By Paul Wedding
It started with Snapchat, and then Instagram, and now most recently, Facebook has added the ‘Stories’ feature to their website.
If you’re unaware of the feature, basically it allows the user to take pictures or video of themselves and upload it for anyone to see. As in the title, it allows them to tell a story of what they’re currently doing and strings together the pictures and videos seamlessly to be viewed as one.
It makes sense that they would want to add new features to their website, but is this the best way of doing that when this feature has already been pretty much cornered by Snapchat? It was already a little much with Instagram, but that made some sense as they were already a visual-focused form of social media. With Facebook, it just feels like copying. That, and it’s permanently plastered onto the homepage of the mobile app, cluttering the news feed more than necessary. This has already been the basis for many jokes as to what may be adding stories next.
As stated in a recent interview, “this is less about stealing people using Snapchat, and more about giving folks a reason not to leave any one of those four Facebook platforms.” Essentially, Facebook sees stories as less of trying to drive other social media platforms out of business, but are trying to give what they offer more depth. As a business, you can’t let other companies provide niches that you don’t when you’re in the same line of work. This isn’t going to drive away people from using Snapchat or Instagram, but it may make sure more people don’t start using Facebook less.
One other problem this might have though, is that it gives Facebook less of a unique identity. When Facebook already has story features in two of its other apps, Instagram and Messenger, people may feel like they don’t need the others, leading to less use to one or both of them. It’s important to carve out a unique identity for your product in order to cement its place in someone’s daily routine.