While the test is beginning only in Ireland, the spokesperson said Facebook plans to bring the “new format” to more countries in the coming months.
Facebook Stories works identically to Instagram Stories, and by extension Snapchat Stories.
You add photos and videos to your personal “story” for your friends to tap through, and everything you choose to share disappears after 24 hours.
Whatever you add to your Facebook Story won’t be shown in the News Feed or on your profile’s timeline, and like Instagram and Snapchat, you can reply directly to someone’s story with a direct message.
You can also add selfie filters and Facebook’s version of Snapchat geofilters to photos and videos.
“The way people share today is different to five or even two years ago — it’s much more visual, with more photos and videos than ever before,” Facebook said in a statement. “We want to make it fast and fun for people to share creative and expressive photos and videos with whoever they want, whenever they want.”
Facebook is giving Stories prominent placement at the top of its app, like Instagram. The move is part of a broader strategy on Facebook’s part to not only curb Snapchat’s growth, but also to get people to share more with their phone cameras — a concept that Snapchat pioneered.
So far, the strategy appears to be working: 150 million people already use Instagram Stories every day, which roughly equals Snapchat’s total user base.
Facebook Stories could also provide another way for the company to make money from its 1.8 billion users.