Snapchat’s Stories feature had already been copied by Instagram this year; its popularity drove Snapchat to amass 200 million users in five years of its existence. It’s nowhere near the most popular social network out there but its style has attracted a lot of young blood. Facebook, in a move to do the same, launched its own version of “Stories” on its Messenger App called “Messenger Day”. This has only been seen in Poland though and it seems to be an effort to penetrate markets that haven’t yet used Snapchat.
“We know that people come to Messenger to share everyday moments with friends and family. In Poland we are running a small test of new ways for people to share those updates visually. We have nothing more to announce at this time.”
-Facebook’s Statement To TechCrunch
Facebook’s test, if it really blows up in Poland, will probably be launched worldwide. At this point Snapchat is being used by 60 million users in the US and Canada so Facebook’s idea needs to be verified millennial bait before launch.
Facebook’s Messenger Day takes the basics of Snapchat, the ability to add text and frames and draw on images as well as an innovation called graphic filters. This suggests what to share instead of standard suggestions like birthdays and geofilters. At the top of Messenger, there is a thread showing “My Day” and your friends’s days as well as prompts like “I’m Feeling”, “Who’s Up For” and “I’m Doing”. Tapping on these will give you filters like “I’m feeling…blue” with raindrops falling and a blue font or “Who’s Up For…Let’s Grab Drinks” with beer bottles and mugs. And of course, this all disappears after 24 hours.
In tech it’s usually a game of who gets there first. People who are comfortable on certain apps may not want to move no matter how attractive the app is because their friends aren’t on it. It’s why there are a myriad of social networking apps out there but just a handful command almost all of the market. Rarities like Facebook which overthrew MySpace and WhatsApp that got the jump on BBM and other messaging apps don’t occur all the time. Look at Twitter and even Snapchat, both are operating on niche markets and don’t have the universal appeal of Facebook. However, Facebook recognizes the fact that they can’t be left behind on any front. Hence their resolve to appease all demographics.