The way people share is changing, and with that, Facebook is bringing Instagram style Stories to its platform. Facebook Stories could be bad news for Snapchat, who arguably pioneered the format. We take a brief look at the new Facebook Stories and find out what it means for event professionals.
The new Stories feature, released by Facebook this week brings Snapchat style video right to the top of its users' newsfeeds, In a manner almost exactly the same as its sister platform, Instagram. Facebook has started the roll-out of this new feature in Ireland this week. It will no doubt reach the masses soon.
Although it's unclear how (or even if) the new feature will work in the browser, iOS and Android users will enjoy a user experience similar to that found in the Instagram app. As with Instagram, Stories will sit at the top of the newsfeed so you won't be able to miss them.
Facebook Stories Vs. Snapchat
This news couldn't have come at a worse time for Snapchat, what with an IPO hanging in the air. Instagram Stories was an immediate success, gathering 150 million daily users in just 5 months. It's probable that a network as pervasive as Facebook will also see a rapid uptake. It seems unlikely that this will cause a mass exodus from Snapchat but the incumbent will definitely feel the pinch.
What This Means For Event Professionals
What's important here is not so much where users are sharing their content but how. Since Snapchat first appeared on the scene, self-destruct images and videos have continued to gain popularity. So much so, that Instagram, and now Facebook is featuring this style of content front-and-center. This highlights a massive trend in user behaviour that seems to have grown over the last few years. We've broken this trend down into three areas that we think are of key interest to event professionals.
While creating lasting memories with photos remains ever popular, there is also a trend towards capturing and sharing brief moments in time. Part of what makes a moment special is its fleetingness and the self-destruct nature of this content fits the bill perfectly. It's all about being "right here, right now, in the moment, with me". This plays brilliantly on FOMO (fear of missing out) and can make any event look like the place to be. For event professionals, the opportunity is in the facilitation of this behaviour. Branded walls, photo booths and even props can be a great way to help your audience share those magic moments.
Nearly all of this kind of content is photographed or filmed in portrait mode, instead of the more traditional landscape mode favoured in the past. Having to turn your phone through 90 degrees to record or watch video is silly when you think about it. Snapchat knew this all along and now everyone else is catching on. If people are sharing content in this format, that means people are viewing in it too. Consider this when you're thinking about how you promote or broadcast your event.
The trend towards these fleeting moments is also a sign that attention spans are getting shorter. If your event or sponsor has a message to get out, there are opportunities but bear in mind that they too will be fleeting. Sponsored badges (branded idents overlaid on content) are a great way to engage users.
Whoever wins the platform war, self-destruct content is somewhat ironically here to stay. With it comes a host of new challenges and opportunities and now is the time for event professionals to exploit this growing phenomenon.