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Facebook Stories Is What Happens When You Reject A US$3 Billion Offer By Mark Zuckerberg

Image Credit: Facebook

Facebook Stories – the feature we all knew was coming is finally here.

Facebook Inc has finally made live the Snapchat clone on it’s main app after beta testing for months, and first rolling it out on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

Facebook Stories Are Now On Your News Feed

Since last night, many in Singapore (and Malaysia) will have undoubtedly be welcomed by an extra row of icons when they went into their Facebook app.

In very much the same way that it has appeared on Instagram and Messenger, your friends’ Stories will appear in a row of bubbles near the top of the screen.

Image Credit: Facebook

And the heart of this new feature is the upgraded in-app Facebook Camera.

In it is all you would expect from a die-hard Snapchat clone – which, by the way, has been openly admitted by a Product Manager at Facebook, Connor Hayes at a press event in San Francisco, that this is something that was “pioneered by Snapchat.”

We tried it out.

You still have the basics of taking photos and short videos, along with the addition of text and simple scribbling with digital markers.

Of course, there’s a lot more going for it.

Let’s go into the specifics of Facebook’s new feature.

Well for one, Facebook has better filters than Snapchat – a sentiment that others have also expressed.

Image Credit: Facebook

While location based filters have yet to make its way here, that may not matter. Currently you have access to a multitude of face morphing filters from all your favourite movies.

Image Credit: Facebook

Think Power Rangers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Minions, Alien, and many more. This means that we could possible have more of these for any future box office hits.

On top of that are also all the funky and quirky filters, where you can turn your photos into a scene out of famous paintings and music videos, or simply have food going into your mouth, or lasers out of your eyes.

Image Credit: Facebook

Oh and if you just want to send it to a specific person, and not everyone on your friends list, there is of course the option for direct messages.

Why Is Facebook Doing This?

In a nutshell – to stay relevant.

Facebook has for so long tried to continuously evolve itself, so gone are the days of just posting status updates and photographs.

With Stories now Facebook, it joins Instagram Stories, Messenger Day, and WhatsApp Status, and for better or for worse, gives all of Facebook Inc’s apps a more uniform look with that same disappearing story functionality front and center.

Image Credit: Facebook

That’s not to say that the camera truly performs the same way in each app.

WhatsApp Status is the most basic of the bunch, Instagram Stories takes advantage of additional app features such as Boomerang and Live Streaming, while Messenger Day is all about the stickers.

We’re not the least bit surprised that Facebook decided to make all these distinctions between the various apps.

It is the norm for people to cross-post content created from another app.

Image Credit: Facebook

For the Facebook of today, it’s all about having the Camera do the talking.

In Facebook in itself, we already have a mish-mash of non-exhaustive content at the fingertips of millions around the world.

In case you didn’t notice, Facebook is literally trying to be the Internet itself. Viral videos, breaking news, online shopping, instant articles by publications, and now Stories.

Everything is all inclusive, and Facebook is trying to make it such that you don’t have to leave its site or app to get your daily dose of content, be it from your friends or everywhere else.

You Can’t Say No

As with any feature that Facebook implements, you cannot run away from it.

Before rolling out any big changes to any of its app, they will usually have it run through a select user base for feedback; and for Facebook Stories, Ireland was the lucky country.

If Facebook deemed that the responses from these beta tests are favourable, it will more often that not roll it out some months later, and become an almost permanent fixture of the app.

So unless Facebook deems it irrelevant, it will stay there regardless of the outcry by users all over the world, and judging by the responses on Day 1, people seem to like it despite knowing fully well that it is a Snapchat imitation – a very good one at that.

Despite Snapchat recently going into an IPO with a valuation of US$22 billion, guess this is what happens when you turn down a US$3 billion acquisition bid by Mark Zuckerberg.

It’s Morphin Time

Excuse me while I morph myself into a Power Ranger.

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