Following the success of Instagram Stories, Facebook is bringing slideshows to its Messenger app, as well.
On Thursday, Facebook launched Messenger Day, a new feature that lets people share live video and photo slideshows. Messenger Day has a lot of similarities to Instagram Stories that debuted in November 2016. Facebook Messenger users can add fun filters to their images, send them to one friend, or share them with the world, and they’ll disappear after 24 hours. Messenger Day updates will roll out to everyone with the latest version of the iOS and Android apps.
Both Messenger Day and Instagram Stories seem to have been inspired by Snapchat, which originally popularized disappearing slideshows. To help set Messenger Day apart, Facebook has made these disappearing slideshows more about jumpstarting a conversation with friends or making plans rather than about documenting your life.
“It’s about where I want to take my day, like ‘I’m bored and I want to go out for coffee’ or ‘I want to go see a movie’ so I’m going to use a frame, take a photo, and see which of my friends are going to engage with me to actually make that plan, because planning is one of the core capabilities of a messaging app,” Facebook’s VP of messaging David Marcus told TechCrunch.
There are Active Now indicators, little green dots, to help you see who’s online to meet up or chat with. And the “Who’s up for?” filters are geared toward getting people together IRL. Another thing that sets Messenger Day apart is that you’ll be able to view these updates on your desktop, as compared to Instagram and Snapchat’s app-only stories.
Facebook just redesigned the Messenger camera in December, clearly as a way to prepare for introducing its own version of Snapchat. Can you blame them? Instagram Stories have become a huge success, racking up 100 million daily users just two months after it launched. In addition to Instagram Stories, Facebook has also incorporated live video slideshows on WhatsApp and is testing a similar feature in the flagship Facebook app.
Why this matters: Facebook certainly does not care anymore to be called a Snapchat copy-cat. The fact that these slideshows quickly became a part of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger means that the format is becoming bigger than Snapchat, and Facebook is betting big on this type of visual communication being the next status update.