam Beament, Senior Social Media Creative at The Real Adventure Unlimited, spoke to us about how Facebook is lagging behind in this real-time, visual-hungry world, and how Stories could be the solution.

‘Over the years Facebook has lost its real-time feel, with many turning to the likes of Snapchat and Instagram in order to stay up-to-date with the latest goings-on. This shift has changed the way brands operate too – communications are often planned out in advance, and declining organic reach has forced businesses to be far more selective in the content they share. If rolled out, Facebook Stories will enable brands to engage directly with their fans again and revert to more on-the-pulse communications. The question is, though, do people want that on Facebook anymore? Only time will tell.’

Brands are likely to be early adopters of Facebook Stories as a means of engaging new audiences, so will it become the next ad space on the platform? Only recently, Facebook reported that it’s starting to test ads in Messenger, as well as on popular videos. In either case, we won’t have to wait long to find out. Stories is currently being tested in Ireland and could go global in the next few months. Watch this space.

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Anushka Kandola
Junior Social Media Creative

We only have a few seconds to engage users on social, and creativity is how we do this.

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