Social networking giant Facebook has recently revealed that it plans to change to way Facebook Stories works, in the hope that it will encourage more people to use it.
Since it was introduced to most Facebook-owned social media platforms earlier this year, Stories has only taken off on one in particular – Instagram – and has been widely considered to be a real flop on the main Facebook platform.
The latest figures have shown that Instagram Stories and WhatsApp’s version of it, Status, both had 250 million daily users. This is a larger number of users than use Snapchat Stories, the app that initially created the Story feature.
Facebook is yet to reveal any statistics relating to Facebook Stories, quite possible an evasive tactic to avoid showing how badly the feature is struggling to match up to the other platforms.
Stories allows users to upload a set of images and short videos to a storyboard, where they can add text and a variety of colourful and playful drawings, masks, filters and stickers. These are then visible to friends and followers for 24 hours, after which they expire and are permanently removed from the storyboard.
Stories is displayed prominently in the Facebook app, and is given pride of place in the platform, appearing on the top of the news feed. This usually makes it one of the first things users see when they log in. With not many people choosing to use the feature though, this doesn’t make Facebook look too good. In order to combat this, and entice users into actually uploading content to their storyboards, Facebook is set to make the feature available to business pages, public figures, brands and organisations.
The fact that the storyboards are one of the first things users see when they log in should be a huge positive for businesses, who may consider advertising their products and services here. Over on Instagram, there are sponsored posts that appear in between other stories; these are hidden from the row of stories, but are played. Making them visible right from the off on Facebook may entice businesses to use them. Facebook believes this could be the change that finally breathes life into Stories.
This move could ultimately change the way retailers interact with social media, as they could collaborate with Facebook to help turn their stories into a quick, click-to-buy feature.
The feature is set to roll out on both Android and iOS versions of the Facebook app over the next few weeks.