It finally happened. Big bad Facebook has ripped off Snapchat, releasing new features that use the same technology and dangling them right in front of 1 billion Facebook users.
Just as with last year’s launch of Instagram Stories, much debate has followed the rollout of Facebook Stories: Is this a Silicon Valley war? Why is Facebook such a copycat? Is this the end of Snapchat? Or will Facebook Stories simply die on the vine, a new subject of ridicule with fewer users than Google+?
We asked some of our staff members to weigh in.
Jennie Szink, Senior Account Executive, Digital
I never downloaded Snapchat, so I was more than excited when Instagram and Facebook rolled out features similar to those Snapchat offers. Finally, I can see what I look like with a sloth sitting on my head. The new Stories feature on Facebook is going to reach a whole generation that never adopted Snapchat, and I can't wait to see how they incorporate it into their social media use. With Snapchat-like features rolling out on several apps, I’m betting that soon the "kids" will be over Snapchat and on to the next big thing.
Grant Fuller, Director of Digital Strategy
I have a hard time deciding where to go to lunch. So I’m not crazy about having to choose between Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook every time I feel like sharing a moment in time with friends. But for PCI’s culture and destination clients who haven’t ventured into Snapchat yet, Facebook Stories (and Instagram Stories perhaps even more) does have great appeal. Will Snapchat innovate quickly enough to survive? Time will tell.
Leigh Wagner, Senior Vice President
My young adult children didn’t even realize it had launched. They live on Snapchat and Instagram and now consider Facebook something for parents or older adults. I don’t see myself using it and it really doesn’t appeal to me. But then neither does Snapchat!
Colleen Correll, Account Supervisor
I’m a Snapchat/Instagram Stories loyalist through and through. I love that they both give me a glimpse into the lives of my favorite celebrities and influencers (like Chance the Rapper and Gigi Hadid). So far, Facebook Stories doesn’t have that.
Michael Queroz, Senior Account Executive, Digital
It’s a very smart move for Facebook to try to replicate the success of Snapchat, which they’ve already done on Instagram. With Facebook Stories they will bring in an entirely different audience (read: older) into the world of peer-to-peer visual messaging. However, I don’t think Facebook Stories signals the death of Snapchat. Users, especially teens, flock to Snapchat for its privacy and authenticity – something Facebook will always lack. Snapchat has been at the forefront of innovation since its launch and I’m sure it will continue to find new ways to rejuvenate the app.
Cheryl terHorst, Senior Writer
I think old folks like me (editor’s note: Cheryl is not old!) are a little overwhelmed with all the new things Facebook keeps introducing (Facebook Live, 360 video, etc.). I doubt older users on the platform would be engaged with Facebook Stories. Some might just add it to the list of things they post (e.g. I see many post the exact same things on all their channels – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.). Young people seem less engaged with Facebook, so it might not make a difference to them. Although two of my sons use Snapchat, one isn’t even on Facebook and the other uses it rarely.
Rachel Bowen, Account Executive
I’m not excited about Facebook Stories. People crave authenticity and Facebook isn’t being authentic or original by copying another social media channel. I would like to see Facebook go out on a limb and try something completely different. I don’t think this will lure “Snappers” away from Snapchat; younger people are steering clear of Facebook because that’s where their parents and relatives are. One good thing that could come out of Instagram and Facebook Stories is that Snapchat will be forced to evolve and stay ahead of the competition, continuing to create new, exciting features and content. I’m interested to see how Facebook Stories will play out. For now, I’m keeping my “Stories” on Snapchat.