Facebook Messenger's camera gets star treatment with Snapchat Stories-like feature
- Facebook has started to roll out Messenger Day globally on Android and iOS, enabling users to share videos and photos as they happen by adding them to a timeline that friends can view and reply to, the company said in a release. Users can also personalize their images with more than 5,000 frames, effects and stickers.
- Facebook reports that millions of people around the world have already used Messenger Day since the company began testing the feature late last year.
- To post to Day, users open the platform’s camera, take a photo or video, add effects and text and then tap an arrow that appears in the bottom right corner of the screen. Besides adding an image to Day, users can also save it to their camera roll or send it to someone.
Snapchat’s significant influence on social media and messaging apps generally, and on Facebook more specifically, continues. Facebook already adapted Snapchat Stories for Instagram, even keeping the name. Given that both platforms were visually driven from their start, it was no surprise when Instagram Stories quickly became a hit and possibly even put a dent Snapchat’s growth rate along the way.
That Messenger is now adopting a Stories-like feature because of the focus on using images and videos for personal updates instead of text messages is a significant departure from its beginnings. While Messenger got its start as a text-based messaging platform, today’s news points to the growing role for photos and videos in how smartphone-savvy consumers communicate. Messenger indicated that it was moving towards being more of an image-based platform late last year when it launched a new, more powerful built-in camera.
For marketers, the message is now stronger than ever that in order to communicate with mobile consumers, marketers must learn their language, which uses a mix of photos, videos, icons and digital overlays for expression.
The Messenger Day news is also the latest sign that Facebook has high aspirations for the platform, which is testing a variety of reactions icons beyond the simple like button, and it recently added a persistent menu and more sharing capabilities. However, Messenger's relevance to brands is still unanswered. Notifications from brands, which launched in 2015, were supposed to be a way for users to easily engage with marketers, but Everlane recently said it will no longer use the app for transactional notifications, suggesting that Messenger may not be working for brands as a commerce channel.