14 November 2017

TechCrunch: “Facebook Stories replaces Messenger Day with synced cross-posting”

Facebook is cleaning up the redundancy in its Snapchat Stories clones. Today Facebook is killing off the Messenger Day brand and merging the chat app’s stories feature with Facebook Stories. Now, just called “Stories”, 24-hour ephemeral posts in either Facebook or Messenger will appear in both apps, and viewing will be synced, too, so you won’t see a Story as unviewed in one app if you already watched it in the other.

To be clear, Messenger will still have Stories, they’re just called Stories instead of Day.

However, the cameras in Facebook and Messenger will remain distinct, with Facebook’s focused on augmented reality masks and effects, while Messenger focuses on adding captions and stylized text inviting friends to hang out. But Hayes says now that we’re connecting the two experiences, it makes sense for them to have the same name.

Josh Constine

Good decision! Having separate stories in four different Facebook-owned apps didn’t make any sense to begin with. At least Instagram and WhatsApp, being acquired, have a strong brand of their own, as opposed to Messenger, who was simply spun-off from the mobile Facebook app.

Facebook Welcome to Stories

I’ve actually been thinking a couple of days ago about the reason why Stories saw such a different reception on Instagram (where they’re a massive success, rivaling the Snapchat original) versus Facebook and WhatsApp (where they’re practically nonexistent). The launch date may have been a factor: Instagram Stories were introduced first, more than half a year before Facebook Stories.

But I wonder if something else played a bigger role, namely how people use these social apps, how they built their social graphs over time. Facebook was centered mainly around people you know in real-life, even if you since lost touch with each other; Messenger, tied to Facebook’s social graph, follows a very similar path. Likewise, WhatsApp’s social graph is based on our phonebook, so again people we know for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, on Instagram people were encouraged to follow their interests and passions, popular accounts generating content they liked. And naturally, when Stories launched, people immediately wanted to discover more about these accounts and the people behind them. This in turn, I think, encouraged people to share their own stories – especially being ephemeral, so they don’t carry the baggage of responsibility of other social channels – knowing that people with similar interests would respond and take interest. Once Instagram Stories reached a critical mass, there was little room for growth elsewhere, because of the extra effort with too little engagement.

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