Facebook has launched a new ephemeral content platform and a wealth of camera features as it brings its offerings more in line with rival Snapchat. Brands and users will now be able to access a range of new effects to make images and clips more interesting and stitch together and showcase content at the top of news feeds via Stories.
Facebook is rolling out the new features to Android and iOS devices this week. Users can find the in-app camera by tapping on the camera icon in the social giant’s official mobile app. From here, a range of visually engaging effects will be available, such as iterative and reactive filters, emoji stickers frames and captions that can be added as an overlay on any multimedia.
Facebook has also partnered with brands to create a wealth of special masks for upcoming blockbusters, including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and it revealed that the library of more than 50 creative effects will get a regular refresh.
These camera features are designed to get more people to snap pictures and record videos for the new Stories platform, a service that will showcase a rolling selection of content during a 24-hour period before disappearing. There will also be a direct-sharing functionality, which will allow users to share these clips directly with a specified audience. Viewers will be able to watch and comment on the clips.
Facebook said that Stories are solely for personal users at the present time but hinted that it could bring the platform to businesses and brands in the near future. It could also soon launch a new ad inventory alongside Stories as it looks at new ways to monetise its News Feed. The latest additions are part of Facebook’s desire to nullify the threat posed by Snapchat and double down on its own focus on visual communication formats.
Twitter also announced on Tuesday that it will allow content creators to monetise live clips on Periscope with the launch of pre-roll ads, which will let brands engage viewers before videos start. Brands will need to use the Amplify programme to start the ad process. This feature is expected to roll out in the next several months.