It is safe to say that ‘Stories’ are the hottest trend in social media at the moment. Well, in terms of platform features that is. Stories have fueled the success of companies like Snapchat and Instagram. As their market share is slowly dwindling, Facebook hopes a similar feature integration might increase usage on its platform too. As of yesterday, users of Facebook Groups and Events are able to contribute to one shared Story. When the feature was first beginning to be tested recently with select users, Connor Hayes, Product Manager at Facebook, explained that the new collaborative Stories would “give multiple people the opportunity to tell a Story from multiple, different angles.” Now, the company is expanding the feature globally with the addition of lightweight reactions that allow Group Members to respond to each other easily and quickly with emojis “that show a range of universal human emotions.”
Engagement is key to retaining a user base on any platform these days. Utilities and features that contribute to that ability are of a growing importance in the social realm. The intent of Group stories is to allow users to connect with others on a more personal level, and both experience and interact with the varying points of view that are commonly present within a group. Group Stories will appear at the top of a Group’s page. Members will be able to view it by clicking on the Story , or they can add to it by clicking on the “add” button next to it. Adding to the Group Story works basically the same way as adding to your own. You can take a photo or select one from your camera roll, spice it up with effects, stickers or drawing tools and add it the content. All to the delight of the Group’s viewers.
Collaborative Stories are more than just a great way to help members engage even more with their communities. It’s also “a casual and easy way to share fun, fast, fleeting moments with specific groups of people.” It’s easy to assume that this feature addition, in it’s most fundamental function, is an avenue for Facebook to get users to engage more actively with their Stories function in the app. Creating more conversations and content sharing among peers should in turn, hopefully produce a more active community on Facebook Stories.
A particularly cool element of these stories is that Facebook is launching reactions within the feature update, allowing users to react to everyone’s stories and give their opinion on what is happening within them. For those of you who may be group moderators or admins, sweating profusely from the chaos that could potentially ensue with this new product launch, fear not. You’ll be comforted to know that you will have some control over who is able to add to the group stories. This should assist group’s in maintaining a sense of control over the narrative of the group. We all have that one friend…
Some of you may be thinking to yourself, “Isn’t managing a Group already a hassle in itself?” The answer to that question is a resounding yes. So, to help admins effectively manage group stories and “maintain a safe space for sharing” Facebook has built in the option for admins to approve or delete member stories from the group before they are ever shared with the community. Group admins are also given the power to mute specific members and even set it so that only admins can post or contribute to group stories.
Following this roll out, more Groups will now be able to use the feature and create stories. The feature is available on both iOS and Android, and the Stories can be viewed on desktop.
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