STOP THE PRESS!!
The Facebook Story is here and it feels exactly like Instagram Story which feels exactly like Snapchat! What does this mean?! ... I've been in turmoil for the last 24 hours because I feel like it's dejavu all the time!
Seeing as it was literally dropped in the last 24 hours, there's not a lot of response yet. Perhaps it can feel a bit tucked out of the way- only if you've updated your App on your mobile device will you see it sitting at the top of your News Feed when you open Facebook. I've only had one friend post a Story (he was also curious what it looks like)
I've had a play around with the filters though- there are so many! And after a while, the app started slowing down and eventually crashed. Oops. But it's pretty intense, what this new feature can do. There are LOADS and LOADS of different filters and things to play with on the Facebook Story. A lot of them are, admittedly, frames with phrases like 'Weekend Vibes', 'Holiday Mode', and 'OMG', but there are also plenty of funny things. Pretend to be an Eskimo, have a sloth sitting on your head, or have a filter alter the color scheme on your camera. Then, you can of course write something on your photo, either by typing or writing with a marker. The only thing is you can't control how bit the type is on the typing one. You can use emoji, of course, but that's not a surprise. And you can also flip your photo. So, while it's not super extensive, the sheer amount of filters will keep people occupied for a while at least.
So who can all see this? I HAVE NO IDEA. I know that I can post 'My Story' but I'm not sure who will be able to see it. I guess it's just my friends? That's what my security setting is on, so surely just them, right? I do know that I can send specific stories to people, so that I'm not sending it to everyone. It goes to an area called 'Direct' (as of yet still not able to find where this 'Direct' area is), and then my friends can see what I send them, and then I'll be able to see what they reply (as of yet, my friends have yet to reply. Jerks.)
EDIT: The area called 'Direct' sits on the top right corner of your News Feed, where you can see replies to your Story from your friends. As far as I'm aware, it took a reply from a friend to actually reveal the icon...
How does this affect social media? Well... IT'S HUGE. Not necessarily on a business front, because as far as I can tell, you can only do this from your own personal account. But it's in direct competition with Snapchat, and even Facebook's own Instagram. Instagram Story, though, has a lot more features so it's a lot more exciting, if you ask me, but this only further cements Facebook's grip into the video and 'story' worlds. It's going to take a few weeks for people to get into it, and you're going to see the usual 'oh this is crap' articles and even Facebook statuses pop up from people that are resistant to this change. Cut to six months from now when everyone who is not posting a Story of their lunch is clearly boring and out of touch.
What does this mean for Snapchat? Well, that's a good question. It's only a matter of time when this will be rolled out to Facebook Business Pages as well (at least I hope so can't wait to play around with these weird filters for my Page... although, 10 seconds is a very short time to post a story for a Business). But that doesn't mean Snapchat isn't doing their own thing as well. They are stepping up their game. They've got their Snapglasses and as far as I know, have a few more things in the works to be more cutting edge than those copy cats at Facebook (sorry FB it was just too easy to make that shot). It's going to be interesting to see how they can rebut this-- are kids going to now migrate back to Facebook because it has similar features as Snapchat? Only time will tell, to be honest. Snapchat still feels a lot more anonymous than Facebook does. We'll see, with bated breath.