Hand it over to Snapchat—the company has succeeded in creating a feature that virtually every social media outfit has borrowed a leaf from. Stories is a Snapchat feature that has gone round all the social media websites including Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp [Status] and now WeChat is taking its turn.
Chinese-owned WeChat, according to TechCrunch, has launched a Snapchat-like ephemeral video feature. The feature, which represents the company’s biggest addition in the last four years, will offer its more than 1 billion users the opportunity to post videos that will vanish after 24 hours.
Named “Time Capsules,” the feature allows users to upload videos of up to 15 seconds, which disappears after 24 hours. However, unlike Instagram that allows users to share stories to close friends, WeChat’s Time Capsules cannot be shared to friends—at least for now.
WeChat also allows users to react to Time Capsule videos by blowing virtual “bubbles.” Among other things, users can also access extra tools such as locations and music—features that are generally available in apps that allow shooting and posting of short-form video clips. Already, users can do a number of things on WeChat including shopping, paying bills, hailing a ride, and many more.
Snapchat pioneered Stories, but is now playing catchup as other social media companies are taking over the market. Facebook Stories, which was launched over a year ago is already gaining grounds over Snapchat’s Stories. It is evident that Snapchat pioneered the feature, and made a huge success of it before other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp launched their own versions. According to stats released by Facebook, its own version of Stories is now recording giant stride ahead of Snapchat with 300 million active daily users.
The figure is a combination of Stories on both Messenger and Facebook. According to user experience research manager at Facebook Liz Keneski, the combined figure does not account for double dipping. What that means is that a message posted by a user on Facebook, which of course, quite naturally appears on Messenger is not counted as two—but as one.
It is clearly obvious that Facebook wants to encourage as many advertizers as it possibly can to warm up to its own version of Stories. by the way, Facebook is opening up Stories to advertisers, which obviously explains the reason for its latest figure. I clearly don’t see how Snapchat can cover grounds considering how far Facebook has gone.
Facebook’s own Stories lets you share ephemeral photos and videos in a slideshow that disappears 24 hours later; the same way Instagram and Snapchat Stories work. Little circles that allow you to watch Stories will appear in the main app above the feed so you won’t miss them.
Facebook’s own version of the feature came with a re-designed in-app camera, a new feed of ephemeral stories atop the News Feed, and a private messaging feature called Direct. Can’t remember the last time that Facebook made such a remarkable change to its in-app camera, but goes a long way in showing how prepared the company is in terms of taking on competition.