Social media giant Facebook has recently released a new feature for its standalone messaging app Messenger, and it may come as no surprise to some that it is one made famous by photo-messaging platform, Snapchat.
Once again, Facebook has shown that it is green with envy at fierce rival Snapchat and has decided to add a ‘Stories’ type feature to Messenger, just as it did with its photo-sharing service Instagram and other platforms.
The Messenger edition of this storyboard feature is called ‘Messenger Day’ and has been rolled out worldwide following successful tests in dozens of countries, including Australia and Poland, where it gained millions of users. It was announced via a blog post on Thursday and the feature is available on both Android and iOS versions of the Messenger app, as well as in the desktop version.
The feature allows users to share with the public, or just selected viewers, a series of custom decorated videos and photos using different filters, masks, stickers and drawings. As with both Snapchat and Instagram Stories, these appear in a storyboard at the top of the app and are visible to users for a maximum of 24 hours, after which they disappear – conforming to Snapchat’s original image of vanishing messages.
Should Messenger Day become a hit with users, it could encourage visual communication through the app, instead of the usual textual medium. Messenger had recently enhanced its camera and added various features similar to those of Snapchat beforehand.
One feature that Messenger Day boasts that Snapchat doesn’t is the ‘Active Now’ indicator. This is a little green dot in the corner of the Messenger Day story that signals whether the user is online and available to chat on the app.
Snapchat currently does not feature any adverts on the platform, but users of Instagram will have noticed that when flicking between users’ storyboards, they are seeing adverts and stories from businesses. David Marcus, the VP of Messaging at Facebook, has suggested that advertisements will more than likely be inserted between posts of Messenger Day to become one of the first revenue streams for the platform.
The feature also got a run out on another Facebook-owned platform recently, with messaging service WhatsApp getting its version of the app which is also end-to-end encrypted like the rest of the service, called Status. Furthermore, at the back end of last week, Instagram received an upgrade to include geostickers, which is another one of Snapchat’s defining features.