Nearly two months after the release of Instagram Stories, Facebook is testing another similar mobile storytelling format inside Messenger. The feature, called Messenger Day, launched Friday and is apparently only available to Messengers users in Poland.
Not unlike in (read: nearly identically to) Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories, Messenger users can stitch together photos and videos and layer on text, stickers and doodles. Each image can be displayed for up to 10 seconds. The feeds disappear in 24 hours, just like Snapchat pioneered with «My Stories» back in 2014.
The move is the latest way Facebook is trying to increase the time spent and engagement in its apps at a time when millions of younger users are enamored by Snapchat.
“We know that people come to Messenger to share everyday moments with friends and family. In Poland we are running a small test of new ways for people to share those updates visually. We have nothing more to announce at this time,» a Messenger spokesperson wrote in an email to Mashable.
Messenger Day feeds are available at the top of the Messenger home screen, above recent conversations. A user sees his or her feed first followed by their friends. Similar to Snapchat, users can respond to an individual photo or video where the conversation will be directed to Messenger.
Users can also access hundreds stickers, categorized into «I’m feeling,» «Who’s up for?» and «I’m doing,» which feature colorful filters like «so blue,» «road trip» and «study time.»
Not every user has been impressed, so far. «(The user interface) is really poor, on every level — nothing like Instagram Stories,» Franciszek Georgiew, founder of social media agency Social Tigers, told SocialTimes. «Looking at the stickers, it’s 100 percent targeted to younger demographics — really full of colors, big, noisy, really invasive.»
The update is, for now, just a small test, but could be expanded globally. According to Spiders Web, a Polish publication that spoke to Facebook prior to the launch, this is the first test in Poland.
Both Messenger and Snapchat are popular in Poland, but they differ in audiences. «Everyone using a smartphone knows what Snapchat is. It’s mainly guys at schools using it. It’s kind of typical for age 10 to 16,» Ali Si, 28 of Warsaw, told Mashable.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has made Messenger itself more Snapchat-like. The company also tested disappearing text-based messages.
Meanwhile, Snapchat recently rebranded itself as Snap Inc. and has dedicated itself to building not only a mobile app but hardware. Snap is releasing Spectacles, a pair of sunglasses with a camera linked to the app, in the coming months.
«If you takeaway anything, I fundamentally believe we are just at the beginning of our innovation cycle,» Snap’s Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan said earlier this week.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the new feature may be called «My Day,» but Facebook has clarified that the name is «Messenger Day.»