Business

Saturday 21 April 2018

Facebook launches Snapchat-style 'Stories' exclusively in Ireland

Facebook stories
Facebook stories
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Facebook is testing a Snapchat-style ‘Stories’ feature in its latest move to emulate the most successful bits of its increasingly powerful rival.

The social media giant is trialling the feature exclusively in Ireland. It will roll out to Irish iOS and Android users over the coming weeks. It is then expected to be gradually introduced to Facebook’s global base of 2bn users.

The new feature looks and feels very similar to the Stories feature recently added on Instagram. It will let Facebook users create reels of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Effects such as masks and frames can be added using the ‘Camera’ feature that has been available to Irish Facebook users for three months.

Photos or videos posted into the Stories will not appear on the regular timeline, while friends of Facebook users can post replies to Stories posts.

Facebook executives in Ireland say that Instagram Stories has been a hit and that the new Facebook Stories feature comes in response to user feedback and requests.

In a nod to Snapchat’s success, the executives also say that the way people share today “is different to five or even two years ago”.

It’s not the first time Ireland has been chosen as a testbed for a big new Facebook release.

In 2015, the social giant tested out alternative emoji to the ‘thumbs up’ symbol in Ireland ahead of anywhere else in the world. Based on the feedback it got here, it went ahead and released it around the globe.

Facebook Stories uses the Camera feature launched in Ireland in October. It uses filters, masks and augmented reality to let you play around with your camera when chatting to friends. Once a photo or video is sent, it disappears as soon as the resulting conversation finishes up. And you can choose from a variety of augmented reality filters such as masks, floating effects and location-specific stamps. The feature can be used to post to the public Facebook feed or individually to friends or groups of friends.

Swiping right on the homescreen now immediately accesses the new camera feature. ‘Reactive effects’ let you interact with the objects in the frame while ‘Style effects’ apply an artistic filter to your video in real time to turn your world into a work of art in real time, not just after the photo has been taken.

You can choose who you share the photo or video with after you capture it, or post it to your Facebook feed. - When you send a photo or video to a friend, it will stay visible for as long as you and your friend are having a conversation on the content. When the conversation ends, the content will no longer be visible to you or your friend.

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