In what could be seen as a move to directly counter Snapchat's popularity among the youngsters, Facebook has rolled out a new feature on its mobile app, enabling the users to share photos and videos more easily. However, it could invite debates because of its uncanny similarity with the Snapchat Stories feature.
A study by research firm Piper Jaffray in 2016 found out that teens prefer messaging app Snapchat to other social networking sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It clearly sent out the message that the future of social media would rest with videos and photos. So, it didn't come as a surprise when Facebook adopts a popular feature of Snapchat.
"We want to make it fast, fun and easy for people to share creative photos and videos with whomever they choose, for however long they choose— and the more we share with each other, the more open and connected our community can be," Connor Hayes, product manager, Facebook, said in a statement.
"Today, we're starting to roll out a new camera with effects and two additional ways to share the photos and videos you take."
The new update has been rolled out on iOS and Android, and it comes with an in-app camera, a new feed called Facebook stories and another feature called Direct to share photos and videos with friends.
The Facebook camera can be accessed by tapping the camera icon on the top left corner of the Facebook app or by swiping right from News Feed. The Facebook camera has dozens of effects like masks, frames and interactive filters that can be used on your photos and videos. Users can also make use of guest art from visual artists like Douglas Coupland and Hattie Stewart.
Facebook Stories is nothing but Snapchat Stories-like feature that lets users share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection atop News Feed. Like in Snapchat, photos and videos of your stories will disappear after 24 hours or a day.
The search giant has also added an option called Direct that enables users to share individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time. Under this section, your friends will be able to see your photo or video once and get the chance to reply but the content of your conversation will vanish the moment you go inactive on the thread.
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It may be mentioned that Facebook introduced Stories to Instagram in August last year, catching the eyes of many because of its similarity with Snapchat feature. It was also reported that a similar feature called Status is being tested on instant messaging service WhatsApp and could go live in the future.
May be the social media juggernaut is trying to woo young audience by roping in a popular feature seen in Snapchat.