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Messenger just became the latest Facebook app to launch a Stories feature

Messenger joins Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook in copying Snapchat’s Stories idea.


Messenger on Thursday became the latest Facebook property to adopt a format, known as Stories, that were made popular by Snapchat: Photo and video collections that users can share with friends for up to 24 hours before they disappear.

Messenger has been testing its version of this format, what it’s calling “Days,” since the fall, but is now formally rolling it out to all users on iOS and Android worldwide. Users can take photos and videos using Messenger’s in-app camera, then post them to their Day where friends will have 24 hours to watch them.

It’s virtually the same feature already available on Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp, but just goes by a different name. Facebook is testing Stories in its main app, too.

This Stories format was initially created by Snapchat and was one of the app’s most popular features. Then Instagram copied it back in August, and Facebook has quickly been bringing it to all of its other apps.

The purpose of Stories (or Days) is to get people sharing more often — because everything disappears, it lowers the bar for what is considered post-worthy. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told Recode in December that Instagram users have been sharing much more to the app since the launch of Stories.

The decision by Facebook to put Snapchat’s best feature inside all of its apps shows just how concerned the social giant is about losing younger users to a competitor.

Facebook’s approach seems to be more about putting a ceiling on Snapchat’s user growth than stealing from its existing user base. WhatsApp and Messenger have more than a billion users each, the vast majority of which are outside the United States in places where Snapchat hasn’t yet reached. If Facebook offers those users the same features Snapchat offers, it may leave them with little incentive to try Snapchat once it arrives.

Messenger is not going to include ads between user-generated Days or sell sponsored content in that section of the app at launch. The feature will be available as part of a free app update rolling out Thursday.

This article originally appeared on

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