Facebook’s new “Stories” feature, which is similar to Snapchat, is undermining a common, albeit subjectively unsavory, practice informally referred to as “creeping.”
“We want to make it fast, fun and easy for people to share creative photos and videos with whomever they choose, for however long they choose — and the more we share with each other, the more open and connected our community can be,” Connor Hayes, a product manager for Facebook, wrote Friday in an official blog post. “The Instagram community has shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day, so in the main Facebook app we’re also introducing Facebook Stories, which lets you share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection atop News Feed.”
A “Story” is a single photo or video (or compilation of such content) uploaded onto the platform that is only available to view for exactly 24 hours. The premise of Stories is essentially the foundational function of Snapchat.
After watching someone’s story, the friend will be notified of who viewed their pictures or footage, which is also how other platforms (e.g. Instagram, Snapchat) work.
But for Facebook, this is a transformational measure, since so many users, whether they admit it or not, use the social media platform to surreptitiously browse people’s personal lives. In fact, some people so intently scan through profiles and all of the accompanying personal details, it is colloquially called “Facebook stalking.”
Facebook has been rolling out a number of new features in recent months.
Following the introduction and growing popularity of Facebook Live, the live-streaming component, the tech giant felt compelled to supplement the service with suicide prevention tools because multiple people were taking their lives while broadcasting on the platform.
There is also a new rocket icon on Facebook’s menu bar, which reportedly shows a second News Feed that is even more specifically tailored to the user. The feature will display content from a page the user is likely interested in, but does not currently “Like.”