After copying Snapchat inside of Instagram with last year's "Instagram Stories" update, Business Insider today learned that Facebook is gearing up to launch the exact same feature in its mainline Facebook mobile app. Now called "Facebook Stories," the social media company is bringing over the same circular user interface to its main app for users in a small test in Ireland, letting them post images and videos that automatically disappear after 24 hours.
Facebook Stories appear at the top of the Facebook app, similar to where Instagram Stories have received top billing in the photo-sharing app. The new feature is said to work "identically" to Instagram's update, so users can snap a picture or video, edit it with a few filter and sticker options, and friends can tap through each post within the day it gets posted.
Facebook has been focusing on its photo and video features in its iOS app for a while now, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg last year saying that the company plans to launch a camera-first experience that changes status updates from simple written posts to dynamic photos and videos. Through selfie filter tests, holiday updates, and live-streaming add-ons, the company has already begun to make progress towards launching a fully-featured, photo-centric update to the main Facebook app.
After directly becoming a competitor to Snapchat with Instagram Stories, Instagram reported the gain of 100 million users in the second half of 2016. For now, Facebook Stories remains a test of its own in Ireland, but the "new format" will be arriving in more countries in the coming months, according to a Facebook spokesperson.