Facebook Are Trying to Hook People Into Stories With a Camera Upgrade

While Facebook are enjoying continued success with their Stories feature on Instagram and lukewarm success with the Messenger version, the main platform equivalent continues to suffer. Despite the fact that they're winning the battle on two fronts, Facebook are continuing to try and salvage the languishing third version, rather than simply letting it die out as they often do with features which the public don't latch onto.

Their latest attempt to win people around to the idea is a slew of new updates for the in-app camera. These include the ability to create those colourful text posts using the camera, live stream video straight from the camera screen and, most significantly, create GIFs. It works much like Boomerang, enabling you to record a two-second GIF from the camera screen and post it either as a Story, in your news feed or send it as a message to someone else.

These new features are all useful, and certainly have applications above and beyond Story, but that's what Facebook are trying to steer people towards. I'm making a bold prediction here - it won't work. The issue with Stories isn't that it isn't versatile enough, it's that there are three more popular versions of it on three other applications which all suit it better than the standard Facebook app does. Facebook's feed is in danger of becoming a cluttered mess, when all anyone actually does is scroll through the news feed, look at other profiles and occasionally check their On This Day tab. GIFs or no GIFs, Stories is a needless appendage.

More to the point, Instagram is already equipped with all the features that Facebook are now adding in, rendering the entire update almost completely pointless. Facebook are in danger of overcommitting with their app synergy, up to the point where there will be little to nothing unique about each individual service beyond its primary function. Migrating features over from Instagram is redundant because those features fit that structure, but don't fit Facebook's.

Sure, Instagram has enjoyed success off the back of these changes, and there is a market for Facebook users who aren't on Instagram, but the thing to bear in mind is that if users don't have Instagram, it's probably because they don't want it. Facebook are in a position now where virtually no decision they make will jeopardise their position at the top of the social media tree, but it would still be nice to see them flexing their imagination a bit more, rather than just rehashing features from other platforms, especially features originally stolen from Snapchat.

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