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This article was published on January 25, 2017

Facebook is copying Instagram’s copy of Snapchat’s Stories

It was only a matter of time. After copying Snapchat’s Stories on Instagram – and then improving on them – Facebook proper is now testing a Stories feature as well.

It works pretty much exactly as on Instagram. Open up the Facebook app, and you’ll see a carousel of circular profile photos representing friends’ Stories above your News Feed. Like on Instagram and Snapchat, the Stories disappear after 24 hours, and you’re able to apply a myriad of filters and effects.

Photos and videos added to your stories won’t show up in the News Feed itself nor on your profile’s timeline. Because of this, you’ll have to send a direct message to reply to someone’s story, and you can’t comment on them in the traditional threaded manner on your feed. It’s also not clear whether you can add existing photos to your Stories on Facebook; Instagram allows you to add photos from the past 24 hours.

Although the feature appears to be near-identical to Instagram’s implementation, it will be interesting to see if Facebook differentiates them down the line. After all, we use Instagram and Facebook differently; where Instagram is mainly a collection of small moments from a person’s day to day life, Facebook serves more like a historical archive. While I’m fine letting my photos disappear into the ether on Instagram, I’d generally like to keep all the photos I post onto Facebook.

I’d also like to see the ability to optionally link Instagram and Facebook Stories. It would get pretty tiresome trying to replicate a Story on both platforms. Facebook already allows you to re-post Instagram photos, so I don’t see why it couldn’t do so for Stories as well.

For its part, Facebook says its introducing Stories now because the way people share content has changed significantly:

The way people share today is different to five or even two years ago — it’s much more visual, with more photos and videos than ever before. We want to make it fast and fun for people to share creative and expressive photos and videos with whoever they want, whenever they want. We’ve been testing a new camera and the new Direct feature in Ireland since last fall, and Stories is another example of how we’re helping people share the way they want to.

It certainly helps that Stories has been a huge success on Instagram, with 150 million people using it in the five months since its inception.

All that being said, it will likely be a while before you get to try out Stories on Facebook. It’s currently limited to a test in Ireland – where it’s been testing its new camera features for a while – and will likely be brought to more countries “in the coming months.”

Via Business Insider

Note: This article previously stated you could not upload existing photos onto Instagram Stories. That was incorrect – you can upload photos from the past 24 hours. It has now been corrected.

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