Facebook launches latest Snapchat-like feature first on Irish phones

26 Jan 2017

Friends taking a selfie. Image: gpointstudio/Shutterstock

Ireland has found itself the testing ground for new Facebook features once again as the social network launches Stories, an almost identical feature to Snapchat’s Memories.

Over the past year, Facebook has not been oblivious to the rapid rise of Snapchat as the mobile social networking app of choice for millennials and teenagers, and has begun integrating many similar features in its own platform.

Last November, Facebook revealed that Ireland was to be the first country in the world to test a series of camera filters that replicated the ones used by Snapchat, but with a distinctly Irish flavour.

With its international headquarters in Ireland, Facebook has revealed that the country will once again be the first to try out a new feature – this time, with Facebook Stories.

Much like Snapchat Memories, this feature will allow Facebook users to upload photos taken each day to a distinct news feed separate from either the timeline or news feed.

Instagram users will already be familiar with the Stories feature, as Facebook decided to test it on the incredibly popular photo-sharing social network before its own all-encompassing one.

But unlike regular Facebook, the photos uploaded will delete themselves after 24 hours, and can be uploaded with any of the filters it previously released.

Facebook Stories

Image: Facebook

The way people share is changing

Friends can then reply to these stories in a chat space for conversations with specific friends about individual photos and videos.

Irish Facebook users are the first to access the new feature on iOS and Android and it will be gradually rolled out over the next few weeks in the country.

Stories and other features being tested as part of the new Facebook camera will be released in other countries in the coming months.

Explaining why it has decided to release the Snapchat-like feature, Facebook said it has come to terms with the changing social media landscape.

“Facebook has long been the place to share with friends and family, but the way that people share is changing in significant ways,” the company said.

“The way people share today is different to five or even two years ago — it’s much more visual, with more photos and videos than ever before. We want to make it fast and fun for people to share creative and expressive photos and videos with whoever they want, whenever they want.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic