Facebook’s fight against Snapchat heated up a little this week as the company opened the option for Facebook Stories to be shared publicly.
When the feature first came out back in March, Stories could be only be shared with friends (or a subset of them). But since Snapchat (what the feature was based off of) allowed for anyone to view it, Stories was at a big disadvantage.
A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that the feature came out “a few weeks ago.” The “public” setting lets not only followers see the story, but everyone else as well. Facebook added that there’s no timeline at the moment for Pages (companies and brands) to be able to share Stories on Facebook.
The addition of public sharing gives Facebook the chance to popularize social media celebrities like Snapchat and Instagram have. Early reports indicate that a public Facebook Story gets a lot more interaction than an average news feed share. To make a Facebook Story public, users just need to click the “more” button on a story and then “Edit Story Settings.” There, a chance to change the setting from “Friends” to “Public” will be visible.
A viewer count will give users the names of friends who have viewed the Story and a count additional viewers who aren’t friends.
Facebook Stories becoming public actually opens up a whole new format of content creation on the platform. For example, YouTube vloggers could use the feature to give brief videos from upcoming vlogs, or journalists could use it for a raw look at a story they’re working on.
In today’s social media landscape, evolution is an outright necessity. Users’ interests change, and if a platform doesn’t update, another platform will come along. So it’s nice to see Facebook recognize what people want and to adapt to it.