Facebook has tried hard to promote its Stories feature, pushing it to the top of the screen on the mobile app. However, most users will be familiar with the line of ghosted-out profile pictures they find there, indicating all the friends who aren’t using it (and probably never will). In sharp contrast, Instagram Stories hit 150 million daily users in January, following its launch last summer.
Both Insta and Facebook Stories are basically versions of Snapchat Stories, which has been around since 2013, and both allow users to build chains of shared content that can be viewed over a 24-hour period before they disappear. So why is one a hit and the other an apparent failure?
There are a few possible reasons. Perhaps those already active on Instagram Stories have little reason to take it up on another platform. For many, who already feel bombarded with options to share content (photos, video, live-stream etc.), the thought of disappearing content holds no appeal anyway. However, the biggest issue is possibly to do with the platforms people feel comfortable sharing certain content on. Generally people have more colleagues and work contacts on Facebook than any other platform, and are more used to regulating the content they share there for this reason. On the other hand, Instagram feels more personal, where you’d be more happy to share intimate moments of your day with friends.
Despite the lack of interest, it doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon. Maybe Facebook is working on something to enhance the feature, and the story isn’t quite over yet?