Social Media

Facebook trials Snapchat-style Stories service above news feed

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

January 25, 2017 | 4 min read

Facebook has taken aim at Snapchat once more, testing its very own Stories service at the top of its news feed.

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Facebook trials Snapchat-style Stories service above news feed / Facebook

The social network is initially trialing Facebook Stories in Ireland, but in a statement the firm said the new format will be rolled out in more countries in the coming months.

The new feature is an exact replica of the Stories product launched by Facebook's sister company Instagram in August last year. Facebook's version also takes the form of an ephemeral content service which lets users share a chronological slideshow of videos and pictures with their friends.

The streams disappear after 24-hours and users can reply directly to someone's story with via a private message. They can also filter overlays - Facebook's version of Snapchat geofilters - to photos and videos.

When Instagram first launched Stories, social media users were quick to point out that it it had nabbed Snapchat's Stories format right down to the name. Even Instagram's chief executive Kevin Systrom conceded that Snapchat deserved "all the credit" for the format.

Facebook stories could also open up another revenue stream for Facebook, given that Instagram Stories recently unveiled a sponsored equivalent which is already being used by brands like Nike and Airbnb. Instagram claims that 150 million users use Stories daily, but Facebook shouldn't have a problem selling equivalent ad formats to brands given the fact it has 1.8 billion subscribers.

A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch: "Facebook has long been the place to share with friends and family, but the way that people share is changing in significant ways. 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."

This isn't the first time Facebook has drawn inspiration from Snapchat. In September of last year, it introduced another Snapchat-like feature designed to make video calling easier for Messenger users.

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