11 1 eight&four News

Facebook Steals From Snapchat - Again

16th August 2016 | Aoifa Smyth

Not only has the world of social media been shaken by the recent news of Instagram stories, it now seems that Facebook is about to be the next platform to harness the use of short video and photo status updates – a la Snapchat.

Facebook’s newest feature began testing last week on iOS and android devices throughout Canada and Brazil, launching to coincide with the Rio Olympics. This new feature sees an additional option at the top of your timeline, with which you can post a video or photo status- selfie or otherwise. If you choose to post this way, the video will appear on your Facebook friends’ newsfeeds and your timeline.

On top of generic video updates, users can apply fun augmented reality filters over their faces. This feature is not entirely surprising, after the news that Facebook bought the app MSQRD back in March of this year. For anyone that doesn’t know, MSQRD or Masquerade, is a face-altering app which allows users to change their look with an array of filters, to be shared on other social channels.

So what is Facebook up to with this testing? According to their spring reports, the platform saw a 21% decline among their 1.71 billion monthly users in sharing original content. Is this their attempt to get users sharing again? If anything, it certainly makes Facebook’s insecurities quite transparent, as they openly replicate a young and fast growing competitor in an effort to keep users on their channel for all of their social networking needs.

What will this mean for the future of Snapchat or even Instagram stories? I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to see how it pans out, but if anything, it is certainly going to open up this way of sharing to older generations who aren’t currently utilising Snapchat.