If you’re an avid social media user, you may have recently noticed several new updates: Instagram added its most talked about social update yet, allowing users to post multiple pictures at once without using an app to create a photo collage. Before that, they jumped on the “story train,” an idea started by the creators of Snapchat. Most recently to add stories to their platform was Facebook, and consumers don’t really know how to feel about it. A new social update happens so often, users quickly become frustrated and hate the new additions before settling down after a few weeks. But will the frustration with the new story addition last a little longer?
The Social Update Story
With reports that Instagram and Facebook have been stealing Snapchat’s users, its hard to believe such a crossover would occur. From a social standpoint, the three social platforms seem to be used for different reasons by different people. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, about 8 in 10 American adults use Facebook while nearly one-third of Americans use Instagram. Over the years, we’ve seen the number of teen Facebook users decline and the number of users 25+ increases – but why? Probably because no teens want the parents, or worse, their grandparents, to see what they’re up to! That is what makes Instagram and Snapchat stories usage more popular.
Showing their dislike of the added feature, users took to social media to put Facebook on blast for the stories update. Some went as far as editing photos of random objects and unlikely applications to feature stories giving their take on an overused feature.
Part of what makes the idea of Snapchat such an interesting platform for younger users is its ability to delete their messages. It’s one of the quickest means of distributing a message or photo to show what you’re up to before it disappears anywhere from 1 second to 24 hours later. Instagram now work in a similar way with its stories, but photos still remain on your feed and page until you manually delete them. The new feature on the Facebook social update, however, causing users to feel forced to use the stories.
New Form of Ghosting
A year or so ago, when you heard the term ghosting, you may have believed it to be when you simply just stop contacting another person and never hear from or see them again without any warning or reason. Now, it takes on a whole new meaning. When Facebook first introduced their stories update, unless your friends posted to their story, all that remained was your story “bubble” – a little circle you click on to add pictures or videos (basically Snapchats whole deal). Now, whether it was to fill the white space at the top of feeds or otherwise, Facebook created story bubbles for all of your friend too, even if they don’t post.
Now, where Facebook may be going wrong here, is using the ghost versions of your best pals. On Instagram, once you have completed viewing a story the bubble of your friends fades to an opaque shadow. But, nothing will show up unless those you follow post. On Snapchat, if one of your friends posts a story, nothing shows up at all until they do. And when the story is gone, so is the icon (or newly added Bitmoji).
What Facebook seems to be doing is forcing its users to look at the stories section like a “hey, check me out and use me!” instruction. The story bubbles appear with your friends profile picture, but slightly grayed out and “ghostlike.” Only after you tap on their bubble does Facebook tell you they haven’t added content “recently.”
With the recent social update on what is still the most widely used social media platform, Snapchat didn’t respond right away. About a week after, however, the timed message sending application sent out a new filter making any picture posted look like an Instagram post. The filter was released on April 1st a joke. For now, jokes aside, whatever comes next, let’s hope each social media platform starts releasing some more original ideas instead of cloning each other’s creations.