Digital Insights

A Quick How To Guide for Newly Launched Facebook Stories

Published: May 11, 2017

It all Began With a Snap

introducing facebook storiesWe’ve all seen the astounding success that Snapchat has had from their upstart to all the updated features we’ve come to know and expect today. In fact Instagram was so impressed that they rolled out their own version called Instagram Stories. When they first launched, some harsher critics of instastories mocked their imitation and swore that it wouldn’t be anywhere near the success of Snapchat. But Instagram Stories quickly ascended to an astounding 150 million users a day. Much of their success in part due to their method of allowing users to upload pre-shot videos–both from their camera roll and even from Snapchat videos. In that way, Instagram Stories became a complimentary feature to Snapchat rather than just a direct competitor. Yet both apps still offer unique features that differentiate them from the other and appeal to different users.

Facebook admits that when they saw the massive success of Instagram Stories that’s when they decided to test out Facebook Stories as well. In January the company began a soft roll out and found the market extremely responsive and pushed onward.  On March 28th the full roll-out to most users in 12 different countries launched.

Uh-Oh Snap Chat

Not exactly the best news for Snapchat who rejected Facebook’s acquisition offer. Facebook didn’t present a straight up copycat of Snapchat’s features. No instead Facebook used it’s massive wealth and resources in engineering and design teams to develop a similar but overall different product with their Camera, Stories, and Direct messaging than Snap. Read on to discover the unique features of Facebook Stories.

hold and record a video or take a quick pic for your facebook storiesPost Like an Instastory 

Much like Snapchat, Instagram Stories or WhatsApp, users will press the circular button at the bottom for a picture, or press and hold for a video from either the main or front camera. This straight-forward method is easy and no-nonsense for even a novice story user.


Filters, Filters, Filters.

This is where the product development of Facebook Stories really shines through and where Facebook will really capitalize on appealing to their much larger audience with animated filters and borders the user can set up before recording.

Swipe up or down to access your filter “favorites” i.e. the last 8 filter’s you’ve used. Don’t see one you like? Click on the magic wand icon located on the bottom left-hand corner in order to access a whole library of filters. Unlike Snapchat you’ll have a lot more filters and skins to access on Facebook Stories. However, you won’t be able to add emojis or stickers to the stories after the way that you can on Instagram Stories or Snaps. You’re post-edits are limited adding text or scribbles.

Check-Out this great comparison list that TechCrunch put together:

facebook stories has over 50 filters, emojis, and stickers to choose fromWhat’s in Facebook Camera:

  • Drawing with resizable marker and chalk brushes
  • Emoji stickers
  • Colored captions
  • Animated selfie lenses and masks
  • Environmental effects like highlight lines and funhouse mirrors
  • Reactive filters that respond to movement like lava lamp colors
  • Iterative filters that surprise you with new effects if you get more people in frame
  • Fine-art-style transfers that make your images look like line drawings or impressionist paintings
  • Professional artist filters like Hattie Stewart’s doodle bombs and Doug Copeland’s psychedelia
  • Licensed filters from six movie studios, including a Minions filter
  • Cause-supporting filters like rainbows for gay pride
  • Geotagged location filters for certain places
  • Country-specific filters for around 10 initial markets

What’s missing:

  • Simple Instagram-style color filters for boosting exposure or contrast (Snapchat, Instagram)
  • 3D stickers for pinning text, emoji or drawings to objects in a video (Snapchat)
  • Playback effects for slow-mo and fast-forward (Snapchat)
  • FaceSwap (Snapchat)
  • User- and business-submitted filters (Snapchat)
  • Caption background colors for easy reading (Instagram)
  • Location tags for turning any place-name into a stylized sticker (Instagram)
  • Mentions for tagging friends (Instagram)
  • Computer-generated filters that turn any text into frames (Messenger)
  • Who’s Up For? filters for inviting friends to hang out (Messenger)


video length for facebook storiesMore On-Screen Time

Let’s compare your max video times:

Snapchat: 10 seconds

Instagram Stories: 15 seconds

Facebook Stories: 20 seconds

Share a Variety of Ways 

Want to save that story you just made? Press the down arrow to save to your camera roll or simply press the center arrow to share. Additionally users have the option to send their share facebook stories direct message timeline or your storystory directly to friends in the form of a message or post to their timeline.

Control Who’s Seeing What

On Instagram and Snapchat it’s pretty simple. If you have a public profile, then you have a public story. If you have a private one, then your story is restricted to your friends only. But Facebook offers some different controls. Much like their sharing features already established on other posts, the user has the choice to make individual stories Public, Friends, Friends Except.., Select a certain subset of people, and so on when posting to their Timeline. A particularly appealing feature to parents who may only want to share photo’s of their kids with friends but also control who sees what on facebook storieswant to be widespread and public on a rant they made or great tip they want to share with everyone. However, this type of control is limited to stories posted on the timeline. If you share to your broader “Facebook Story”, the video will be available on the newsfeed of all your friends and appear as a bubble at the top of their feeds.

And just like Snapchat and Instagram Stories, these Facebook Stories have a 24-hour shelf life.

Watch It Again

“Direct” stories can be played twice before the video “self-destructs” disappears. But does it really disappear? watch facebook story direct message videos twiceWhile Facebook itself has issued that statement that once the content disappears from your Story or Direct messages, it also completely deletes the content off its servers, there are still other concerns. As of the official launch date, Facebook has not implemented features such as letting a user know when a screenshot of your story has been taken. So share with that safety tip in mind!

Facebook Stories for Businesses

While the launch of Facebook stories is great for the individual users, business pages should hold on to their celebration hats a little longer. As of the official launch date, Facebook has yet to open up Facebook Stories to business pages–only personal pages.

So what to do if you’re a business who wants to capitalize on this new way to reach potential customers? Tell the people on your team, such as community managers and experts to start building their personal brands and start pushing people and viewers to your business’ website and business social channels in this way.

With so many social video platforms out there, it can be hard to find the time to update each and every profile. WE strongly suggest if this is you that you stick with creating one video via Snapchat. Sure you may be limited to just 10 seconds, but you can save this 10 second story to your camera roll and upload the same story onto Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories. If you do choose to use one video for all platforms then we strongly encourage you go above and beyond to create unique video content.

happy facebook story


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